An event with record participation, in which the Germans Justus Nieschlag (03:54:57) and Anne Haug (04:16:47) were crowned champions
Saturday, 18 March, was a new milestone for the triathlon of Lanzarote, once again surpassing the record of participation in the eleventh edition of the Club La Santa IRONMAN 70.3, in which 1,200 competitors from over 40 different countries took part.
Once again, Lanzarote is positioned as a world benchmark of triathlon, taking the international spotlight with a new instalment of one of the most anticipated events of the year. A situation that contrasts with the rest of the sports schedules, which are still waiting for the full recovery of the pandemic with potential runners still to decide whether to definitely make the leap to the competition, in addition to the winter months are a break for most events of this magnitude.
Not so on the island of volcanoes, where record participation is broken in the month of March. The unique nature of the event, where the idyllic surroundings of Lanzarote and the enviable Canary weather make it practically obligatory to attend IRONMAN 70.3, which has no limits and allows the elite to leave the sports calendar without a break, remaining one of the most attractive events both for the most demanding triathletes and for the amateur athletes who are just starting out.
The starting gun was fired at 07:00 a.m. and could not have had a better reception with a temperature that exceeded 20 degrees in the port of Marina Rubicon, Playa Blanca, from where the 1.9km swim segment began. Fans who came to the Marina Rubicón area witnessed the new Rolling start, in such a way that the conejera coast was filled with swimmers divided into groups in order to have a safer one-lap format, which helps to maintain the pace and generates less anxiety for the athlete.
The triathletes then left the backdrop of the paradisiacal Playa Dorada to transition to the 90km of cycling, with a positive elevation gain of about 1,017 meters. Spectacular images of the participants on the volcanic roads of Lanzarote, with such characteristic landscapes in the background as the landscapes of the Maciot farmhouse, Los Hervideros, El Golfo, La Geria or Timanfaya. The 1,200 participants also had the chance to enjoy a circuit through the streets of Yaiza and Mancha Blanca, where they also enjoyed the enthusiasm of the public.
Meanwhile, the last 21.1km running leg allowed the fans to move to the entire southern coast of Lanzarote, where Playa Blanca again left a vibrant atmosphere in each stride of the runners who headed to the coveted finish line that awaited them in Marina Rubicon.
It was there that the German Justus Nieschlag (03:54:57) and Anne Haug (04:16:47) were crowned new champions of this edition, in the men’s and women’s categories respectively. The German triathlete managed to position himself in the lead from his exit from the water, although he did not have it easy. Despite staying steady until the end, the fight that took place very close to his back made for an exciting competition, producing several changes with another German, Rico Bogen, ceding second place to Denmark’s Thor Bendix Madsen after a spectacular comeback in sixteenth position. But there was still time for surprises, with Frenchman Mathis Margirier taking the men’s silver by only 15 seconds from the German and leaving the bronze to the Dane, who he beat by almost two minutes.
Anne Haug, winner of the IRONMAN Kona in 2019, did not want to miss her rendezvous in Lanzarote, arriving as the favorite in her category out of the 80 professional triathletes who were in this Club La Santa IRONMAN 70.3. To make the predictions come true, the German had to overtake Kate Curran, recent winner of the Club La Santa Volcano Triathlon. The Brit started very well with her compatriot, India Lee, but in the end it was Lee who would win the women’s silver followed by Italian Elisabetta Curridori.
In terms of Spanish participation, the most outstanding athletes were Anna Noguera, with a remarkable fifth place; and Jordi Montraveta, twelfth in the overall standings. A special flavour for Noguera, since it was precisely the IRONMAN 70.3 Lanzarote that was her last competition before being forced to stop due to injury, returning now in style with that magnificent fifth place finish with a time of 04:41:06, just ahead of an IRONMAN Lanzarote champion like Lydia Dant.
Moreover, the Catalan Montraveta, achieved another record to be reckoned with. With 04:06:08, just over a minute away from entering the top 10 of the race, he admitted that he came to the Lanzarote race to “test himself for the IRONMAN Lanzarote. I can’t miss a race like this”, he said while encouraging the rest of his peers to meet up again in May “and improve on last year’s position”.