Last-minute work for Ironman; DPWH races to fix potholes

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Friday, August 1, 2014


CEBU CITY -- The final preparations for the Cobra Ironman 70.3 Philippines are in place, as the asphalting of potholes in the bike course has started and is set to be completed today, August 2.

Meanwhile, hundreds of kids are expected to take part in the Ironkids today, still at Shangrila Resort.

“We’ve ironed out the last-minute preparations, the Department of Public Works and Highways is currently repairing on the potholes,” said lawyer Mark Tolentino, Cebu Province administrator.

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According to Princess Galura, Sunrise Events Inc. (SEI) project director, the problematic area covers almost one kilometer, though there are also potholes in other areas.

Galura reminded the riders to observe safety at all times and to take extra precautions in the affected areas.

The organizers, local government unit (LGUs), and local coordinators will make the final check on the bike route today. After the final check-up, they will determine which part of the route they have to post signs in.

The bike route will pass four major cities of Cebu, and the medical team, security, marshals, volunteers, and traffic personnel are already in place.

“Every city has provided not less than 200 marshals on the route. The Centcom, PRO 7 and Coast Guard are also set,” Galura said. “The preparation for safety this year is much better.”

Organizers had to change the bike route this year due to ongoing road construction near the CICC. They shortened the bike length and made it a double loop.

“We’ve always asked about the road construction and they said that it will be done in the middle of July. But napansin namin na hindi pa natatapos, so we’ve concentrated on what we can do, not on what they can’t do. We just work on what we have left,” Galura said.

“The DPWH have their timetable on repairing the roads. It is a national road and we can’t do anything about it. We hope next year, all the road repairs are done,” said Tolentino.

On race day, the weather is expected to be fair. According to weatherman Kim Atienza, who is also joining, it will be sunny with overcast skies and the rain is expected to happen only at 4 p.m., Galura said.

Meanwhile, Fred Uytengsu, head of SEI, announced their plans for 2015 during the Meet the Pros event.

The SEI will launch its second 70.3 race in the Philippines as the Century Tuna 5150 will be changed to Century Tuna 70.3 Philippines in the first quarter of 2015. The SEI will also have the first international event that will be held in Asia.

Uytengsu also said that this year, they have adjusted to the changes of the route, especially the bike route.

“The road situation this year is a disappointment for us,” said Uytengso. “I would like to say we would like to go back here. My understanding the roads are being repaired. Hopefully next year it should be in place."

“We asked our marshals to be vigilant not just on drafting but also to watch the proper road etiquette to ensure participants’ safety. We have medical team, and hydration all through out,” he added.

Meanwhile, the 2012 Ironman 70.3 Philippines champion and 2013 second placer Pete Jacobs of Australia announced he is not competing in the individual event this year, and will compete only in the mixed-relay and will do the bike for his team.

This leaves the door open for Brent McMahon, Cameron Brown, Eric Watson, Justin Granger, Kaon Cho, Matt Burton, Michael Murphy, and Sam Betten, as it was also announced the 2013 champion Courtney Atkinson is not participating.

In the women’s division, Caroline Steffen is ready to defend her title. Steffen broke her personal record last year and she will try to do it again this year.

“Let's see if I can beat my own record. This will be a technical race. I hope it’s going be dry this Sunday,” said Steffen. “I hope I can perform will. I expect another win because I love to win.” (Sun.Star Cebu)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 02, 2014.

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