6 reasons why Ironman 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championship in Cebu is the bomb

Barry Viloria on Aug 05, 2016 11:55 PM
Why Ironman 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championship-Cebu is the bomb
Why it might be worth flying to Mactan last-minute to catch the prestigious race. (Photo taken from Ivan Carapiet's account: @ivancarapiet)

On a Friday in a rather drizzly and gloomy August here in Cebu, the city is pulsating with warmth and energy familiar to those who yearly visit the Queen City of the South during Sinulog. There are no parades, elaborate costumes, or cries of “Pit Señor!” on the streets, though. Particularly here at Shangri-La's Mactan Resort and Spa, around 45 minutes away from the city proper, the usually calm ambiance is disrupted by throngs of men and women and even children in full triathlon gear. It’s the most awaited Ironman 70.3 Asia Championship, and it’s the first time the race is happening on Asian soil.

“Just seven years ago when we debuted Ironman here with only 500 athletes and if you told me we would be hosting the Asia-Pacific Championship, I would’ve told you you’re joking,” begins Wilfred Uytengsu, the man behind the event organizers Sunrise Event.

Uytengsu, a triathlete himself, is opening the launch of the weekend event that starts with small categories before moving to the big event on Sunday. Surrounding him in rows, pros from the Philippines and countries beyond, all multi-decorated, vying that $75,000 grand prize. A good bonus: 30 age-group qualifying slots for the 2017 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship. Aside from these awards and the fact that Cebu’s hosting it, what makes this tournament exciting are more than what you think!

1. It’s a show of athleticism.

Triathlon has started a massive lifestyle change, turning more and more around from their vices and instead become their better, healthier selves. Proof: 2,978 signed up within 28 minutes after the announcement's release online. “Four-hundred were on the waitlist, but the course could not accept more,” explains Uytengsu. “But we hope you find a way to continue with the sport.”

2. More divisions introduced.

To mix the race up, the organizers introduced Iron Girls for women (joined by 500 ladies) and Iron Kids (with 400 “budding athletes” pegged to be “future pros”). More fun for every member of the family—beginner or not!

 

Official hashtag for this weekend- #cobraim703apac

A photo posted by Matteo Guidicelli (@mateoguidicelli) on

3. It’s for the social media-savvy!

Why else would we be carrying the “social media capital of Southeast Asia” branding if we don’t apply it in triathlon, too? Shangri-La’s Mactan is offering free wi-fi on site to engage people in sharing photos, videos, and other stories about this historic event.

4. It’s broadcast online!

Speaking of social media, yhis is the first time Ironman is going to be streamed online. The Ironman.com broadcast will cater to eyes from 180 countries all over the world.

5. It’s prestigious, duh.

'Nuff said. Not only is it about accomplishing an “Ironman” event; it’s also being able to do it in your homeland with a medal crafted by a fellow Filipino in hand at the finish line. Yes, one of Hollywood's most trusted furniture designers Kenneth Cobonpue (from Ironman 70.3 Cebu races past) once again puts his artistry to use in this year’s event. For the lucky winner, expect a unique medal in aluminum resembling a cyclist, a swimmer, and runner overlapping with a heart in the middle.

 

Touchdown Cebu with coach @igelopez #teamgotta #coachigemademedoit

A photo posted by Dingdong Dantes (@dongdantes) on

6. It’s star-studded!

It isn’t just race-regular Matteo Guidicelli on tow this time. We’ve got more competitive celebs, political figures, and socialites alike—amateur and returning—signed up. Kim Atienza, Ivan Carapiet, Paul Jake Castillo, Gilbert Remulla, and ABS-CBN’s Dyan Castillejo are joining the major triathlon event. For the 1.9km swim, we have Gretchen Fullido and Hannah Pangilinan; for the 90km bike race are Piolo Pascual, Dingdong Dantes, and Anthony Pangilinan; and lastly for the run, there are Sam YG, Ella Pangilinan, and Bubbles Paraiso.

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