First Powerman Duathlon Philippines set this November
Tricia Robredo on Jul 10, 2015 06:34 PM
“Nakikita naming yung progress. Mas mabilis dahil walang swimming and, Filipinos are natural runners and cyclists.” --- Powerman Duathlon Philippines race director Thumbie Remigio
Despite it being a very gloomy Thursday afternoon, the organizers of the first ever Powerman Duathlon Philippines were in high spirits and excitement as they promoted this upcoming race, which will be held in Balanga, Bataan on November 14-15 of this year.
Being a franchise of the internationally acclaimed series, this event would serve as a qualifier for the World Powerman Championships to be held in Switzerland in 2016. More than anything, however, President Tobias Bernardo announced that the race aims to raise the level of competition in the local scene.
He pointed out that we already currently have a lot of topnotch multi-sport competitors in the country, as seen in our performance in the recent Southeast Asian Games. But with the growing interest and potential of the Philippine athletes to excel in the field, he thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to grow the duathlon market and develop all the other talents. “We only get to send so many of them abroad for international tournaments. This time, we would like to get the foreign athletes here to compete with our guys on a more level playing field instead.”
Based on his experience, veteran organizer and this race’s director Thumbie Remigio also added that the number of patrons who participate in similar local sporting events increase annually – from 200 in 2009, the number grew to 700 or 800. Sixty or seventy percent of those who see action each year are usually first timers.
“Nakikita naming yung progress. Mas mabilis dahil walang swimming and, Filipinos are natural runners and cyclists.” What Remigio and the team would like to do is capitalize on the popularity, and encourage those interested to give it a try and the enthusiasts to up their game. “This is a sport that can be done anywhere. Basta’t may mahaba kang kalye, pwede na.”
This is probably one of the reasons why they decided on holding Powerman in Bataan. With the availability and feasibility of a traffic-free Roman Superhighway on race day, it seemed like a good route for the 60-kilometer bike course. For the 10-kilometer run, which they would have to do twice – one before cycling and another after, the athletes would have to go through the provincial capitol in the city center.
“We wanted something new and something different. Balanga has a lot of potential when it comes to sporting events, and we would like to develop that.” But aside from tourism, the bigger goal is really to inspire. “I want there to be people to cheer the athletes because it would be great for their morale. But I also want to inspire the audience. I want them to see that this might be their future. Sports might be their future. The vision is to inspire on a mutual level.”
And they are serious about their goal to produce a lot of regional and potential world-class champions. Quite impressively, the Powerman Duathlon Philippines team also established a long-term partnership with Balanga. It has been agreed upon that the routes to be used in the event are going to be institutionalized; this means that the routes can eventually be used by the locals to pick up and develop their skills.
Among the professional athletes expected to participate in November is Powerman World Champion Gaël Le Bellec, who also graced the press conference with his presence. He shared that he is very much looking forward to compete with our local athletes and to be pushed to his limits to be a better duathlete himself.
Registration is now ongoing and at least 1,200 participants are expected to take part in Powerman’s inaugural race in the country. One may choose to participate in any of the four categories varying levels of difficulty – Pros, Age Groups Classic, Age Groups Sprint, and PowerKids.