THE Ironman 70.3 Davao triathlon, one of the biggest international triathlon events in the country, is back for a third edition set on March 26, 2023 after being postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Princess Galura, general manager of the organizing company Sunrise Events Inc., said during a press conference on Wednesday, September 28 at Azuela Cove that they are expecting at least 1,500 athletes to participate in the event.

The triathlon race will be held mainly in Davao City which includes a 1.9-kilometer swim off Azuela Cove, a 45-kilometer bike ride passing through Davao del Norte and back, and a 21.1-kilometer two-loop run course around the city.

“Nung time na nagkakarera tayo, nasa (The previous races, we had) 2,300 (participants) so hopefully we would be able to reach that level. There are some other participants (who waited) for the comeback of Davao City, so right now we have about 500 people who have already registered from 2019 who, hopefully, will be able to join in 2023,” Galura said.

The previous participants of Ironman 70.3 Davao are Filipinos and foreigners, including local celebrities and renowned professional athletes from around the world. Galura said they hope they would see the prominent figures join again.

Next year’s race will also launch an 11-man team competition category in honor of the 11 tribes of Davao City wherein the winning team will receive the new Tribu Maisugon Award and P500,000 in cash.

“Every Ironman race has its own (uniqueness) per location. This is our way of showing how Ironman can be (diverse). We are trying to showcase the 11 tribes of Davao City. It’s going to be a prestigious award only in Davao City,” Mayor Sebastian Duterte said.

Aside from the Tribu Maisugon Award, participating athletes will receive a complimentary gift of a colorful, tribal-inspired suitcase while winners will take home medals designed by esteemed Mindanawon artist Kublai Millan.

Millan said the medals’ central theme is unity or oneness.

“It’s a continuity sa first two races of (Ironman 70.3 Davao) from race for peace, culture, then (now it’s a race for) oneness,” he said.

In terms of preparations, Duterte said the city government is already preparing the needed security and health measures, especially against the Covid-19 virus.

“If there will be a surge, the city and personnel especially the health workers have experienced this and we already know how to handle it. We are preparing as early as now. It’s a big event and we have to be meticulous,” the mayor said.

The first two editions of Ironman 70.3 Davao were held in 2018 and 2019 wherein Mexican athlete Mauricio Mendez and German athlete Markus Rolli respectively took home the winning titles. ICM