A traffic advisory, sort of-A A +A
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
IF YOU have a day appointment in Mactan on Sunday, I highly recommend that you postpone it in the evening or you be there before 5 a.m. even if your appointment is at 10 a.m.
Because you see, the two bridges and major roads in Mactan will be closed to traffic between 5 a.m. and 3 p.m. for the Ironman 70.3.
To the uninitiated, Ironman 70.3 is an international triathlon event that tri-discipline athletes train hard for months to join. It’s a sport that requires one to swim 1.9 kilometers, bike 90 kilometers and run 21 kilometers in this order without a break. To us lesser mortals, we’d have unknowingly amputated our arms by the time we’ve swum 1.1 kilometers.
For the first time, the Province of Cebu and Shangri-la’s Mactan Resort & Spa host Ironman 70.3. Between today and Sunday, the hotels and resorts in Mactan are all booked. The event has drawn 1,700 participants from 31 countries. Even local participants have booked themselves in resorts or hotels to lessen their pre-race day stress.
The race is not confined in Lapu-Lapu City. The route goes all the way to the South Coastal Road in Cebu and Talisay cities for the bike leg. This means that the road closure extends to the land access leading to the coastal road.
When the organizers say road closure, it means that no vehicle can use the road at specific hours and no pedestrian is allowed to cross it either. The bikers will be zooming past us that the roads have to be cleared of obstruction of all forms, including human.
The South Coastal Road and what Citom chief Jack Jakosalem says are the “bay area”—the coastal roads in Barangays Tejero, Tinago, Mabolo, Ermita and San Roque in Cebu City—will be closed to traffic from 5 a.m. to 12 noon.
To be more specific where the total closure will be, it is along Serging Osmeña Boulevard, from Mahiga Bridge (which is the boundary between Mandaue and Cebu cities) up to Legaspi Extension, to the tunnel, then to the whole stretch of the South Coastal Road.
If you live near the “bay area,” stay by the road, not on it, and watch the bikers zoom and zing. Oh, cheer for them too. This is one sight that you shouldn’t miss.
In Mactan where the swim and run legs will be, Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza has mobilized motorized banca operators, public school children, the barangay leaders and just about everyone who care enough to make the Ironman 70.3 in Cebu successful and remarkable.
Since jellyfish sting is a huge bane to swimmers, the mayor offered cash prizes of P2,000 to P5,000 to the fishermen who can catch the most number of jellyfish two hours before race time.
Fifty-five vintas, small pumpboats with colorful sails, will be stationed 100 meters from the swim area. Akin to a dragonboat, each vinta will have a drum crew. The boom-boom will pump the swimmers to crawl faster in the water. There will be cheerers aboard the vintas. The best vinta gets a prize.
In the run leg, Mayor Radaza has eight percussion contingents stationed along the route leading to Mangal, the turning point. Cheerers will line 12 kilometers of the bike and run routes in Lapu-Lapu City.
I am just as excited as the Ironman 70.3 participants and the organizers come race day. I will be content to watch from the sidelines and cheer for my friends with my heart swollen with pride. I will not grumble about the inconvenience of the road closures posed to us. We are, after all, hosting a prestigious international sporting event. Ironman is like the Olympics of triathlon, I think.
Just an aside: the best male bodies belong to triathletes, so I wouldn’t miss seeing hundreds of them on Sunday.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 02, 2012.