The 5 "Monuments" of the Ironman Triathlon

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In cycling there are five great classics that are considered by their history "The 5 Cycling Monuments", but the triathlon also has its "5 Ironman monuments"


In cycling, there are five great classics that, due to their history, are considered "The 5 Cycling Monuments", Some tests where your victory justifies a sports career in many cases, these classic ones are: Milan-San Remo, Return to Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, Liege-Bastogne-Liège y Turn of Lombardy.

All of them have in common their high mileage  (more than 250km), hardness (walls, steep slopes, cobblestones, etc ...) and above all history, all are centenarians with more than 100 editions, being the Liege-Bastogne-Liège "The dean" born in 1892 and the Vuelta a Flandes the "youngest" whose first edition was in 1913 and has the peculiarity of being one of the only sports competitions in Europe that resisted the Second World War without suspending any edition. Finally, it should also be noted that the Paris-Roubaix ("The queen of the classics") is the one that more times has been celebrated with 115 editions.

Triathlon is a much younger sport than cycling and the first edition of the Hawaii Ironman (1) dates from 1978, but also has its "5 Ironman monuments" Ironman New Zealand, Ironman Lanzarote, Challenge Roth, Nice Ironman y Embrunman(2)


Ironman New Zealand

El New Zealand Ironman the past 5 of March was disputed and it was the 33ª edition. It is the least known of the tests being located very far from the large nuclei of residence of the largest number of triathletes: Europe and America, but it is the oldest in the Southern Hemisphere, its first edition dates from 1985, although it was not until 1988 when it began to be an Ironman distance triathlon. From 1985 to 1998 it was disputed in the New Zealand capital, Auckland, but from 1999 it is disputed in the interior of the north island, in Taupo.

Swimming is very clean, one lap and with a first buoy located at 1775m. It swims parallel to the coastline of Lake Taupo. Later cycling is 2 turns 90km and ends with the marathon, divided into three laps next to Lake Taupo.

The main legends of this test are in men Cameron Brown who has achieved the victory 13 times and has managed 19 consecutive podiums. While in women highlights Joana Lawn who has won 7 times and has been on 11 podium occasions.



Ironman Lanzarote

El La Santa Ironman Club of Lanzarote was born thanks to Danish Kenneth Gasque, "The father" of the Ironman Lanzarote and one of the most important people in the world triathlon. Kenneth Gasque was the first Danish citizen running in the Ironman World Championship in Kona Hawaii in 1985, 1992 and managed to bring the Ironman Lanzarote Island, and is currently the oldest franchise in Europe. In 2017 it celebrates its 26ª edition and it will be disputed on Saturday 20 of May.

Swimming consists of 2 turns 1900 on the beach in Puerto del Carmen, then cycling is a return, 180km around the island, where we can cut up the Natural Park of Timanfaya, the Club Santa, the viewpoint of Haria and Mirador del Rio. To finish, the triathletes run the 42,2km of the marathon, which runs through the airport area, Arrecife and the promenade of Puerto del Carmen.

On the main winners, it stands out above all and all the figure of Paula Newby-Fraser (8 times Ironman World Champion in Hawaii) the only one that has won three editions in "La isla". Lanzarote also has among its winners a Peter Reid (3 times world champion in Kona) y Faris Al Sultan (also world champion).

As a curiosity in 2017 came the first "defeat" of Jan Frodeno in an ironman distance triathlon, the American Jesse Thomas the victory was won and the German "alone" could be second. In 2002 Maribel Blanco achieved the first victory of a Spanish triathlete in a "monument" and would repeat triumph a year later. Later in 2004 and 2005 Virginia Berasategui also won the Ironman Lanzarote



Challenge Roth

Roth has the honor of being the first ironman distance triathlon in which he got off 8horasIt was the German Lothar Leder with a time of 7: 57: 02 in 1996. Of the 69 times that have been lowered from 8 hours in an Ironman distance triathlon, 25 have been in Roth, while in 38 women times the barrier of the 9 hours has been broken in Roth. This year the 9 of July will be played.

Swimming is done around the corner, 3800m in the Canal de Main Donau. Later the cycling consists of 2 turns of 90km in a very fast circuit, where the spectators fill the streets to encourage the triathletes. Highlights the climb to Obermässing, a steep slope full of fans who do not stop to encourage all athletes. The marathon consists of 2 laps of 21,2 km and runs largely through the center of the city of Roth.

The Roth Challenge stands out as the fastest test of all the "monuments" and also the fastest of all the ironman distance triathlons. Although the circuits are not officially approved, Roth holds the world records, both in the men's and women's categories. In 2016 Jan Frodeno stopped the clock at 7:35:39 while in women Chrissie Wellington made a mark of 8: 18: 13.

Among its winners, in addition to Frodeno and Wellington stand out Lothar Leder with 5 wins, Nicole Leder and Chis McCormack with four, while Wllington herself, Jurgen Zäck and Paula Newby-Fraser they have taken the vitoria in 3 occasions.


Nice Ironman

Nice is the oldest of all the monuments, although its history can be divided into two parts. The first edition was in 1982 and 2004 was held up under distance C, ie 4000m swimming, cycling and 120km 30 race walk during these years his name was "Triathlon International de Nice". In the decade of the 80 and the 90 Nice was the most important triathlon in Europe, and only surpassed by Kona worldwide. Possibly the Monument with the highest level of winners.

In 2005 it became part of the Ironman circuit and changed its distances the typical ironman distance: 3,8 + 180 + 42,2. During the last years it has been celebrated in the month of June, but in this 2017 the competition will be the 23 of July, so presumably swimming in the Mediterranean Sea will be without neoprene. Later the triathletes face a broken cycle circuit with almost 2000m of difference, ascending several levels and highlighting the Col d'Écre. Finally the marathon will presumably be disputed with high temperatures around the 30-35 ºC and high humidity.

As we have previously mentioned, Nice has an honor roll that could be fighting "from you to you" with Kona. Within the first period of 1982 to 2004, the great dominator was Mark Allen with 10 wins, but we must also highlight the victories of Luc Van Lierde (European first to win in Kona), Simon Lessing (4 times ITU world champion) or Rob Barel (4 times short distance European champion). There are editions with authentic luxury podiums, such as 1993 (Allen, Lessing, Barel) or 1995 (Lessing, Van Lierde and Reid).

Among the women, the four victories of Paula Newby-Frazer or the doublets of Ines Ested, Isabelle Mouthon-Michellys or Linda Buchanan. The last winner in 2004 was triple world champion Mirinda Carfrae. As regards the Ironman period, Spanish Marcel Zamora He is the great dominator with 5 consecutive wins. While in women Tine Deckers has 3 wins.




Finally we want to close our list of "the 5 monuments of ironman" with the Embrunman, proof that is disputed in the French city of Embrun the 15 of August of each year from 1985. It is the only one that does not belong to any of the two large franchises (Ironman or Challenge), besides being the one that presents some tougher routes due to its unevenness in cycling and running. It is the only one where you have never downloaded 9 hours in men or 10 hours in women.

Swimming is done in the dark, since it starts at 6 in the morning, and even at night, the 3800m run through the Plan d'Eau lake in cold waters. Later the triathletes face the tough cycling sector, 188km with 5000 meters of positive height difference, where the climb to the mythical Col D'Izoard crowned by more than 2300m stands out above all. Finally the triathletes perform a tough marathon with more than 600m of unevenness.

As in the Ironman of Nice, Marcel Zamora is the triathlete with the most triumphs, five in total and shares that "reign" with the French Yves Cordier, who also won five victories between 1987 and 1999. The next triathlete with more triumphs is Felix Rubio Martinez, with four victories. His 2001 triumph was the first victory of a Spanish triathlete in a "monument". In women stand out the three wins of Bella Bayliss, the triple winner of the Embrunman. Finally we must highlight the triumph of Scott Molina in 1991, who has the honor of being the only winner of Kona who has also won in Embrunman.


(1) The Ironman of Hawaii we have not considered a monument because it is the world championship, just as cycling has its world.

(2) At the time of qualifying these 5 competitions as "Monuments" we have based on data such as the number of editions, participants, their history, routes and winners of the winners and winners.

There are no previous results.

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