Club La Santa: every runner’s dream destination!
I’ve been trying to get back to this sports resort on the Canary Island, Lanzarote, for five years. When I first went with three young children I fell in love with both the island and the Club La Santa lifestyle. As a resort, it offers so much for the athlete, or sporty family. The facilities are truly world class, with an athletics track, two Olympic pools, a whole swathe of tennis/paddleboard/squash/badminton courts, as well as open air venues for fitness and relaxation classes. There’s a dance studio, basketball court, gym, golf area, mini golf run, beach volley ball, water sports lagoon. Then all the normal holiday facilities you could dream of, with leisure pools (including a baby pool and diving area), open air restaurants, supermarket and bars.
Whatever your sport, background, or specific love, this resort will give you the chance to try, train and improve. Initially a mecca for triathletes, with long straight roads criss-crossing the island ideal for long bikes, Club La Santa has its own Ironman event. Every week you can take part in their slightly less demanding chip-timed triathlon, aquathlon or duathlon, as well as a 5/10K and half marathon race. During specific times of the year there are other events/training camps/retreats – you just have to work out what exactly you want to get from your stay then plan your dates and stay.
I wanted to have a week-long break with my children, somewhere they could all chill and relax by a pool/beach, dip in and out of activities they wanted to try, while I snuck away and fitted in as much running as I possibly could in seven days. You can check out an average weekly timetable on the CLS website to see what kind of classes/events are on offer, so you can start planning your days. I was keen on doing all the running events, even though it would mean more mileage then I’ve been doing for a few months, as well as trying out the relaxation/stretching/mind/body/spirit classes, without my girls accusing me of the worst motherhood crime, abandonment. I also didn’t want to spend too much time away from them. Yes, I wanted everything!
It only takes a few days to ease yourself into the Club La Santa lifestyle. As soon as you get there you can get access to the App and start booking yourselves on to classes. Some classes are worth more points than others, some have waiting lists, some are 0 points, so you can balance your days with a good variety of easy/new/exciting.
I left my daughters asleep on the first morning and got up to do the half marathon. It’s a slightly undulating lap course out and back from the resort that is going to be hot, even at that time of the day (it was 26 when we started, 29 when we finished). Tough it is, but you can finish and walk less than five minutes to one of the Olympic pools to cool yourself down with some easy lengths. There’s no time to put your feet up for the rest of the day, though, if you want to make the most of everything on offer.
Once I had refuelled and the girls were up and ready we headed for the lagoon for them to try stand up paddleboarding (SUP). It was hilarious. We all did an introduction class then headed out for an easy lap. Our afternoons were mainly spent by the leisure pools where the children can entertain themselves by diving. There are classes all through the day, and you can book courts all day long, though for me the late afternoon/early evening, when it was just a little (and I mean a little) bit cooler, was perfect for heading out for more activities.
The evening stretch/relax classes were such a luxury for me, as I don’t have time for gym classes normally. This is my taxi time when I ferry my three around to their activities. There are specific stretch classes, foam roller classes, Pilates, yoga, body balance and many more. My spine has never felt so loved. After dinner my girls roamed free, playing football in the middle of the athletics track, tumbling in the park, taking in the evening’s entertainment, making new friends.
The activities are led by members of the Green Team, coaches with their own specialist sports who will guide you in your chosen activity. You’re on holiday so expect the classes and events to be relaxed and friendly. They may run over or under, but either way it’s no problem, as your apartment or the pool is only ever two minutes-walk away.
One evening I headed out in an international group for the guided hill run. I loved it. The group stayed together for the first mile or so to warm-up, then you got to attack the hill at your own pace. Even though it felt so hard due to the heat, it was only about a mile up hill, and only 300ft, but if felt like we had climbed to the top of the volcano, not just a very low ledge. Then we wound our way back to Club La Santa, over the volcanic landscape – and back into the wind that never goes away. I went out on the route myself the next day and went a little higher. It would be fine, I rationalised, as the downhill would be easy. Wrong. That ever-constant wind off the Atlantic made the downhill almost as slow as the up.
The next day I was booked in for the chip timed 10K race. A group of about 50 gathered, but I figured few would do the second lap, as even a 5K in 30-degree heat is tough if you’ve come from rainy northern Europe. The hour before the race I had foolishly booked myself into the aerial yoga strength class. After repeatedly turning myself upside down in the search for improved core strength I felt sick. I got to the track for a quick warm-up and felt rough…it was not going to be the easiest 6miles, especially in 30 degrees heat.
I was right; the 10K was as tough as I remembered it, made just that little bit harder by overly suspending myself upside down. Only a handful exited the stadium for the second lap. I was determined to tough it out though as I hate 10Ks. Doing the things we find hardest are always the most rewarding. Stopping after 5K would have been too easy.
The last days of a holiday always come around far too soon, and for me this meant one run, the track session. Only one more Club La Santa run – I was gutted! IT was the day where the resort holds a Run School so I went along to do a warm-up, followed straight away by the track session. My legs couldn’t have felt heavier but I wanted to make the most of living next to a track every day.
We worked in teams and somehow my tired legs knocked out 5 x 300m then 2x200m, but honestly, the last 200m was a bimble. And I felt so sad when the session was over. Waaaah! We had our farewell meal and a lovely balmy evening wandering around the resort, but when we had to leave the next morning I almost cried! For me, this is my dream destination.
My girls love this resort, they make friends every time they go, they’re getting older and can take themselves off on their own to kayak around the lagoon, or they can roam safely and play sports at their leisure. As a runner/duathlete CLS offers me everything. I did all that I planned to, but there was so much I didn’t do. I couldn’t completely abandon the girls! All those other adventures will just have to wait until next time.
The resort is very popular with Danish people, as well as German, Spanish and English, as well as many other nationalities, making it such a great opportunity for your children to widen their horizons and meet friends from different cultures. It will be a lifelong love for all of you, right there.
Find out more about Club La Santa here
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