Wild cast of champions perfect set up for Wild's 70.3 win
"I wasn't expecting such a deep field when I signed up for this race. I think it's a good way to start the season and exploring a new country. When I saw the start list, I couldn't believe it actually. I was surprised because it's like a championship race." --- Ruedi Wild. (All photos courtesy of Kenneth Natividad)
SUBIC BAY --- Rudie Wild certainly did not expect to race as hard as he did in his first trip to the Philippines.
Still early in the triathlon season, the former Olympian out of Switzerland knew he was in for a tough one as soon as he saw the list competing for the Century Tuna 70.3 IronMan race here.
23 pros showed up in the men's division for the race Subic has hosted for the third straight year. Not just any pros mind you, the list included the reigning 70.3 World Champion in Tim Reed as well as the legendary Crowie Alexander, the former three-time IronMan World Champion and 2016 winner.
"I think it makes the experience even more worth [it]," Wild said on his first competition in the country.
"I wasn't expecting such a deep field when I signed up for this race. I think it's a good way to start the season and exploring a new country. When I saw the start list, I couldn't believe it actually. I was surprised because it's like a championship race," he added.
As much as he was surprised with the level of competition that showed up in Subic over the weekend, none of that mattered for Wild as the Swiss star staged a wild comeback to win the whole thing.
Behind by almost two minutes at the end of the 90-kilometer bike route, Ruedi came through in the run, pulling away in the last few kilometers to win by a good 30 seconds, denying Alexander a chance for back-to-back titles.
"It took me a little while to get ready for the run and these guys started really fast. But I knew it's about the second half of the run," Wild said.
"In this heat, you had to be deliberate, you have to be conservative, and pretty much know how to start. I'm not known as a fast starter, so I was quite confident and I knew if I had an even run with the pace, it's going to be okay," he added.
Capping his first trip to the Philippines with a sweet victory, Wild would certainly like to come back.
He liked it so much that the soon-to-be father might even bring his new family with him next time around.
"Hopefully, I'll be able to come back, have some other races," he said.
"I like it very much here, one of the nicest courses I've ever done. It's amazing. What else can you ask for, it's just amazing," Wild added.
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