Ironman 70.3 Davao champ Mendez eyes Xterra title

MANILA -- Mexico City’s Mauricio Mendez, fresh from clinching the Alveo Ironman 70.3 Davao pro elite male overall title at Azuela Cove in Lanang, Davao City Sunday, is also eyeing the 2018 Xterra Triathlon Elite, dubbed “Air Tahiti Nui” on May 11, 2018.

Mendez, in an interview with SunStar Davao at the Ninoy Aquino Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 arrival area Monday morning, March 26, said: “I want to win the title for sure.”

The race will feature 1,500-meter swim, 32-kilometer mountain bike and 10.6K run.

Mendez, who was spotted earlier at Gate 5 of the Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Davao City, gamely posed with fellow Ironman 70.3 finishers and other passengers of the 4 a.m. Philippine Airlines (PAL) Flight PR2808 bound for Manila at the departure area.

When asked how he was feeling, a day after his first Ironman 70.3 Davao feat, the Xterra World champion said, “Pretty good. Feeling tired, super sleepy and super happy with yesterday’s race.”

He was set to fly to Europe to bring some stuff to his sponsors there before returning home to Mexico.

The 22-year-old titlist, only seeded second to top seed Tim Reed of Australia at the start of the Davao race, however, failed to improve his personal best Ironman 70.3 record of three hours and 43 seconds. He registered 3:50:32.

“No, it wasn’t my fastest. The competition was really hard, the heat was really hot out there but the support from the people is amazing,” he added.

He also downplayed beating Reed for the crown. “You never know we are all professionals, we live for this, train for this. Sometimes you win, sometimes you don’t. I’m so happy, I look forward to training and improving myself.”

Mendez also admitted he admires a lot of triathletes and one of them is fellow Australian Craig Alexander, a three-time Ironman Triathlon World champion.

“It’s an honor to race with him yesterday,” he said.

Mendez will be competing in other Xterra and Ironman 70.3 events this year. He also hopes to go back to Davao City and defend his Alveo Ironman 70.3 title in 2019.
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