1500 triathletes to make history in Philippines’ first full Ironman

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jun 01, 2018 05:55 PM
1500 triathletes to make history in PH’s first full Ironman
Subic Bay will be the site of history as the Philippines will finally be having its first-ever full-distance Ironman race

SUBIC, ZAMBALES – In 2009, the Philippines had its first-ever Ironman – a 70.3 km-length course that laid the groundwork as well as paved the way for the sport in the country.

Nearly a decade later, the Philippines is all set and all ready for its first-ever full-distance Ironman race – a triathlon totaling a distance of 226.75 km that will prove just how far the sport has come in the country. “We have come a long way. We wanted to do justice to the sport and with the course we have laid out, we will do that,” event organizer Fred Uytengsu said in the pre-event press conference on Friday at the Subic Bay Convention Center here.

He then continued, “I’ve wanted to do a full (Ironman) in the last five years, but the community wasn’t ready. Now, if you look at the growth of (triathlon) in the last five years, it has been exponential so I believe that we’re ready.”

Indeed, exactly 1, 552 triathletes from 50 different countries will be taking part in the historic Century Tuna Ironman Philippines on Sunday morning – swimming for 3.8 km, biking for 180 km, and then running for 42.95 km.

Among them are 14 professional triathletes – Nick Baldwin, Liz Blatchford, Cameron Brown, Dan Brown, Jana Candrova, Simon Cochrane, Dimity Lee Duke, Eneko Elosegui, Erin Furness, Julia Grant, Alex Kochetkov, and Freddy Lampret, Simone Maier, and Alise Selsmark.

All of them will be vying for the cash prize of USD 250, 000; bonuses from event sponsors Century Tuna, Alaska, NLEX/SCTEX, and Sunrise Events; and slots in the Ironman World Championships.

The cycling part of the event will be along NLEX/SCTEX and company official Allan Gregorio has promised a smooth ride for each and every triathlete as well as smooth hosting for the Philippines. “This is about us Filipinos introducing ourselves to the world as a great place for triathlon,” he remarked.

That is much welcome news for foreign triathletes such as Australia’s Blatchford who will be racing for the first time since giving birth as well as Spain’s Elosegui who will be racing for the first time since suffering a neck injury.

While they are well aware of the tall task ahead, they are nothing but determined to push through and make history alongside Filipinos who comprise almost half of the total triathletes. “This is my first Ironman since giving birth and this will be special,” Blatchford said.

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