A pre-breakfast beach stroll may set you up for another day of your Tenerife holiday but on Saturday 3 October a special breed of athletes will be chasing higher goals in the Teide Xtreme triathlon. The collective splashes of two hundred swimmers will herald the sun rising over Guaza Mountain as they devour two 850 metre circuits of Playa Las Vistas in Los Cristianos.
Beat The Demon is the theme of the day and it doesn’t just refer to the muscle stretching challenge. The 96km cycling stage will take the gallant men and women 2,200 metres up and through Teide National Park, fabled home of the evil demon Guayota who lived in the volcano and spat fire and lava when the mood took him. The awe inspiring landscape left behind will push the cyclists to the limit as they pedal up through Guia de Isora, Chio, Boca Tauce, and Retamar before speeding down via Vilaflor and Arona.
Good organization is the key to a smooth day. Tenerife Top Training centre of La Caleta provide a lot of the expertise; marshals at road junctions, and volunteers handing out energy bars, water, and Canarian bananas ensure that energy levels are kept up. The public get plenty of opportunities to shadow and safely overtake the athletes along the course, but you may struggle to keep up with their cracking pace.
The hub of operations is the transition zone in Los Cristianos, a wide walkway between Hard Rock Café and the Mare Nostrum resort. This changeover point sees competitors swap their swimming wet suits for cycling lycra, and later peel that off to reveal running shorts and vests. The final test is the 21km run consisting of three laps of a promenade circuit between Playa Las Vistas and Playa El Bobo at the Las Americas end. This doesn’t mean your strolling plans are on hold, the wide promenade is marked off into two lanes.
It’s difficult to imagine how tough this course is, they make it look so easy. Last year athletes came from 13 countries, each with considerable experience but their feedback rated Teide Xtreme as one of the best. Mental strength is as important as athletic prowess and the tricky changeovers can make or break a challenge. The 2014 winner was Kevin Thornton of Galway, a late entry fighting his way back from collarbone and achilles injuries. The winning time of five hours, twenty seven minutes, forty nine seconds after the 8am sea splash was quite an achievement, and he hardly seemed out of breath.
Category : events
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