My guest for this week’s podcast is none other than Mr. Lanzarote Ironman, Kenneth Gasque. Kenneth has been an integral part of sport and particularly triathlon in Lanzarote over the last 35 years. It all started when he became one of the very first employees at the fledgling Club La Santa back in 1983 and he and his wife Anna Lis have been on this volcanic island ever since. Kenneth was a keen triathlete back then and took part in Ironman Hawaii in 1985, the days when you could simply complete the entry form to take part. He completed 3 more times with the last being 2005. He also organised and grew the “Volcano Triathlon" at Club La Santa which started in 1985 and is still running today some 35 years later. In the late 80’s there were just a handful of Ironman events worldwide with no official ‘M-dot’ race in Europe. He tried and narrowly failed to organise the first event (that honour went to Roth in Germany) but was eventually successful in bringing Ironman to Lanzarote in 1992. Where it has been ever since, making it the second oldest event at a single location (Ironman Hawaii being the longest with 42 years in Kona).
In addition to this, Kenneth created the Ocean Lava triathlon back in 2010 and now has 16 events in Europe ranging from sprint distance to 140-6 miles. In recognition for his valuable contribution to the development of the Ironman brand, Kenneth was inducted to the Ironman Hall of Fame in 2019, an honour so far only bestowed on 36 individuals with only 3 from Europe.
Kenneth Gasque is an absolute legend in the world of triathlon in Europe and this podcast conversation is a must if you have ever raced any Ironman in Europe, participated in a triathlon in Lanzarote, or visited Club La Santa. We chat about many subjects including:
- The driving force behind Kenneth’s desire to greet every single finisher at Ironman Lanzarote
- How fate intervened in the search for an Ironman Hawaii entry form in 1984
- The joy and happiness of racing in Kona
- Why all Ironman swims should still be a mass start
- Why the first female to cross the line in Lanzarote 1992 was NOT the winner
- The Kenneth Gasque ‘recipe’ for successful races. Event directors, please take note!!
- The definition of a ’win’ (TIP: it’s NOT setting a new PB)
- Creating ‘Ocean Lava'
Click here to watch a video of the very first Ironman Lanzarote in 1992
To find out more about the Ocean Lava Planet race series, please CLICK HERE
VIEW the original Letters from Ironman to Kenneth about purchasing the Ironman Europe License in 1987
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For any questions please email Beth@TheTriathlonCoach.com