This 2016 is the 25 edition and is the oldest Ironman (of the IM-Wanda franchise) that is held in Europe
El Club La santa Ironman Lanzarote It was the first one that was played in Spain, in the 1992 year, thanks above all to the great work of Kenneth Gasque After several years of hard negotiations, he managed to bring the Ironman to the Island. This 2016 is the 25 edition and is the oldest Ironman (of the IM-Wanda franchise) that is held in Europe, since others that were created in the 80 decade changed organizer.
Swimming consists of 2 turns of 1900m each and is done in a mass output, first the professionals and a few meters behind the age groups. Currently many medium and long distance triathlons opt for staggered exits, but in my opinion and that of many triathletes, the most fair is in mass, where each one is placed according to their level of swimming and thus avoid less hits.
Another point in favor of swimming is that the first buoy (in which there are usually more hits and crowds of people) is quite far, at about 500m. Finally, it should also be noted that between each of the swimming laps, the triathletes travel along the beach for a 30m race where they receive the encouragement of the public gathered there.
The cycling segment
The cycling segment consists of a round of 180km where the most important points of the Island of Lanzarote are covered. The highlights are the Timanfaya National Park, which begins with a spectacular stretch of several kilometers, where the wind begins to wreak havoc.
Later after Tinajo and go through the Club la Santa, the circuit reaches its hardest part first in the zone of Famara and Teguise where the wind blows hardest, always facing or sideways and then the climbs to the viewpoints, the Haria and the Mirador del Río, where the most characteristic image of the IM Lanzarote and one of the "photos" of the global IM take place, when the triathletes go up a very narrow road to the Mirador del Rio and they see on their left the island of La Graciosa.
Finally the third part is the most favorable, where the wind usually blows more in favor, it is also an area where those who have emptied themselves in the climbs can lose many minutes in the descent. In total the circuit of cycling consists of more than 2500 meters of unevenness that together with the wind make it a really hard circuit.
The race on foot
Finally, the marathon segment consists of 3 turns, the first of 21km that runs through the vicinity of the airport, passing through Playa Honda and reaches Arrecife. And the next 2 of 10,5km. The turning point of each lap is next to the finish line. This segment is also characterized by the wind also by heat and humidity.
Lanzarote also stands out as the only IM where triathletes can cross the finish line with their families. A few years ago IM banned this in their competitions ... but in Lanzarote, thanks to the effort of the organization, in charge of Club la Santa, it has been possible for the family to accompany the finishers at the entrance to the finish line.
On the other hand, we must highlight the type of participant that goes to Lanzarote. There are many triathletes who repeat, and few "Ironmans" in the world can "boast" of having among their finishers three triathletes who add 57 participations (the Italian Amedeo Bonfanti (18), Spanish Carmelo Ruiz (19) and the Dutch Albert Connaghan (20)). On the other hand highlight the spirit "no drafting" of the majority of participants, due to the category of the triathlete who runs in Lanzarote and the orography do not see groups or triathletes "to wheel" as in other mass tests or with flat circuits.
To finish the honor roll of winners and podiums has possibly the two best women in the history of IM, Paula Newby Fraser (8 times World Cup winner of Hawaii) who won three editions and Natasha Badmann (6 times winner of the Hawaii World Cup) 2ª in 2011. It also highlights the 2ª position of Luc Van Leirde (2 times winner of the Hawaii World Cup) in 2007.
It should also be noted that in Lanzarote there was the first victory of a Spanish woman in an IM (Maribel Blanco in 2002 and 2003) and also that of a Spaniard (Eneko Llanos in 2007 and 2010). To emphasize on the other hand the victory of Victor del Corral in 2012, the podiums of Felix Martinez-Rubio 3º in 2003 and 2004, those of Miquel Blanchart 2º in 2013 and 2014 and the one in Saleta Castro 3ª in 2013.
The next edition of Club La Santa Ironman Lanzarote will be held 21 May 2016
Further information: http://eu.ironman.com/es-es/triathlon/events/emea/ironman/lanzarote.aspx
Juan José Martí Navío @jjnavio
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