This was the inaugural race over this distance to be held in Club La Santa Lanzarote on Saturday 10th November 2012 taking in some breath taking sites along the route and include small Portions on the Ironman full distance route. The plan is to conduct the next IM 70.3 race on Saturday 05 October 2013 and it is definitely worth a look from the point of view of clubs in Ireland that would like to participate but be warned it’s a challenging course compared to other races around Europe at the same distance.
The registration was open from 10am to 6pm on Thursday and Friday and was run in a very efficient manner with little or no waiting around.
The swim course was conducted in the lagoon at Club La Santa on the North West of the Island and consisted of a mass start for all competitors with the option of starting in the green zone for stronger swimmers and yellow zone for those who wanted a safer swim.
This was a daunting prospect because after the Pros started their swim at 08:00 the next wave was 08:05 and consisted of almost 600 athletes and was a little messy at times as the lagoon was shallow for the first 20mtrs or so with some athletes opting to walk some distances causing others to falter.
The course consisted of a straight swim out to the furthest marker and then a 2 x loop course of 840mtrs each loop and then into T1.
The first transition swim to bike was very well laid out where the bike where racked on a soft football pitch surface with a short distance to cover to the bike mount-line. The bags where well racked and marked with a tent available for changing in that had plenty of personnel in assistance for athlete even applying sun block for athletes that required it.
The course always threatened to be the hardest part of the course and did not disappoint on the day with winds gusting up to 30kph at times and climbs there were not for the faint hearted and this was noticeable on the slower bike times of the pros compared to other races over this distance.
Some portions on the bike route where very fast on the descent when out of the winds reaching speeds on the bike of over 70kph in places particularly after Teguise on Route to Tahiche. The greatest difficulty on the bike was the wind on the day as it had peaked for the first time in a period of months according to the local people making conditions very hard the athlete for 2/3 of the bike course from La Santa to Teguise and Tahiche to Arietta where triathlete had to push on the downhill’s into the wind a strange experience for most.
The 90.1km route was mostly over the northern portion of the island and included a 550mtr climb over a distance of almost 12km up to the top of Tabayesco and the aptly named golf ball at the top of the mountain. The surface on the climb was very good and was gradual but very challenging containing a lot of switch backs from the central portion to the top, a high degree of concentration was needed by all. The climb was made easier by Wayne telling his fellow competitors there was an “Ice Cream Station at the top of the climb” and “not to worry your half way up the climb” to some individuals who thought they were nearly there.
After the top it was a descent all the way back to Teguise with exception of short climb at 65km again with a fast descent containing some very awkward switchbacks’ where caution was needed as most of the road were open for the race. A word of caution with regards to wheels for this race deep rims are a risky prospect with cross winds be prepared to wrestle with your handle bars. Some asked the question “TT or Road bike?” I have to say the TT was fine although you did not get as much time on the drops the advantage seemed be more in its favour descending faster than others on road bikes.
Bike to run was back in Club La Santa and back into the football ground again to rack bikes and some caution was needed at this point as the entry for bike and exit for runners was close together with some athletes falling fowl with minor bike crashes. The T2 area caused some confusion as you usher to rack your bike one after another as apposed to where you number was on the rack. This cost people a few seconds but nothing major.
The run consisted of three loops from La Santa over 3 km out the road to the next village up and back for a half loop of the running with the exception of the first lap out the bike tent track and the collection of and coloured armed bands after each loop. The run was interesting with was not exactly flat with two minor up and down hills on each loop with the wind assisting on the way out and desisting on the way in.
It was noticeable the presence of the Irish athletes along the run route supporting each other on as they passed each other with words encouragement and the odd high 5 and the added support of families along the route also that was brilliant.
The 3rd and last lap consisted of a half lap of the track at Club La Santa and then to the finish line where the athletes where greeted by huge cheers from the supporters that lined the finish.
Setanta Triathlon Club was well represented at the Lanzarote 70.3 with 8 athletes in attendance and all performed well on the day and happy they had achieved there personal goals after a long season of training and now for some well deserved rest congratulations to one and all.
|Place||Bib Number||Name||Nat||Age Grp||Swim Pos||Swim||T1||Bike Pos||Bike||T2||Run Pos||Run||Total|
|32||67||Gretta O Connor||IRL||25-29||39||00:34:50||05:45||33||03:32:57||02:58||42||01:53:13||06:09:42|
Race Footage You Tube Clips