26/05/18 – Ironman Lanzarote

Eric Perrier and Kieran Fitzpatrick represented Tunbridge Wells Triathlon Club at Ironman Lanzarote. Widely regarded as one of the toughest one day sporting challenges, the event attracted over 1,800 athletes to take on the legendary heat, wind and mountainous climbs of this volcanic island.

Spectators were treated to the spectacle of a mass start for the 2.4 mile sea swim as the sun began to rise over Puerto del Carmen. Streaming off the beach as the claxon sounded, wetsuit clad triathletes enjoyed pristine clear waters, churned up by thrashing arms and legs in the race for the first turn buoy.

Perrier enjoyed a strong swim, exiting the water after 1hr13. An efficient transition ensured the experienced triathlete was on the road just 5mins later. Fitzpatrick held his own with a 1hr20 swim, making sure everything was comfortable before starting the bike. The 112mile route crossed the lava fields of Fire Mountain before ascending to the iconic Mirador del Rio for breathtaking views across the bay. Relentless Atlantic headwinds sapped energy from start to finish, testing the handling of even the most confident riders on the exhilarating descents.

Perrier completed the bike course in 6hr45 with Fitzpatrick making up 5mins to narrow the gap on the road. Clear skies saw temperatures continue to rise as athletes returned for the run. The three lap marathon extended along the beach front to Playa Honda, frequent aid stations keeping athletes hydrated in the scorching sun. Crowds lined the course, becoming increasingly boisterous in the build up to the champions league final.

Perrier clocked 4hr02 for the marathon, crossing the line after 12hr11 to finish 42nd in Age Group. This capped an impressive performance across disciplines in his debut race over this distance. Fitzpatrick ran 3hr39 for the marathon to secure an Ironman PB of 11hr55, also well placed in age group. Follow local athlete, Jude Hagger also excelled in her first Ironman to finish 5th in Age Group in 12hr37. A strong swimmer, Hagger exited the water in 1hr07. Focused training ensured the bike was completed comfortably in 6hr51 before pacing the marathon in 4hr24.