It looks like it has been a couple of years since this thread was updated. I was wondering if any locals (or expats that have visited recently) could comment on the current triathlon scene, as well as training locations. I have heard that things have been changing rapidly in Moscow, so I am guessing the triathlon scene has, too. I will be moving there for work and am trying to understand my options. Are the comments above still relevant or has it completely changed? I'll probably live somewhere between Sokol and the center. Thanks!
I live in Moscow, and can provide a bit of feedback. When I first arrived here in almost nine years ago, the triathlon scene was just standing up. My impression (possibly mistaken, I defer to better-informed views, particularly from locals) is that sports used to be largely elite-driven. Basically, you were either world class, identified at an early age and sent to a sports academy or you stayed home and cheered for the world-beaters.
Today, mass participation endurance events are big deal. I used to run in the morning and people spilling out of nightclubs would point and laugh. This happens to me in a lot of places, if we are going to be honest. But I never saw anyone else out there exercising and the first running event I went to was a free Nike 5k race in fall 2010 that was one step up from a riot-people just didn't know what to expect.
Now there are bricks and mortar running shops, tons of running clubs, ParkRuns all over the place, cross country races, ultras, and triathlons. The biggest triathlon club is Trilife, they are a very friendly bunch: https://www.trilife.ru/
(Google Translate can render their site pretty well.)
Riding has improved a lot with bikeshare culture arriving (along with craft brewing and hipster beards), the best spot likely remains Krylatskoye, where the 1980 Olympic road race was held-lots of hills to climb!
Strava's global heatmap shows where everyone is running and riding in Moscow, which should give you a good sense of the best locations: https://www.strava.com/heatmap#11.00/37.61909/55.73002/hot/all
There is no m-dot branded event here just yet, but I have no doubt the population could easily support one. There are events in the Nordics and Baltics if you are brand-loyal, and there is an Iron Star series that has a 140.6 distance race in Sochi, if you like palm trees and mountain views. Essentially, my only complaint about Russian triathlon specifically and Russian endurance events in general is that there are too many really fast people who can swim, bike, and run circles around me here, but this happens to me in a lot of places, if we are going to continue being honest.