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Clash Of The Titanas – Here Come The Iron Men

On your marks, get set, go……Lanzarote is gearing up for the launch of the 2012 Iron Man contest, as 1800 super fit athlete assemble to take part in what is widely regarded as one of the toughest endurance tests in the world.

‘Normal Limits Do Not Apply’ is the slogan attached to Lanzarote’s grueling Iron Man contest.  And little wonder, as the surreal volcanic scenery and year round heat on Lanzarote push entrants to their physical limits each year, as they battle it out across a course that comprises a 3.8km swim, a 180km bike ride and a full marathon.  With all eyes on the prize of a slot in the Iron Man grand final which takes place later this year in Hawaii.

All of the action will be taking place on May 19th from 07.00 onwards when the first competitors hit the waters on the main beach of Playa Grande in Puerto del Carmen.  With the race leaders expected t break the finishing tape some eight and a half hours later back in the same resort, having traversed the island in the meantime on their cycles. 

Over 4000 volunteers will help man the course as many roads on the island shut down for the athletes, with entrants hoping to beat the record time set by the German Timo Bracht of just over eight hours and thirty minutes in 2011.  Many will of course take much longer and it is normal to see exhausted entrants limping over the finish line in Puerto del Carmen well into the evening.

The original concept for Iron Man was born back in 1977 in Hawaii, the events spiritual home, dreamt up by a navy commander called John Collins.  And has since mushroomed to become the best known triathlon event in the world.  The first Iron Man on Lanzarote took place in 1991 and has evolved over the years as one of the major annual events of any kind on the island.

Indeed the contest has helped to drive sports related tourism on Lanzarote and it is now commonplace to see large groups of cyclists touring the island, whilst many athletes visit the La Santa Sports Centre to enjoy warm winter training.

The best place to watch the event is in Puerto del Carmen, along the main Avenida de la Playa, which runs parallel with the beach.  As here tourist can enjoy the spectacle of both the race start and finish.

 

 

 

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