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Lanzarote One of the Big Three in Major Race

Apr 12, 2008
Athletes from Europe and the UK will once again congregate in the Canary Islands this spring for the 5th annual Las Tres Islas race.

The event, billed as a 'quadrathalon' is a somewhat eclectic twist on the traditional triathlon. It may be the first of its kind in the world. The fact that it is enjoying its fifth year of success indicates that the race has been well received by participants and spectators alike.

Two things that make this race unique:

First, it takes place over three of the seven islands in the Canaries: Lanzarote, La Graciosa and Fuerteventura.

The second distinguishing feature is the fourth element added to the traditional triathlon. The first leg begins with a 2 km swim from La Graciosa to the shores of Lanzarote. Next, participants swap swim suits for running shoes. Athletes must run a 2 km path uphill to the top of a mountain. Next comes a 72 km bike ride that winds through the picturesque mountainous terrain, including Timanfaya National Park. The final destination for the bicycle leg of the race is Playa Blanca.

Here the race diverts from tradition. Contestants pick up their "vehicles" of choice for another sea crossing. This one is 10 km long and will take racers to Fuertaventura. Contestants may choose any vessel for the crossing as long as it is completely wind and man-powered. Past races have seen contestants travel on catamarans, row boats, kayaks, wind surf boards and more.

Organizers are gearing up for the biggest race to date this year, despite last year's challenges. The 2007 Las Tres Islas race saw a few weather-related issues.

In fact, the final leg of the 4th annual race was cancelled due to high winds, at times in excess of 45 knots. Disappointed but undaunted, participants braved the first three legs of the race to a breezy finish at Playa Blanca. Racers had to find another way to get to Fueteventura for the wrap-up barbecue and awards ceremony, which took place despite the inclement weather. It was here that seasoned triathlete Richard Hobson took the event with a time of 2:24:10, just over a minute ahead of second place racer Alberto Kremer.

The unique nature of this race with its uncustomary ending attracts both seasoned and amateur athletes alike. It seems that organizers and tourism proponents have hit upon a brilliant, albeit offbeat, way to lure tourists to the Canary Islands. Not only does the event boost tourism, it also exposes visitors to some of the lesser-visited islands in the Canaries.

Most of all, the race benefits Youths United. The organization's aim is to 'create partnerships with local communities, tourist boards and businesses through the implementation of innovative events.'

Youths United strives to support charities that promote social and economic development in needy countries. At the same time, events like Las Tres Islas also benefits local sponsors, businesses and donors. Las Tres Islas continues to grow in popularity, revealing a bright future for the organization and its mandate.
About the Author
More details about the Canary island of Lanzarote can be found at yourlanzarote.net with a range of accommodation and hotels in Lanzarote

Late bookings for holidays and flights to Lanzarote can often see some great deals for a cheap holiday in Lanzarote and some holiday companies who run their own airlines also offer cheap flights to Lanzarote
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