The Grand Tri Run was launched in 2011 by Nick Ashley-Cooper, 12th Earl of Shaftesbury, a passionate ultra-marathon runner. The race supports the spinal cord research foundation Wings For Life, which seeks to find a cure for spinal cord injury. Nick is an ambassador for Wings For Life after suffering his own spinal cord injury in 2009.

There is a relaxed ethos behind the day and athletes of all abilities take part to enjoy the stunning off-road trails and scenery around the Shaftesbury Estate, (an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty), while friends and family can relax with good food and entertainment in the grounds of St.Giles House.

In 2015 the run joined forces with Try Tri events to provide an entire weekend of activities with camping, food and entertainment throughout. Saturday is the Triathlon Day with Olympic, Sprint, Novice and Children’s distance triathlons, while Sunday is the Running Day with the classic half marathon, 10km, 5km and 1km running routes.