The annual Lanzarote Ironman race is the major sporting event of the year on the island and is held on the third Saturday in May which in 2017 falls on the 20th.
Over 2,000 hardened athletes will not only be competing against each other but against a course, many consider to be the toughest on the Ironman Pro-Tour.
As tough as it is beautiful this epic race attracts top sponsors from around the world and is one of the best-supported races on the circuit.
The race is comprised of three parts, swimming, running and cycling and gets underway at 7am in the morning with a 3.8 kilometre swim along the seafront in Lanzarote’s most popular resort town of Puerto del Carman.
The top swimmers should finish the first leg of the race in less than 45 minutes with the slowest coming ashore at around the two-hour mark. Any swimmer who takes longer than two hours to complete the course is automatically disqualified from the race.
The athletes then exit the sea and get changed into their cycling gear before sprinting for their bicycles ahead of an exhausting 180-kilometre bike ride around the island that encompasses 2,551 metres of climbing. The two big climbs of Mirador de Haria and Mirador del Rio may on the surface seem to be the toughest of the bike leg, but if you were to ask the participants, they would tell you that the pain in the race is felt combating the wind on the 34-kilometre section between Arrieta and La Geria.
The race leaders should finish the bike course in less than five hours at around 1pm with the slowest riders crossing the line between 6pm and 6.30pm. Anyone finishing after 6.30pm is automatically disqualified.
To watch the bike leg of the race with spectacular scenery as a backdrop, head to the Timanfaya National Park and watch the iconic wall-of-pain climb as it passes through the village of Tabayeso.
If you prefer to soak up the party atmosphere of the race along with a few beers head to Lanzarote’s old capital of Teguise and join in with the revellers as they cheer the competitors on.
The running leg of the race starts in Puerto del Carmen with the athletes covering a distance of 42.2 kilometres over three laps along the seafront between Puerto del Carman and the international airport at Arrecife.
Most of the competitors in the Lanzarote Ironman have been training for the race for at least a year, hoping to win one of the 40 places the Lanzarote race has been allocated for entry into the 2017 Iron Man World Championships in Hawaii.
Just being in Lanzarote for Iron Man race week is magical as friends, family and supporters all gather to watch the race and cheer on their favourite sportsperson.
The competitors love all the support they can get and love it when the spectators shout words of encouragement as they battle to overcome not only their physical limitations but the wind and sun on the gorgeous island of Lanzarote.