IRONMAN LANZAROTE 2011
Ironman Lanzarote 2011 will take place on Saturday May 21st.
Athletes from 40 countries will descend on the island to take on one of the earliest additions to the Ironman family.
WHERE IS LANZAROTE?
So where the heck is Lanzarote?
Anyone who has been involved with Ironman for a while has certainly heard of it, but there are many people who have no idea exactly where in the world Ironman Lanzarote 2011 is taking place.
For most triathletes in North America, Ironman Lanzarote is an Ironman race that is “over there” and not likely one that many triathletes in the United States or Canada will have the opportunity to take part in.
Lanzarote is an island that is off the coast of Africa. If you were to look on a map you would see that it is level with Morocco’s Southern border.
Lanzarote is a Spanish island in the Atlantic Ocean that is the Easternmost of the Canary Islands.
ABOUT THE ATHLETES
It has been confirmed that there will be just under 1500 athletes from 40 countries competing in Ironman Lanzarote 2011, the 20th anniversary of the event.
I think it would actually be fun to take part in an Ironman with so few entries. Most Ironman races have much bigger fields. Ironman Canada for instance will most likely host over 3000 athletes in their August 2011 race in Penticton.
Can you imagine? Twice as many contestants from one Ironman to the other. I remember when I did my first Ironman in Kona in 1984 there were around 1100 entries. It was right around the mid-1980’s when the Ironman really captured world attention.
In Ironman Lanzarote 2011, the field of 1500 will include 20 male and 8(possibly more) female professional athletes.
So does that mean that all a women pro has to do is just cross the finish line in order to be in the money?
You would think so, as normally the top ten male and female pros win cash prizes. Good for them. It must be very expensive to do all the traveling they have to do.
However I would not be surprised at late entries arriving for this race on the pro level.
I suppose this is especially true with the new points system for Kona qualification for the pros. For many pros it would mean an extensive racing season and this race with a smaller field could be seen as an opportunity to score some points.
PROS TO WATCH OUT FOR IN IRONMAN LANZAROTE 2011
Local favorite GREGORIO CACERES will have a decided home course advantage and no doubt will have put in hundreds of hours of training on the Lanzarote course over the years.
However my pick to win it all is the German star TIMO BRACHT. Not only does Timo know the Lanzarote course like the back of his hand from training on it off and on over the past 7 years, he also had a spectacular 2010 season.
Timo had a 6th place finish in Hawaii 2010 in a time of 8:21:00, 2nd place in Ironman Frankfurt in 8:20:22, and a 1st place in Ironman Arizona with a blistering 8:07:16 clocking.
Great to see Australian KATE BEVILAQUA competing in Lanzarote. I first met Kate at Ironman Canada a few years ago.
Never met an Australian that was not a great person and very friendly. Maybe it’s all that sunshine down under.
Kate won Ironman Western Australia last December and finished fourth at Ironman New Zealand and is in fine form.
She will be my favorite to do well here and just maybe pull off a huge win. All the best Kate!
This could well be an epic battle for the women in Lanzarote. As well as Kate, NATASCHA BADMANN who is a 6-time Ironman World Champion will be in Lanzarote.
Natascha can be pretty relentless on the bike and this is one tough bike course according to all reports. Some even call it the toughest in the Ironman family.
It all depends if she is back into top form or not.
If Natascha falters at all, rest assured that Kate and RACHEL JOYCE from Britain will be hot on her heels.
For some of the other women, we could see another local favorite do well. AROA MERINO should give a good account of herself and should home course advantage over the other pro women.
Also I wouldn’t discount German NICOLE WOYSCH and would expect her to be somewhere in the top three or four.
h3>IRONMAN LANZAROTE 2011 SWIM COURSE
The Swim course is a two-loop affair and there will be a short stretch of running across the beach from one loop to the next.
It sounds quite similar to Ironman Coeur d’Alene that is also a two-loop course with a short distance across the sand when going from the end of the first loop to the start of the second.
The swim takes place at Playa Grande, Puerto del Carmen.
This area is the main tourist resort of the island.
IRONMAN LANZAROTE 2011 BIKE COURSE
The Ironman Lanzarote bike course is basically one loop that will take riders over much of the island.
Ironman Lanazarote has a reputation for being a tough Ironman course and like most course that have this reputation, it is based on the elevation gains on the bike more that anything else. In Lanzarote athletes will deal with around 2551m of climbing.
Personally I think every single Ironman race in the world is tough and every single Ironman has it’s own set of unique features that make it tough.
For someone who loves climbing, Lanzarote might not seem quite as tough as it does to the triathlete who is not an experienced climber and does better on a flatter course.
The other factor that can make the Lanzarote bike course is the fierce winds that are known to howl in off the ocean.
I remember my first Ironman Hawaii Race in 1984, the winds coming off the ocean during the final climb to the turn-around were knocking people right over. Many bike courses have natural elements to deal with that can make them very challenging.
The pain from all the climbing in Ironman Lanzarote will be eased by the spectacular views and the crowd support the island is famous for.
It’s important to take note that the bike course will be monitored by police, but will be open to vehicular traffic, so extra care should be taken. In most ironman races one lane is closed off completely.
IRONMAN LANZAROTE RUN COURSE
The run course consists of three loops.
The first loop is the longest and is 21.10km. The second and third loops are 10.55km each.
The course is flat and will take athletes along the Avenida de las Playas, Puerto del Carmen.
Best of luck to all those who are taking on this historic Ironman and may the wind be always at your back…..(but don’t count on it)
Visit Ironman.com for upcoming race information.