The eighth edition of the triathlon comes with a record level of participation, with more than 1,000 athletes registered for the event
The arrival of the month of October brings with it a sports calendar packed with international events, including one of the most spectacular events that takes place on the island, the Ironman 70.3 Lanzarote to be held on Saturday, 5th October, at Playa Blanca. This new edition arrives with a historical level of participation, with more than 1,000 triathletes of 57 different nationalities registered, including more than 50 professional triathletes.
Taking advantage of the proximity of the event, we talked with Fabio Cabrera, the Technical Director of the race and Club La Santa’s Race Director, to learn first-hand, the characteristics of the eighth edition of this event with a clear international profile. Fabio, originally from the neighbouring island of Gran Canaria, is one of the people who knows the event best, because after arriving on the island 6 years ago to cover a holiday period in a sports facility and then staying on to work at the Club La Santa, he has grown professionally to become the Technical Director of such important events as the Ironman Lanzarote, the Ironman 70.3 Lanzarote, the International Running Challenge and the Volcano Triathlon, among many others, after the retirement of Kenneth Gasque.
For those who are not very familiar with the Ironman format, he tells us that since it is an American product, the distances are measured in miles and that the sum of its three disciplines (swimming, cycling and running) are 140.6 miles. So the Ironman 70.3 gets its name because it is based on half the distances of the full event.
The great novelty of this edition is the change of the event’s location, which this year will be the southern town of Playa Blanca. Friday, 4th October sees the start of the challenge for the youngest competitors, the Ironkids, while on Saturday, 5th October the full race will take place. The athletes will have to complete the 1,900 meters swimming section in Playa Dorada, followed by 90.1 km on bike, crossing areas as spectacular as Hervideros, Parque Natural Timanfaya and La Geria, to finish with the 21.1 km foot race along the avenue of Playa Blanca.
Another novelty is a time trial within the cycling section, for those participants who wish to participate, with a cash prize for the winner. The only requirements to qualify for this prize is to finish the triathlon and be the fastest in completing the stretch proposed by the organization.
“The charm and beauty that the island offers are some of the main attractions for triathletes to want to participate in events such as the Ironman 70.3 Lanzarote.”
Fabio emphasizes that Lanzarote is an island that athletes fall in love with for its charm, its idiosyncrasy and its people. Participating in an event like this is enough to experience the delight of discovering its magnificent landscapes, whether swimming, cycling or running. This is confirmed at Club La Santa, where clients are repeaters, with an average of 10 visits to the facilities and therefore to the island, which proves that the destination is an international benchmark for lovers of sports tourism.
Another of the great attractions of this event at international level, are the 40 qualifying places for the World Championship of Ironman 70.3, which next year will be held in New Zealand and which represents a challenge for professionals who can end their season with this great prize or start the new season with an interesting challenge. This year sees the participation of great professional athletes, such as Emilio Aguayo, recent winner of Ironman Wisconsin, Emma Pallant, the winner of Ironman 70.3 Portugal, and Ana Noguera, who took second place in the same event. Athletes such as Peter Hemerick, Saleta Castro, Alessandro Degasperi (double Ironman Lanzarote winner) and Frederick Funk, among many others, will also attend.
With a view to the preparation of a triathlon like the Ironman 70.3 in Lanzarote, Fabio comments that it is important to focus on swimming, which although it is the shortest distance, is the starting point for every athlete’s triathlon. In the cycling segments and in the foot race athletes have to take into account meteorological factors such as wind, high temperatures, as well as the mountainous terrain. He emphasizes that besides a physical preparation that meets the demands of the event, it is very important to work on psychological strength to overcome all the adversities that may present themselves during the course.
In sports events of such intensity and effort there are always examples of very moving situations, and Fabio tells us about an athlete whose bicycle frame broke with 20 km to go to finish the segment, who decided to complete the remaining distance, running barefoot while carrying the bike. He also tells us that the Ironman 70.3 will once again see the participation of Ramón Arroyo, a great example of strength and individual achievement, which once again shows that sport can sometimes provide the answer to many adverse situations.
Club La Santa will close its calendar of sporting events this year in November with the International Running Challenge, a very attractive event, which lasts 4 days and in which participants will have to run on 4 different surfaces, which year after year manages to better itself and surprise all its participants.