LORHIZ Echavez-Lopez will be back to defend her crown in the 2015 Tabuelan 111 Triathlon at the Maravilla Beach, Tabuelan Cebu this Sunday, but this might be her last race for the year.

Lopez of Omega Pro Tri Team, who is married to runner-turned-triathlete Mendel Lopez, is expecting her second child and will be eight weeks pregnant come race week.

“This will be my last race. I will continue to exercise, but no more racing. Because when you’re racing, the heart rate goes up and you tend to get very hot,” Lopez, 29, told Sun.Star Cebu.

Lopez, who ruled both the Dipolog Triathlon 102 and 1st Rider Dip and Dash Aquathlon last month, said the race day’s weather will also be a factor in her decision on whether to join the fourth edition of Tabuelan 111 Triathlon or not.

“I am registered for the race, but my decision will depend on the race day’s weather. If it will be very hot, I’m not gonna force it, but if the weather will be the same as today, I will join. I felt good running to Busay this morning, so I guess it would be okay,” she said last Saturday.

Distance

The men’s and women’s individual full distance triathletes will be racing a total distance of 111 kms.; the swim portion is 2K, the bike course is 88K and the run segment is a half-marathon.

Cebu’s elite and age group triathletes have signed up for this race. Listed in the men’s elite class are Albert Antigua, Elmo Clarabal, Emmanuel Comendador of Parklane Tri-Team, Jorry Ycong, Xterra pro Joseph Miller, Mohammad Sherwin Managil, Ralph Martin Sios-e, Renz Ericson Monet Gabuya, Wilmar Saavedra and the men’s defending champion Ralph Arche of Parklane Tri-Team.

The event also had the half-distance and team relay. The relay competition will be joined by more than 50 teams.

Race director Jun Barcenas told Sun.Star Cebu yesterday that they are all set for the race with more than 600 participants in all the categories.

He said this is the biggest turnout in four years and they had to turn down some entries for them not to exceed the maximum.

Simulation

Triathletes started to simulate the race last weekend with the organizers opening the route until June 13.

Barcenas said that since they started the event, they have been implementing international Ironman rules to help the triathletes prepare for the Cobra Ironman 70.3 in August.

“We implement the international Ironman rules. Helmets are required on bike leg, no bare torso and no headphones or headsets on the bike/run. No drafting on the bike, and a four-minute penalty for violators, which needs to be served at the penalty box in transition 2; and disqualification for failure to serve penalty.

Follow mount/dismount area. Penalty for outside help during the race, loop counts and course directions are the responsibility of the athletes and disqualification for unsportsmanlike conduct and failure to follow course,” the event’s Facebook page showed.