CEBU CITY, Philippines – All is set for the Cobra Energy Drink Ironman 70.3 Philippines happening this Sunday, August 6, here on the island of Cebu.
The 2,756 participants along with their families and friends have started arriving for the lung-busting race which will start and end at the Shangri-La Mactan Resort and Spa in Lapu-Lapu City.
The race is organized by the Sunrise Events Inc. (SEI) and will have the participants conquering1.9-kilometer swim on the waters fronting Shangri-La then to the cities of Mandaue, Cebu, Talisay and back for the “M” loop 90-kilometer bike ride. The half ironman will be capped with a 21-kilometer run in barangay Punta Engaño before participants will re-enter Shangri-La and cross the finish line.
The race which SEI organized for the straight sixth year here in Cebu for a total of 9 including the 3 half ironmans held earlier in Camsur have attracted participants from 52 countries. The bulk of the participants come from the Philippines.
Some 26 professional triathletes will be vying for the title—17 of them in the men’s division and 9 in the women’s division.
Both division is seen to feature exciting races with Australia’s Tim Reed hoping to bag his third straight title in this event. Spectators will also finally get to see a rematch between Reed and his best Australian buddy Tim Van Berkel. The two had an exciting neck-to-neck battle back in 2015 with Reed managing to cross the finish line just two seconds ahead of Van Berkel. Van Berkel, however, missed a chance to even the score when he failed to compete last year after injuring himself during a bike ride practice.
However, giving them serious competition will be 2016 Xterra world champion Mauricio Mendez of Mexico.
Mendez first saw action in the Xterra, an off-road triathlon race, when he was 18 years old wherein he became the first overall amateur at the world championships. He became the youngest Xterra world champion on his second year as a pro.
Other male pro participants are Brent McMahon, Cameron Brown, Sam Betten, Callum Millward, David Mainwaring, Mitch Robins, Eric Watson, Iain Alexandridis, Alexander Polizzi, Jakub Langhammer, Ryan Fisher, Eddie Rawles, Brad Williams and Johan Stofberg.
The women’s title, on the other hand, will be up for grabs with Caroline Steffen not gunning for her sixth straight title. The Swiss 5-time Cobra Ironman 70.3 champion will be competing this year in the relay after announcing her pregnancy.
Favorite to bag this year’s title is Australia’s Dimity-Lee Duke.
The Philippines will have a representative vying for the female pro title—Kim Kilgroe who started her pro career in last year’s Cobra Energy Drink Ironman 70.3 Asia Pacific Championship, which was also held here in Cebu.
Other competitors are Anna Eberhardt, Amelia Watkinson, Kerry Mulholland, Kirra Seidel, jacqueline Thisleton, Gurutze Frades, Alise Selsmark and Monica Juhart.
Categories for the race are individual, relay, Asian Elite and age-group.
Other events leading to Sunday’s Cobra Ironman 70.3
The race may still be this Sunday but the festivities will start Friday, August 4. First up will be the Alaska Run Out and Breakfast wherein the pros and other participants will run from the lobby of Shangri-La to the Mactan Elementary School. There, they will be entertained with a short program. Then after having breakfast with the students, they will run back to Shangri-La.
Other activities on Friday are the Cebu Province-sponsored bike out, Meet the Pros press conference and the Irongirl.
Friday will end with the Lapu-Lapu City treating the participants to a carbo-loading party at the Shangri-La.
On Saturday, August 5, the Alaska Ironkids will start the day’s activities.
In the afternoon is the race briefing in 3 batches so all participants will be accommodated.
The Cobra Ironman 70.3 Philippines on Sunday, August 6, will start at 6 a.m.
Organizers have promised another spectacular event to live up to the monicker of the Cobra Ironman 70.3 Philippines as the crown jewel of Asia.