It was a double celebration in the Bayliss household on Sunday night as Steven Bayliss broke the tape on the Lanzarote International Marathon in first place with a time of 2:43:23 while his wife Bella romped home in first female place just 17 minutes behind him with a time of 3.00.54.
The British born athletes known affectionately as The Iron Couple are familiar faces around Sands Beach Resort in Costa Teguise:
“We are happy to win the Lanzarote Marathon where we always wander about and especially enjoy the facilities at Sands Beach Resort” said Stephen once he and Bella had a chance to catch their breath on Sunday’s exciting International Marathon day.
Sunday dawned bright and warm with plenty of cloud cover and little wind, perfect conditions for the 800 athletes from 22 different countries who had converged on Costa Teguise in Lanzarote to participate in the 23rd International Marathon organized by Sands Beach Resort.
Following the huge success of the Kid’s Marathon the day before, it was the turn of the adults to pit physical and mental stamina against fatigue and the elements in the marathon, half marathon, 10km and wheelers races around the challenging Costa Teguise course.
Taking second place on the marathon distance podium alongside Stephen Bayliss with less than a minute difference between their times was Marco Diehl, 2011 Lanzarote International Marathon winner, who finished in 2:44:15. In third spot was Tomi Halme with a time of 2:46:14. Bella had a comfortable win for the women, beating her closest finisher, Susan Hagevoort by an impressive 25 minutes. Hagevoort finished in a time of 3:26:49 to take second place while Yvonne Schäfer came home in 3:34:55 to take third place.
The half marathon distance gave spectators an exciting finish with Sands Beach Resort sponsored athlete Victor Del Corral romping home just one second ahead of Íñigo González Rodríguez with times of 1:14:05 and 1:14:06 respectively. Hot on their heels was another Sands Beach Resort sponsored athlete Nico Ward Muñez who finished in 1:16:42.
“It was a great course with a great atmosphere” said Victor Del Coral while Nico, who’s recovering from a bad shoulder injury sustained earlier this year said on Twitter “Enjoyed (and suffered) this great race. Happy with result!”
Taking first place for the women at half marathon distance was Aroa Merino who finished in 1:26:36, just over 2 minutes ahead of Geraldine O’Shea who finished second in 1:29:11. Third to finish for the women was Pili Ramos Guanches with a time of 1:32:14.
It was another Sands Beach Resort athlete and Olympian, Jose Carlos Hernandez who romped home to first place in the 10km race in 31 mins 10 secs with Daire Bermingham taking second place in 32:30 and Javier Garcia finishing third in 32:39.
“You are always motivated running on home ground. I ran hard in the first half with a good time and to get a good lead but suffered in the last 2km. I wanted a better time but the wind and the difficulty of the course prevented this. I am still very happy with my performance” said Jose Carlos, sporting his habitual happy smile.
It was Sofie Goos who took top podium place for the women in the 10km race with a time of 38:11 to add to her sporting CV while Tamara Sanfabio took second place in 39:02 and Azucena Lara took third honours in 44:01.
Playing an increasingly important role in the annual Lanzarote International Marathon and now the second most important in Europe after London, is the Wheelers race which attracted 25 international para-athletes, including paralympians Rafa Botello, Denis Lemeunier, Jordi Madera and Roger Piugbo. Double medallist Marieke Vervoort was also due to compete but had to pull out at the last minute to return to her native Belgium to receive an award.
It was a nail biting finish between Roger Puigbo, Denis Lemeunier and Jordi Madera but in the final seconds Roger pulled in front to take the tickertape in 1:42:37, followed by Denis and Jordi who finished in second and third positions with a time of 1:42:38.
I know I’m biased but all the athletes we spoke to agreed that the course was fantastic and the organisation of the day was superb for which a massive shout out goes to our Director Juan Carlos Albuixech and all the team at Sands Beach Resort who worked so tirelessly for months in advance and on the day to ensure that everything ran smoothly for the children, the athletes and the thousands of spectators who came to support the event.
Many, many congratulations to all the winners and all the runners and wheelers. Thank you for making this event so special.
We all had the time of our lives and we look forward to doing it all over again next year so put the date in your diaries now and we’ll see you all then 🙂 Click here to see the aftermovie of the event.
You can see a full set of images from the day here.