DAVAO City and Davao del Norte officials on Tuesday met to formalize the partnerships between the local government units of Davao City, Panabo, Carmen, and Tagum for the hosting of Ironman 70.3 triathlon race.

Present during the coordination meeting at the provincial capitol were Governor Edwin Jubahib, his Provincial Administrator Engr. Josie Jean Rabanoz, Provincial Sports and Youth Development Office Head Giovanni Gulanes, Davao City Assistant Administrator for Administration Atty. Dwight Tristan Domingo, Davao City Sports Development Office Head Mikey Aportadera, and Ironman Philippines General Manager and Regional Director Princess Galura.

Slated on March 26, the race— consisting of a 1.9-kilometer swim at the Davao Gulf, a 90-km bike ride from Bajada in Davao City to Tagum City and back, and a half-marathon 21-km run from Victoria Plaza to Azuela Cove and back —will once again require the full cooperation of the local governments of Davao, Panabo, Carmen and Tagum.

Tuesday's meeting included discussions on logistics, security and safety measures, and other preparatory details for the race.

The Ironman 70.3 official token was also turned over to the Governor Jubahib, signifying the close partnership of Davao City, Davao del Norte, and Ironman Philippines.

According to Aportadera, the city and its partner local government units (LGUs) are at least 90 percent ready to host the event in March and will only have to finalize minute details in the coming weeks. He stressed on the importance of close cooperations among the LGUs to ensure the smooth execution of one of the most anticipated sports events this year.

Gulanes said Davao del Norte is fully committed to the joint effort of hosting the event, and since a template from the past two hostings is already at hand, he said some of the biggest challenges have been minimized.

“The first time we had this was very challenging because we really had to find an alternative route. Now, it’s a lot better because from Tagum to Panabo, paved na yong kalsada,” Gulanes said.

Coordination among the LGUs of Panabo, Carmen, and Tagum have also improved, Gulanes added, to ensure that all matters pertaining to the safety of participants and onlookers are ensured.

Jubahib, meanwhile, called for unity and understanding from the people of Davao del Norte, citing the gravity of safety and security protocols during the event.

Jubahib said that just like Davao City Mayor Sebastian Duterte, he is fully committed to making the event a success.

A total of 1,488 participants from 44 countries have already signed up for the Ironman 70.3 triathlon race with registration still ongoing. A final coordination meeting among the concerned LGUs along with public and private stakeholders was on January 26. (CIO)