May 21st is when the sporting event of the year is held on the island. It has a huge following and is the leading sporting event in terms of promoting tourism on the island
Ironman has transformed Lanzarote. Since its very first competition on May 30th 1992, this extremely tough triathlon has gained hundreds of followers on the island. Its demanding conditions make it the second toughest triathlon in the world. It is one of Lanzarote’s flagship events for tourism promotion as it attracts thousands of people every year, both participants and spectators. Sportsmen and women also flock to the island to train throughout the year.
In 1992, 148 triathletes took part, with 116 crossing the finishing line. In 2012 there were 1,690 competitors, increasing to 1,800 in 2013. By 2014 a record 2,290 triathletes competed and in 2016 there were 1,900 participants.
The first winners back in 1992 were American Janine Daley (10:45:07) and Ben Van Zelst of the Netherlands (09:01:43). In those days, it started in Playa Blanca, the changeover from bike to marathon was in Costa Teguise and the triathlon finished in Puerto del Carmen. Over the years the winning times got faster and in 2011 German triathlete Timo Bracht finished in a record 8.30.34. The fastest Spanish winner to date was Eneko Llanos in 2007, finishing in 08:49:38.
In this 30th year, the 3.8 km swimming event will set off at 7 am from Playa Grande beach in Puerto del Carmen with the progressive ‘Wave Rolling Swim Start’ method. The other two components start and finish at the finish line on Avenida de Las Playas, also in Puerto del Carmen. The 180.2 km bike race has seven aid stations while the 42.2 km marathon has three. The course includes three laps of Avenida de Las Playas and has reached Playa Honda in the last few competitions.