Ironman Triathlon Los Cabos 2013 brings on the power.
by Chris Sands
Cabo San Lucas residents are a hardy lot. We brave the year round sunshine, gallantly bronzing ourselves on golden sand beaches, and valiantly striving to finish every last drop of our colorful umbrella-garnished cocktails. But even the sturdiest specimens in our seaside paradise are blanching at the prospect of competing in the first Ironman Los Cabos, scheduled for Sunday, March 17.
The rigorous multidiscipline event – which requires a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride, as well as a marathon run of 26.2 miles – is expected to draw participants from over 50 countries, competing for prizes totaling $75,000, and of course the satisfaction that comes from completing a race that would bring hardened special forces operatives to tears. There is only one restriction for entrance: space. Up to 1500 masochists, ahem…athletes, will take part in the inaugural competition, including any Los Cabos locals willing to trade in their fishing poles for dolphin shorts and a pair of sneakers.
The race is part of the larger Ford Ironman Series, and not only is money on the the line, but eligibility for October’s Ironman World Championship in Hawaii, with 50 coveted age group slots available to top performers. Qualifying competitions for the world championship are held all over the world, and Los Cabos joins Cozumel as the second Mexican site chosen to host an event.
“This is truly a spectacular addition to the Ironman circuit,” said Steve Meckfessel, Managing Director of Global Race Operations at Ironman. “The vitality of Los Cabos’ natural beauty combined with the challenging course that our team has laid out will really set Ironman Los Cabos apart.”
As Meckfessel suggests, the race course is configured to show off Los Cabos, from mountain and desert vistas to spectacular Sea of Cortez views. Participants will get an up-close-and-personal look at the sea during the swim portion of the competition, which will take place off Palmilla Beach, near the luxurious and exclusive One & Only Palmilla resort. The protected cove has been chosen for both its beauty and its tranquil conditions, and a rectangular course will be laid out so that one lap equals 2.4 miles, with reference buoys located every 100 meters. Water temperature is expected to be a cool 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
From the beach parking lot, racers will jump on their bikes and tool down the Tourist Corridor that connects the Cape cities of Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo. This twenty mile stretch will be extended along the toll road to the airport and linked back, creating a lap that will have to be completed twice in order to meet the regulation 112 mile length. The ride along the corridor will give participants plenty of opportunities to look out over the area’s many pampering resorts and championship level golf courses, and perhaps ponder some of the choices they have made.
The concluding marathon run will weave through the heart of downtown San Jose del Cabo, and finish near the historic City Hall. Participants will have 17 hours to complete all three phases, and forever after to utter the competition’s official slogan: ”Swim 2.4 miles! Bike 112 miles! Run 26.2 miles! Brag for the rest of your life.” In addition to bragging rights, brave entrants will also receive a race bag, swim cap, bike water bottle, and a pasta dinner at the Club Campestre golf course. They will also have, suffice it to say, the respect and admiration of those like me, who don’t swim unless their boat sinks, and only run when being chased.
In conjunction with the race, a two-day expo will be held in the convention center of the Hola Grand Faro in San Jose del Cabo, showcasing triathlon related products, event souvenirs, bike mechanic service, CO2 cartridges, and spare tires. The post-race awards ceremony is scheduled for Monday, March 18 at Puerto Paraiso Mallin Cabo San Lucas, where $75,000 will be distributed to the top eight male and female finishers. For additional information about Ironman, or to register for the triathlon in Los Cabos, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website.
What’s the toughest thing you’ve ever done? Why not think about it at a Los Cabos bar? Let us know at Baja.com.
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