Get fit for fun triathlon in Luz

Two enthusiastic businessmen have come up with a dynamic – and healthy – concept to promote Praia da Luz just before the holiday season gets underway. Tom Longhurst and John Hill are organising a community triathlon event, with all money raised going to a local charity for the mentally and physically challenged.
“We’re hoping to make this a huge event,” the duo told the Algarve Resident. “It will be something that unites Portuguese and foreigners, and brings everyone together with some really positive vibes.”
The date – Saturday, April 26 – will coincide with the bank holiday weekend celebrating Portugal’s freedom from 48 years of dictatorship.
“So far, every business we’ve approached has loved the idea. We have a huge list of sponsors and we are hoping to go live with all the details early next month”.
The format is for a “sprint triathlon”. “It’s more of a challenge than a race,” explains Tom, who runs Algarve Marquees.
“We’d be delighted for single competitors, but the idea also is to encourage teams. We’d love to get a GNR team, a Bombeiros team, even local businesses competing against each other.”
“And there’s time for training,” stresses John, long-time manager of the Ocean Club – the event’s founder sponsor. “We’ll be organising training events until April, which means people can start getting involved as soon as they sign up. The whole idea is to bring everyone together, and make 2014 memorable!”
And to focus on Luz, all the events will take place as near to the village as possible. The 750-metre swim will be around buoys in the bay, followed by a 20-kilometre bike ride up to Boavista Golf Course and down to Almádena, coming back past Reserva da Luz and returning to Luz beach. And finally the 5-kilometre run will take in the picturesque coastal track that runs from Luz to Burgau – veering off left at a certain point to return back once again to Luz.
“There are so many breathtaking locations here, we want to make the most of them,” explain the two men.
“And quite honestly, we’d like this to become an annual event”, adds Tom.
Money raised will go towards the long-standing Luz-based charity NECI, which cares for physically and mentally challenged children and adults from three West Algarve boroughs, and which is currently in the process of establishing a residential centre in Montinhos da Luz.
For more information and details of how to get involved, visit algarvetriathlons.com
Photo: Tom Longhurst (left) and John Hill, organisers of the triathlon initiative
By NATASHA DONN [email protected]