Our collaborator Marcos Bonilla, a test expert Ultraman, tells us his point of view on the panorama that this sport has in our country,
We remember that an Ultraman is a ultra resistance triathlon which is disputed in 3 days to complete the 515 kilometers of travel.
The competition consists of taking a tour to 10 Kilometer open sea swim, 421 kilometers of cycling y 84 kilometers of running race.
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The panorama of Ultraman in Spain
Although very progressive and despite continuing to remain a minority distance, every year the interest of Spanish triathletes in experiencing an Ultraman grows and as a consequence, every year more regions of Spain host an Ultraman distance triathlon.
Although We don't have any Ultraman brand “Ultraman” in Spaina, it is important for the ultra-distance of our country that these types of tests are developed, since it encourages and gives the option to Spanish athletes without resources to do an Ultraman without large displacements or having to leave the country
With this, triathletes are given the possibility of considering a distance that exceeds Ironman's kilometers in kilometers, and to see how good or bad it is, as well as other shorter distances such as Sprint, Olympic or Half.
The development of Ultraman tests collaborates in the progressive settlement of this distance within the triathlon, and enhances the possibility that in the future it will be "officialized" and be recognized as a discipline within the Triathlon, giving rise to the growth of triathletes in this discipline that until now we have not been recognized even classifying ourselves for the world championship and feeling invisible to the Triathlon Federation.
How it is said; "Dreaming is free", and if within the Federation of swimming, cycling or athletics there is ultra-distance ... Why not wait for some day the Federation of Spanish Triathlon?
Leaving dreams aside, the current reality is that most of the few Spaniards who plan to do an ultraman, will pose as a challenge to experiment and, simply, to finish (something totally respectable and admirable, since only the fact of considering it contributes to the growth of the discipline).
However Very few of us are the Spaniards who compete to classify or to try be among the best in the world por the few means we have and the few help they offer us.
Only "3 cats" (literally) are we who spend all our savings in competing in a discipline representing a country that does not support us. That's why the dare to organize Ultraman in our country is so important!
In these moments we can say that we have near 10 tests that have organized an Ultraman, although not all have been carried out, most of the time due to lack of participants.
To start talking about Ultraman in our country, it is fair to start talking about the “Ultra-Tri Spain” of Motril held at the end of May, since we can firmly say that it is the only Ultraman distance triathlon that has established itself in Spain
It has been held since 2016, this 2019 being the fourth consecutive year, and settling as an ultraman test that is repeated every year, giving the assurance to its participants that it will be a test to be held at 100% since it is fully consolidated in the legal level at the level of permits and in the sports level with three stages with more than studied and controlled routes; After these four years.
If someone wants to experience an ultraman with guarantees, this is a safe option and with guarantees of celebration for its consolidation during the last years. I myself had the opportunity to participate as a Crew crew crew of the triathlete who won the race this year; the great “Cabila” Jose Antonio García Cardona, experiencing first-hand the organization from within and being able to compare with the Ultraman in which I have competed outside of Spain, and I can say with total peace of mind that, although there are small details to improve, it does not have Nothing to envy the brand Ultraman that is made in other parts of the world.
As criticism and comments of the participants, we could highlight the hardness of the cycling sector, being a sector that changes the usual cutting time, and that is the main reason why many participants “back out”, while It is the reason why it attracts others.
Another "almost" distance Ultraman consolidated test is the "Toroman", and I say almost because in the first stage after the 10 kilometers swimming, instead of doing 145 km on road or road bike ... 110 kilometers are made by mountain bike, being the differentiating and original element of this test.
This makes this triathlon the only Ultraman in the world that introduces the mtb mode. A test that takes place in the surroundings of Seville, usually at the beginning of October, a fully consolidated event that is also repeated every year and that also gains the condition of guaranteeing its participants the celebration of the test.
Although the introduction of mountain biking, makes this triathlon a discipline other than Ultraman, we can say that it has helped the ultra-distance triathlon in this country by giving athletes a chance to consider a distance like this.
Another test that has begun to be held a couple of years ago is the “Infinitriman” that begins and ends in Benicasim, is developed by regions of Castellón, and more and more participants are taking place, also leading to its consolidation.
After many attempts to celebrate an Ultraman in Mallorca from the 2016, finally on this island of the Balearic Islands they will celebrate an Ultraman in the month of November; the "UltraMallorcaMan", triathlon that I will personally be very attentive to the participation of a couple of my friends.
This last year it was inaugurated in the surroundings of Badajoz; UltraKing, an Ultraman “non stop”, with very good criticism of the participants, and organized by Alberto Cendredo Nieto, another “ultraman brother” who also has the experience of having competed in ultraman outside Spain.
It is a test that does not make the usual division of the route in three stages, but the entire route “often” giving the option of resting when the triathlete wants, and stopping the clock only in the final goal. As we said about the "Toroman"; differentiating element, even original, but that unchecks the test of Ultraman discipline. Even so; another event that helps, and much, to encourage Spanish athletes to consider this distance.
With this short list we finalize the tests that are consolidating in our country, leaving aside the "Ironman doubles", "Ultraman Media" ... and that type of tests that go around the distances to try to make them more attractive to potential participants .
There is much work to do
In my opinion, there is still a lot of work to do, a lot to encourage, a lot of recognition work towards the triathletes that we have, in some cases, 6 for years doing Ultraman, but above all we need more support from the institutions towards those people who decide to organize a proof of this caliber, and more support from the federation to recognize this discipline in the future, hopefully, not far away.
In any case; on behalf of all of us who love Ultraman; Thank you very much to all the brave people who make an effort to organize the tests, as well as the brave ones that you consider participating in an Ultraman.
Aloha, Ohana, Kokua.