Lanzarote, source of wisdom and youth by Sonia Bejarano
IRONMAN Lanzarote: Saturday, 19 May:
Lanzarote, source of wisdom and youth by Sonia Bejarano (Spanish 5000 M runner)
Since I first set foot on the island of Lanzarote in 2009 and visited the Teguise market, I realized that a special energy filled the environment. I thought that all this was a result of the volcanic terrain and its magnificent contrasts of lush green on black soil from former eruptions or the peculiar form of official housing construction on the island in white and blue. It was only when I ran into several little groups of cyclists that I realized where this inner strength came from. For 364 days of the year, the island is home to a latent emotion that explodes today, to be heard world wide. Come and watch and be welcomed to Ironman Lanzarote 2012.
Sometimes I wonder what the difference is between a child and an adult. My conclusion is that the illusion and the capability to be amazed are the qualities (among others) present in the child that gradually decrease whilst growing up. It becomes rarer that we cannot sleep for the excitement of what awaits us next morning (if it at all still happens to us). We are less and less impressed to the point where we remain still with our mouths open. in front of something we see or feel, as to retain it in our memory forever. Adults who still do these things are not common, but they do converge in the long distance triathlon, specifically in the Ironman. Lanzarote is the one that concentrates all the illusions of both experienced triathletes and newcomers to the distance. Their goals are equally ambitious, whether it’s to qualify for the triathlon “mecca” or simply to finish to the best of their abilities in one of the most emblematic races of the Spanish triathlon calendar. The festive and emotional atmosphere is such that one feels attracted and willing to be part of it, either as companions or supporters… something more than just "spectators". In triathlon, the spectators are part of the event and they enjoy as much or more than the competitors.
It takes several months dedicated to the preparation, training, travelling, rest... and then all is focused on a few hours of action. However, the "party" itself begins when you put the bike in the bag, you take the plane, pick up your luggage and check in at the hotel. Study the race course, seeing familiar and famous faces, race number and chip pick up, bike and bag check after a careful organization of everything you need gives you a special tingly feeling in your stomach. It may be difficult to fall asleep or you may sleep well all through the night, but before that, you've mentally reviewed again and again the layout of your gear and examined all the last minute details.
The day has come, the frugal breakfast, the entry to transition zone in the dark, and you kickback in the wetsuit faster than ever. You are highly concentrated, your heart beats slowly but stronger than normal. At the start, more than a thousand people and despite this, it’s only whispering, no gibberish. In the faces, you see respect, and a different look than normal. The sun starts to come, the day is beginning, a deathly silence at the start line and finally all the contained excitement is unleashed upon the shot that breaks the thoughts into which one was withdrawn. It’s now that the final phase of the Ironman has started.