Why is La Santa Ironman Lanzarote Club special?

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This 2018 is the 27 edition and is the oldest Ironman (of the Ironman 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. In this 2018 the 27 edition is celebrated and it is the oldest Ironman (of the IM franchise) that is held in Europe, since others that were created in the 80 decade changed organizer.

The swimming

Swimming consists of 2 turns of 1.900m 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 or also known as "rolling start", but the fairest one is mass exit, since each athlete is placed according to his objectives in the competition, if he wishes compete with other triathletes or simply face the race as a personal challenge.

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 300m. 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.

Lucy Charles In the ironman Lanzarote

The cycling segment

The cycling segment consists of one round of 180km where the most important points of the Island of Lanzarote are visited. This year the circuit has changed with respect to other editions, at the start there are some variations and also the passage through the Club la Santa and Famara. But still and so it preserves many of its most important points.

The highlights are the Timanfaya National Park, which begins with a spectacular stretch of several kilometers, where the wind begins to wreak havoc. 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 world triathlon take place, when the triathletes go up a very narrow road to the Mirador del Río 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 2700 meters of unevenness that together with the wind make it a really hard circuit.

Lto foot race

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 who goes to Lanzarote. There are many triathletes who repeat, and few "Ironmans" in the world can "brag" of counting among their finishers three triathletes who add up to 63 participations (the Italian Amedeo Bonfanti (20), Spanish Carmelo Ruiz (21) and the Dutch Albert Connaghan (22)).

In women, the participation record has it Ingrid Arnig with 9, followed by Ines Hernandez y Susana roman with 7. 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.

In recent years, the victory of last year's Lucy charles who later was 2ª in Kona and also the second place in Jan Frodeno at 2016 ... year where he won his second Ironman World Championship months after giving Hawaii.

On the other hand it should 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). Highlight 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.


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Photos: Ironman Lanzarote

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