Los Cabos has emerged as one of Mexico's premier event destinations in recent years. Cape cities Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo welcome world leaders for the G-20 economic summit and international visitors for film and comedy festivals, as well as sporting events like the Lord of the Wind Showdown and the Ford Ironman Los Cabos triathlon competition.
The Ford Ironman Los Cabos premiered last year, as Los Cabos became the second Mexican site (after Cozumel) to host an Ironman series event. This year's competition, scheduled for March 30, 2014, will showcase the area's picturesque mix of mountain, desert and Sea of Cortez vistas, as an international field of up to 1,500 contestants vie for $75,000 in prize money. They'll as also be fighting for 50 coveted qualifying spots for the annual Ironman World Championship, held each October in Hawaii.
Contestants and spectators await the start of the 2013 Ironman Triathlon in Los Cabos — Photo courtesy of Ford Ironman Los Cabos
Ironman races offer a rigorous challenge for contestants, who must swim 2.4 miles, cycle for 112 more and then finish with a marathon-length 26.2 mile run. Organizers of the Los Cabos event have designed the local race course to allow for level running and cycling stages, but also to show off the area's geographical diversity and spectacular natural beauty.
The swim in the Sea of Cortez is scheduled to take place in a protected cove off Palmilla Beach, a scenic stretch of sand located near the luxurious One & Only Palmilla Resort. Participants will then embark on the cycling segment, which will include three laps of the Tourist Corridor - the coast-hugging highway that connects Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo. Finally, the concluding marathon run will wind through the heart of downtown San José del Cabo and finish in front of the city's historic City Hall.
Although Los Cabos remains best known for its world-class water sports, and particularly its big-game sportfishing (Cabo San Lucas has long played host to the world's richest fishing tournament, with millions of dollars on the line at the yearly Bisbee's Black and Blue Marlin Tournament.), predominantly land-based competitions are steadily gaining in popularity.
Run Cabo recently staged its fifth annual Los Cabos Half-Marathon, and Ford Ironman Los Cabos is expected to capitalize on last year's success with an even larger and more diverse field of contestants and spectators for its second go-round.
Registration fees for the Ford Ironman Los Cabos are rather steep - $650 plus a $10 one-day membership for non-Mexican participants. But visiting contestants will be happy to know that the area is also home to dozens of pampering spas, perfect for post-race recovery efforts.