From Iron to Shield

If you have followed us for a time probably you will remember an accident and a car leaving an injured cyclist on the road, but thinking a little more deeply about it we can say that everything started around 40 years ago in another volcanic islands: Hawaii.

 

An innocent debate between runners and swimmers about who were more fit, after knowing the performance data of arguably the best cyclist ever, Eddy “The Cannibal” Merckx, ended with the creation of the most epic athletic competition: 2.4 miles swimming, 115 miles cycling and a marathon. On Saturday 18th February 1978 fifteen men started the challenge, twelve of them finished it. The Ironman was born.

IronMan Swimmers

IronMan Swimmers

Gordon Haller

Gordon Haller – 1978

 

At the same time 8,000 miles away a small danish company was developing a revolutionary idea, create a sports holiday centre on a small island where scandinavian people were able to enjoy warm weather conditions all year around. The place chosen for that purpose was Lanzarote, a spanish island located roughly 80 miles from Africa, without any tourism industry at that time.

 

The complex was called Club La Santa, like the small village nearby, and have been a cult place for sport training during this time. People like the Olympic Gold Medallist Linford Christie and the Formula1 World Champion Jenson Button have visit the place to avoid the cold winter at home. But the place became popular worldwide after they decided to recreate that hawaiian invention, on 1992 Club La Santa organized the first edition of Ironman Lanzarote with just 150 athletes.

IronMan - Lanzarote

IronMan – Lanzarote

During the years Lanzarote has developed as a well known holiday destination in Europe and Ironman Lanzarote have become a top event, attracting thousands of visitors and creating a sports friendly culture in the island. Cyclists have became part of the landscape as well as the Atlantic Ocean.

 

On one of these roads, during the summer of 2014, a reckless driver hit a cyclists, the rest is history, our history. The iron was transformed by the heat of the volcanoes into a shield.

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