Spanish champion triathlete Victor Del Corral beat a record 1680 participants to win the Ironman Lanzarote 2012 competition staged in Puerto del Carmen yesterday (Saturday 19th May), completing the punishing swim, cycle and run course in a time of 8 hours 44 minutes and 40 seconds.
Considered to be the toughest of all sporting competitions, the Ironman course consists of a 3.8km swim which begins at 7am from the beach of Playa Grande; a gruelling 180.2km cycle ride which includes 2551 metres of ascent and a final 42.2 km run.
Emerging from the initial swim section in sixth place behind then leader Daniel Halksworth and second place Stephen Bayliss, Victor quickly made up the time gap when he took to his wheels and settled nicely into second place behind British triathlete Philip Graves who was now leading the field by a full 12 minutes. It soon became clear that Graves was suffering from muscle problems and by the time he got 21km into his run section, had to retire from the race leaving Victor to assume the mantle of leader which he wore to the finish line.
Victor Del Corral and his girlfriend Azucena have been living at Sands Beach Resort in Costa Teguise for the past three months while Victor has familiarised himself with Lanzarote’s tough terrain and prevailing winds, both of which are major factors in the event’s challenges.
Finishing just 9 minutes behind Victor, having held his second and third places throughout the competition, was British triathlete Stephen Bayliss who finished in a time of 8:53:38, himself just 9 minutes ahead of third place Sergio Marques, the Portuguese taking the tape with an overall time of 9:02:59.
Danish Ironman regular participant Vesterbey Michelle romped home to victory in the women’s category with an overall time of 9:58:07, beating Brit Bella Bayliss by just 8 minutes leaving her to join hubby Stephen on a second place podium. Completing the top podium places for the women, the Dutch Heleen Bij De VAATE finished with an overall time of 10:17:34.
This is the 21st edition of Ironman Lanzarote which is organised by Club La Santa and attended by thousands of spectators who line the route from 7am to support the athletes and demonstrate why Lanzarote is fast becoming the number one sports destination in Europe.