Rafa Botello at the Vuelta Playa Blanca Handbike Race

Last weekend our very good friend, sportsman Rafa Botello took part in one of the most eagerly contested Handbike competitions on Lanzarote. The second Vuelta Playa Blanca (tour of Playa Blanca) has become one of the three most important events of this type in the world attracting 63 competitors from 12 countries. Competing in the same category as Rafa was the 2010 world champion.

Rafa shared his experience of the event with Sands Beach.

It was a good test for me to discover my current fitness levels in the sport but after the World Cup, a week long vacation and then workouts of up to 5 hours per day, two days wasn’t enough to assess it 100% for sure.
On the Saturday I decided not to go flat out for the 3 kilometre prologue circuit as my main objective was the 2.1 km half marathon circuit on Sunday.

The route was lined with smiling, cheering people and it was looking good as I was in a top 10 position after the first lap. But the leaders were split into two groups. The guys in the first three places had gone off like a bullet and were way in front. The second group stayed more or less together for 38 minutes and on the 9th circuit I decided to ease off on the brakes going around the corner to try to go a bit faster and move up through the group. But when you’re out of practice, sometimes all you can do is hope. I mistimed braking at the corner and all I could do was wait until I hit the hay barrier.

After falling I decided it was time to retire from the race.

However, I was very happy to have competed with the best in the world and to have been amongst the top ten up until just 20 minutes from the end. The top three were in a different category from everyone else, but I believe I could have finished in seventh place in my first major handbike race.

Rafa is staying on Lanzarote for another week and we’ll be honoured by his presense as well as that of other top athletes Eneko Llanos, Francisco Sola, Ivan Rana, Nicholas Ward and Alejandro Santamaria at the Tri.WWW charity event in aid of helping people with disabilities.

The event takes place on Friday 18th February and promises to be an afternoon jam-packed full of fun with a barbecue, raffles and some great music from the band LZ Sexy Chocolate.

You can pick up your ticket at Sands Beach Resort or through Tri.WWW. For more information call 928.59.58.20/928.59.04.00

This is going to be a fabulous event so don’t miss it.