AGE groupers gear up for a spirited battle not only for top honors in their respective divisions but also for world championship berths when the Ironman 70.3 Philippines Asia-Pacific kickss off Sunday at the Shangri-La Mactan Resort and Spa in Lapu Lapu City.
The organizing Sunrise Events, Inc. said 50 qualifying age-group slots for the 2019 Ironman 70.3 World Championship in France will be up for grabs in the upcoming event, which features more than 12 age categories in the men’s and women’s sides, guaranteeing a fierce duel for spots in the first-ever Ironman 70.3 world tilt to be held in the unofficial capital of Cote d’Azur and the fifth largest in France.
Among the categories tipped to be hotly disputed are the 18-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44 classes in both divisions with the bulk of a record field of 2,700.
They will race side by side with the event’s elite bidders in the 1.9km swim-90km bike-21.2km run event, headlined by four-peat seeking Tim Reed, former three-time world champion Craig Alexander, former XTERRA world champion and recent winner of the first Ironman 70.3 Davao Mauricio Mendez, and former Ironman As-Pac winners Tim Van Berkel, Josh Amberger and Braden Currie along with former Ironman South American winner Brent McMahon.
Also in the title hunt are Mike Phillips, Casey Munro, Michael Raelert, Jakub Langhammer, David Mainwaring and Tyler Butterfield – all itching to foil the big guns in the event supported by venue hosts Province of Cebu, City of Lapu Lapu and Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa.
The battle for the women’s title is also expected to be fast and furious with three-time world champ and three-time Asia-Pacific and European titlist Melissa Hauschildt bannering the stellar field that includes Czech Radka Kahlefeldt, Caroline Steffen, Dimity Lee Duke and Beth McKenzie along with Anna Eberhardt, Lauren Goss, Bruna Mahn, Sabrina Stadelmann, Lisa Tyack, Lauren Brandon, Grace Thek, Mel Hauschildt, Simone Maier, Holly Khan and Manami Iijima. (ML from PR)