In order to raise medical supplies for Cuba at the same time as raising awareness of local mtb opportunities, Gran Canaria’s bike club Ciclocentro has announced the island’s first ever mtb marathon.
The Maratón por Medicina is scheduled to take place on March 5th next year with an 85-kilometre course leading from Puerto Rico in the south east of the island to St. Brigida in the north west. According to organisers this will take in 3,100 metres of elevation and several climate and vegetation zones: “reddish canyons, spectacular rock formations, century old pine and laurel woods, striking plateaus and deep ravines”.
The concept of an mtb marathon on the Gran Canaria should be intriguing enough for the even moderately adventurous, and the charity aspect adds another quirky dimension. No, you don’t have to raise £8,000 in sponsorship money in order to take part. Apart from paying the entry to the marathon, you need to contribute the delightfully vague “at least one pack of medicine” in order to get yourself a place on the start line. From the press release we’ve had there’s no indication of what makes a suitable medical donation for Havana’s central Cuba Calixto hospital, so it’s not clear whether you’re supposed to empty your bathroom cabinet or attempt to blag prescription medicines from somewhere. Best to check with the organisers before you show up with a 12-pack of Neurofen and a bottle of Tixylix.
And if collecting large amounts of medical supplies is your personal forté, then you might find yourself accompanying the pharmaceutical haul to Cuba as one of the delivery team, as that’s the prize for the biggest donation by a rider.
For anyone wanting to make a holiday / training camp out of the occasion, organisers are offering a special week deal replete with Thalasso therapy and yoga no-less:
- 1 week half-board at 4-star hotel Amadores in double room with sea view
Participation in marathon
- Airport shuttle
- 5 Training tours
- Bicycle storage & repair shop
- GPS course, nutritionist consulting
- Marathon coaching
- Shuttle service
- 1 Thalasso Therapy treatment
- 1 test class Yoga or Shiatsu (alternative relaxation techniques)
Trip to Las Palmas
- Shopping tour
- Farewell party
It says here that’s 528 euro for one person based on sharing a double room. More people sharing bigger rooms brings down the price as low as 428 euro. For a companion who’s just using the room on it’s own it’s 379 euro (double). The hotel Amadores, designed by Canary artist Duramas, is also offering special rates for those who just want to participate in the marathon.
It looks intriguing and a little bit different, but who knows whether it’ll live up to the promise. More details will be available from December 23rd, that’s this Thursday, from www.canary-bike.com or email [email protected] .