Bolton and Lanzarote. Not necessarily two places you’d instantly connect. One is a volcanic island off the north coast of Africa, known for white washed villas, impressive, almost lunar landscapes, UNESCO Biosphere Reserve status, and clear blue waters, the other is a former mill town in the north west of England, set in a green and rolling landscape and known for at one time being one of the largest and most productive centres of cotton spinning in the world. However, this weekend, they will be united. On Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th July Club La Santa Lanzarote and the town of Bolton, will host two of the toughest triathlon races in Europe.
Usually held in May, the Club la Santa IRONMAN Lanzarote is a bucket-list long distance race for triathletes world wide. Established in 1992, it is one of Europe’s longest standing long distance races. The unique, volcanic landscape, unforgiving hills, and punishing winds, are reminiscent of the World Championship course at Kailua Kona, while the stunning views from places like El Golfo, La Geria, and Mirador del Rio really do put the Club La Santa IRONMAN Lanzarote in a class of its own.
But it’s not just the views that take athletes to Lanzarote each year. The CLS IRONMAN Lanzarote is the ultimate triathlon challenge. It frequently tops list of the toughest triathlon races out there, and in a 2018 poll was voted one of four courses tougher than the World Championship course itself!
The Club La Santa IRONMAN Lanzarote is more than just a race; its a family. We spoke to 14 time CLS IRONMAN Lanzarote finisher Chris Wild, and he told us all about the ‘Club La Santa Effect’.
“With Lanzarote, the more you race it, the more people you get to know, and the more fun and special it becomes.
There’s no hope of quitting. I stopped getting quicker in 2013, when broke a toe in the first transition, and got a puncture on the bike. I still hope I can get back to my best, even though it really isn’t about time and position any more. I’ve brought countless club mates out here to race and train. You can really see how Club La Santa makes an impression on them, both as athletes and, more holistically, as people. This place is definitely my spiritual home, and the IRONMAN is our Christmas!”
Chris ‘the Ironcowboy’ Wild finishing one of his many editions of the Club La Santa IRONMAN Lanzarote – all the best of luck for the weekend Chris!
The base for the IRONMAN in Lanzarote is Club La Santa. The world’s number one sport and active holidays resort would make the perfect for any long distance triathlon race. The week of the race, the resort comes ALIVE! As well as the expo, featuring all the latest in triathlon gear, tech, and nutrition, there are side events like IRONKIDS, so the whole family can get involved in the fun.
The full distance triathlon race in Bolton also has a fearsome reputation. A cold water, lake swim, a hilly bike course that takes you over Rivington and Belmont via the much revered Sheephouse Lane and packing in over 2350 m of climb on the way. The run is also far from a walk in the park (although it does go through one of Bolton’s hillier ones), but the crowd support throughout is second to none, and throughout the day, you’re treated to views over England’s ‘green and pleasant land’.
Our Sports Tours International office is just a stones-throw from where all the action of the UK full distance race takes place. Many of our staff have gone out to spectate over the years, and some have even competed! This year, for the first time since 2018, the Bolton race will also include a Pro category, attracting elite triathletes from all over the world (or at least those who are not competing in Lanzarote instead).
Whether you’re competing in Lanzarote, or at home in the UK…
We wanted to wish everyone braving a full distance triathlon this weekend the VERY best of luck. To anyone considering racing either of these two tough and iconic courses in the future, the facilities on offer at Club La Santa offer the perfect training hub and playground for any level of triathlete, and our race tours and packages for the iconic Club La Santa IRONMAN Lanzarote can take all the stress out of your travel and race preparation experience, and leave you free to focus on what’s important … the triathlon.