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Postcard #2 from Lanzarote
Posted by: Editor
Posted on: Friday 21st May 2010


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Henry Budgett checks back in with another 'postcard' from Lanzarote (check out his first update HERE), where he has managed to find a rare thing - an interesting race briefing prior to Ironman Lanzarote.

Here is his take on Thursday at Club La Santa.


Over the past 20 years I've probably been to enough race briefings that, like the safety announcements on aircraft, I'm usually not paying nearly enough attention. To be blunt, that's disrespectful - I'm talking about the race briefings here, if an aircraft is going to drop out the sky there's probably bugger all I can do anyway. Part of the problem is that, like the safety ones, the majority of race briefings are pretty much interchangeable and the guys giving them don't make them that interesting.

Race Director Kenneth Gasque ©Henry BudgettThat's not something you can say about Kenneth Gasque's briefings here in Lanzarote! To start with he's 100% character anyway, he'd certainly brighten up the aircraft briefings, and then there's the fact that he's obviously come straight off site as he's still wearing safety boots. The bus from Puerto del Carmen is a bit late so we get some stories to fill the gap; an early female winner - women here were a real rarity even five years ago - turned out to be just some female who ran through the finish so Kenneth gave her the kiss but took the flowers back.

For those unfamiliar with La Santa, the briefing takes place in the Town Square which, apart from a thin canvas skin, is open to the sky so the PowerPoint presentation stood no chance. Not to worry when you've got one of Denmark's finest raconteurs on hand - Kenneth doesn't need technology to get his messages across. And that message is of change. Odd little tweaks here and there to cater for the increased numbers in the event and some changes on the bike to cater for the removal of the 'goat farm track' section or, as Kenneth put it so eloquently 'that shit bit of road in the middle'! Unlike most other Ironman races the world over it used to be possible to wear an MP3 player on the run but that's gone this year - although he didn't seem to make much of a fuss about it and I wouldn't be surprised to see them being used - and 'because this race is about family' you'll still be able to run through the finish with your loved one, spouse, child or financial support person (delete as appropriate...).

Sian Brice and Richard 'Quads' Hobson

Scanning the crowds for familiar faces, there are always a few here as serial Lanzartote syndrome seems to be a hard thing to shake (one guy in the crowd had apparently done 15) I spotted a late arriving Sian Brice who snuck in at the front while seated on the next level up was a very serious looking Captain Quads (aka Richard Hobson). Pete Slater was following the Twitter feed off Tri247 on his phone while Jo Carritt was browsing in Pro Bike down in La Santa village. Odd, almost every time I see Jo it's in a retail environment...

Tomorrow's the pro athlete lunch, another new idea this year, and then things get serious as all the bikes rack up in the main drag outside all the bars and clubs. Oh yes, Lanzarote is truly one of a kind and long may it remain so.


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