IT’S all systems go for the Regent Aguila Ironman 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championship with about 2,500 triathletes from 53 countries converging at the Shangri-La Mactan Resort & Spa in Lapu-Lapu City this Sunday.
What’s new for this year is be the 90-kilometer three-loop bike course that will cover cities of Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue. This was the alternative route after the organizers were denied the use of South Road Properties (SRP).
“We had the bike out last Sunday which was participated by Cebuanos and they said that they liked the route because it’s not windy. But there are also roads na misikip that had some congestion,” said Princess Galura, the general manager of SEI, the company behind the Ironman 70.3 Philippines.
“Together with the local government units and government agencies concerned, we will continue our efforts in making the Regent Aguila Ironman 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championship a rousing success,” SEI founder Wildred Steven Uytengsu said in a statement.
Race director Neville Manaois said about 1,000 race marshals will be deployed on the race course.
“We will deliberately give the pros (professional athletes) at least 35 minutes before we release the other divisions. The pros will finish the third loop (by that time,)” said Manaois “The other main concern is the crowd. We will have barricades and marshals with yellow flags to make sure everything will run smoothly.”
The other thing to watch out for this year would be the battle of the pro triathletes. Galura said that this was the best lineup that they have assembled in 10 years.
There will be a total of 34 pros and 10 Asian elites. The men’s pro cast includes heavyweights like reigning three-time champion Tim Reed, former Xterra champion Mauricio Mendez, legendary triathlete Craig Alexander, Tim Van Berkel, Sam Betten, Cameron Brown, former Cebu champion Brent Mcmahon, among others.
The women’s pro will have the likes of four-time Ironman Cebu champion Caroline Steffen, former Ironman Australia titlist Betch Mckenzie and veteran triathlete Dimity Lee Duke.
For the age-group athletes, at stake in the race would be the 50 slots for the 2019 Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Nice, France.
The 1-9-kilometer swim, 90K bike and 21K run race will start at the beachfront of Shangri-La Mactan Resort and Spa for the swim segment followed with a three-loop bike segment and the two-loop run part.
This year marks the 10th year anniversary for Ironman Philippines in the country—the seventh year in Cebu since the first three years was held in Camarines Sur.
Meanwhile, the Alaska Ironkids Philippines is all set with 400 participants this Saturday, while the Herbalife Nutrition IronGirl will have 850 participants today. (RSC)