Ocean Lava Lanzarote Triathlon

Triathlons to Lanzarote are a bit like scandals to politicians – they happen on a fairly regular basis, and the island has long played host to the cruellest of triathlete tests with Ironman Lanzarote.

Last year the island held its first Ocean Lava Lanzarote Triathlon and it was such a huge success that the organisers are repeating the exercise this year on the 8th October 2011. Coming in at precisely half the distance covered by Ironman, it’s a chance for lesser mortals to participate in what is nevertheless a tough test of strength and endurance, as well as giving Ironman athletes a a real time workout.

The Stages
The Ocean Lava Lanzarote Triathlon begins at 8am with a 1.9km swim course which is held over two loops off Playa Grande beach in Puerto del Carmen. From there, athletes will dash for their bikes and set off on a 90km cycle ride which will take them through Lanzarote’s extraordinary and unique landscape of volcanoes and vines.

The biggest test on the cycle circuit is the energy sapping Fermés climb from 35 metres to 355 metres above sea level with a 20% incline to make the final push to the top. With Fermés mercifully behind them, participants then cycle through the volcanic wonderland of Timanfaya National Park before returning to Puerto del Carmen to face the final test.

On legs that by ordinary standards would now be fit only to take their owners to the nearest horizontal position, participants begin a 21.1km run over a three lap circuit along the sea front at Puerto del Carmen.

Be a part of Ocean Lava Lanzarote
The organisers anticipate that they can accommodate up to 1000 athletes participating and the early commitments are already off to a flying start with well over 100 registrations. The fee for participating in the event is €150 for individuals and €220 for a relay team. Registration is available online and is open up until 24th September 2011.

If you don’t see yourself as a triathlete, you can still participate by volunteering to help out on the day. Enthusiastic volunteers are needed for a multitude of tasks from helping to lay out the courses and areas to cleaning up when all the participants and crowds have dispersed. T shirts and food and drink are provided and you get to be a part of the wonderful atmosphere and camaraderie of the event. You can volunteer online at the Ocean Lava Lanzarote website.

Apart from rigorous training, a nutritional diet and super fitness levels, one if the things that keeps participants going on the day is the encouragement they get from the crowds. If you’re on holiday at Sands Beach Resort over the weekend of 8th October 2011, why not apply the sunscreen, grab the sun hat and pop over to Puerto del Carmen on the Saturday to lend your support. It’s a great day out and you can enjoy the after triathlon party afterwards which promises to carry on until the early hours or as long as legs will hold up.

All photographs are from James Mitchell Photography