Lanzarote welcomed Ironman back, after last year’s was cancelled due to the pandemics, for the 29th edition of the world’s toughest triathlon, and Lanzarote served up a classic set of conditions!

864 athletes from 52 countries made the start of the race, and they were supported by around two thousand volunteers throughout the day. This was Europe’s first Ironman event since the pandemic, and the course was altered and special measures put in place to ensure everyone was able to keep a reasonable social distance.

The ocean was relatively benign for the 3,8KM swim, but the wind on the bike course was brutal, with competitors having to battle very strong headwinds for the first 90 KM of the 180 KM course. The 42.2KM marathon took place along the promenade between Playa Honda and Puerto del Carmen, and temperatures soared into the 30’s.

Triathlon allows professional athletes and amateurs to compete alongside each other, and the vast bulk of the field are amateurs, who train hard alongside their normal jobs.

The male pro race was one this year by 38 year old Andi Boecherer, from Germany, in a time of 8 hours and 34 m minutes eight minutes clear of second placed fellow German Boris Stein. Third place went to South Africa’s Matt Trautman.

The female pro race was won by Denmark’s Michelle Vesterby, 37, and was a hugely popular win locally, as Michelle spends much of her time training on the island, so is an honorary Lanzaroteño. She finished in 9 hours and 55 minutes, just holding off a late charge from Britain Laura Siddall, who was only 47 seconds behind her. Third place went to Justine Mathieux from France.

The atmosphere in Puerto del Carmen was electric, and all across the island, there were groups of supporters enjoying watching the cyclists. As always, there was a superb live commentary at the start finish / areas, and it was a fabulous day for the island celebrating the return of this iconic sports event. Ironman is back. Lanzarote is back.

These Amazing photos were taken by Lanzarote’s best known sports photographer, James Mitchell, and were sent to us by Club la Santa, the event organiser. Click any image to open the gallery.