Ironman Lanzarote – pro athletes gather before race’s 25th edition

In what was described as "the most competitive field ever assembled" in the press conference, pro athletes including Ironman World Champion Jan Frodeno talked through their plans for dealing with the notoriously tough Ironman Lanzarote, where over 1,900 age-groupers will also compete on 21st May

Credit: Jack Sexty

The cream of the sizeable pro athlete field today assembled in Puerto del Carmen ahead of the 25th edition of the Club La Santa Ironman Lanzarote on Saturday 21st May, which included world champion Jan Frodeno, Brits David McNamee and Carolin Livesey and Olympian Ivan Rana.

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Ironman officials hailed the 52-strong pro athlete field as “the strongest ever assembled” in Lanzarote, with the men’s course record holder Timo Bracht also racing. British hopes will lie with David McNamee, the quickest runner in Kona last year, and Caroline Livesey, who came 3rd in Lanzarote in 2015. There will also be considerable interest in super-swimmer Lucy Charles (GBR), who some are tipping to be first overall out of the water.

At the press conference in Puerto del Carmen the athletes were keen to highlight the difficulty of the course, and it was clear no one was taking the notoriously windy conditions and steep gradients for granted.

World Ironman and Ironman 70.3 world champion Jan Frodeno is racing despite recently recovering from a calf injury, and although not fully fit was relishing the challenge:

“I’ve trained at Club la Santa and around Lanzarote for years and it’s great to be back, it’s going to be a tough race but one I think I can handle. I’m not in 100% my best shape there’s no doubt about that, but this race requires patience and mental toughness and I think I have plenty of those, so we’ll see what happens.”

McNamee played down his chances, highlighting that the tough bike course would be a limiting factor: “Tomorrow it’s going to be about limiting losses on the bike and seeing what’s left on the run. No one’s going to have fresh legs so it’s going to be tough, but if I can come into T2 within 5mins of the top guys I’ll see if I’ve brought my run legs with me!”

40 Kona slots will be made available to age-group athletes, in which the competition will be extremely fierce due to the large number of competitors.

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Who do you think will triumph at Ironman Lanzarote? Let us know in the comments!