The Ironman Lanzarote is held each year in May. It starts at 7 o’clock in the morning at the Puerto del Carmen and its maximum duration is 17 hours. It is composed of three modalities, just like a triathlon, but with some slight differences when it comes to distance.
The first part is swimming, which starts at dawn from the Playa Grande in the Puerto del Carmen. There is no better way to wake up than venturing into the cool waters of the Atlantic for a 3.8 km swim. It’s very important to keep in mind that the water currents are usually quite strong there and there is often groundswell.
Once they get out of water, athletes are up for a 180-km bike race around the island. Obviously, they have to bike the entire island from north to south and east to west, riding in an almost circular route. Taking into account that Lanzarote is 62 km long and 21 km wide, this is the only way to hold the race without leaving the island.
After they stop pedalling, the athletes, who have almost become demi-gods at that point, get off their bikes and put on their running shoes to start the marathon, which, this time, is raced through the street that runs parallel to the sea. The views are impressive there, but not so much the humidity and heat of May. This is one more factor that makes this race one of the toughest on the planet.
The finish line and the glory await the finalists at the Puerto del Carmen, very close to where they set off for their swims in the morning.
Professionals finish the race after some eight hours of competition. Depending on their skills and capacity, the rest will finish after 12 hours, on average. However, the organisers have set a maximum of 17 hours to finish the race.
The true challenge here is not to make the best time, but rather to finish. It means crossing the finish line with the least possible discomfort, or even with it, but actually making it. That’s the true glory for anyone who takes on this adventure.
Many months of hard training and sacrifices lead to this big day. Most people think that the hard part consists of getting ready and that the race is there to enjoy.
Keep this in mind if Ironman Lanzarote is your next goal.
Even if you don’t feel ready for the full Ironman, the organisers offer a reduced option, which is half of the kilometres in each modality, but with the same intensity, as Lanzarote doesn’t cut any slack even for Ironman 70.3 Lanzarote.
If you’d like to undertake one of the world’s toughest competitions and become an Ironman, this official webpage lists all requirements and dates.
This race offers classifying slots for the world Ironman championship held each year in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, so it’s a thoroughly tough challenge to be undertaken.