For those who have not been on the Lanzarote trip it is the running equivalent to a pilgrim to Lourdes. Your mind and body is refreshed by no TVs, limited wifi, people who think running is normal and the amazing food which tastes even better after the fresh air and exercise.
The running is an experience, not just the desert feel of the ridge run or the wilderness of the half marathon or the challenge of the 4 races in 4 days but more the common feeling of different people of different running standards, clubs and countries enjoying that warm tired feeling after a race that is unique to running.
10K: The course was a bit of a joke this year! with twists & turns, ups & downs and being told “can ye slow down there through this section, lads” × 3. Not enjoyable, and not a 10k to me, more of a circus really.
13k ridge run: Challenging, but very enjoyable. There is nothing quite like the pain of dying half way up this very steep climb. Well known for an almost vertical kilometer that takes every bit of energy you have to offer. The first 2K is particularly easy but then you start the climb up, up, up to the top. By the time you reach the summit you are ready to walk. It comes down to mental strength, forcing you to go on.
Once you get down the other side it’s downhill to the bottom. La Santa’s own heart break hill stands as the last test before you turn back into the apartment complex.
5k beach race: The best conditions we had ever seen the course in for quite some time, due to the rainfall. It didn’t make the race and easier it just meant that it got a allot faster.
21k: The most enjoyable race for most. If you have the mileage in your legs there is a great chance to go for a PB even after 4 days of racing. The race tactics are always out on the last day as this is the race where the team and age group prizes are usually decided upon.
No matter how tired you are you always have energy to try a new class, cycle, swim. Some even have energy for the night club until 2 in morning.
There are always new runners going each year which who you can explain to why standing in an ice cold pool is a good thing. Frequently you learn more about runners then just their first name and marathon time.
Aside from the racing, there is plenty of fun to be had. Overall, a great holiday, and highly recommended.
Oh yeah, don’t fly Ryanair to Lanzarote
Overall Winners INTERNATIONAL RUNNING CHALLENGE 2014
Male winner: Steffen Falch Larsen, DEN, 02:46:02
Female winner: Orla Drumm, IRL, 03:04:57
Winning Male Team: Blovstrød Løverne, DEN, 08:49:46
Winning Female Team: CRUSADERS A, IRL, 09:54:33
Full results can be downloaded. Well done to all who took part this year.