The varied countryside, stunning mountain roads and rugged coastline of the north of Mallorca makes for perfect training ground for a variety of sports but a highlight event in the sporting calendar is the endurance test IRONMAN 70.3.
Part of a worldwide series of triathlons, this year’s race takes place on May 12 and attracts approximately 3,500 athletes. In past events, the majority of participants have come from Britain, Germany and mainland Spain and the aim is to complete the challenging course in under 8 hours, or face disqualification.
The next stage is to tackle the 90km one-loop course which takes participants from Puerto Alcudia along the coastline to the popular, family-friendly beach resort of Puerto Pollensa. From there, the cyclists travel through the market town of Pollensa, with its historic townhouses and art galleries, and up into the UNESCO-protected mountains to the historic monastery of Lluc. Aficionados of the race say that this 20km section is the most challenging, with an average gradient of between 3% and 5%. Riders than descend towards the village of Caimari. This is a route that involves negotiating beautiful but somewhat dangerous hairpin turns that are typical of the mountain roads—and why so many professional cyclists come here to train during the winter. The last section goes through the upmarket village of Campanet — home to some of delightful and exclusive country estates – and the rural fincas of Sa Pobla, considered to be the bread basket of the island, and, finally, back to Puerto Alcudia.
The final stage involves running 21.1km a flat, three-loop course which travels along the length of the white-sand beach in Alcudia. The finish line is on the beach about 100m from where the race begins.
While only committed athletes are admitted to the race, the organisation run an event for children alongside. Called IRONKIDS, it takes place on the day prior to race day and involves children between the ages of 3 and 16 who run distances between 250m and 1,000m along the Playa del Port d’Alcudia.