Reed goes for third straight Ironman 70.3 Philippines title
CEBU CITY, Philippines - The 2,756 participants along with their families and friends will start to gather on the island of Cebu this week for the Cobra Energy Drink Ironman 70.3 Philippines happening this Sunday, August 6.
The lung-busting race organized by Sunrise Events Inc will start and end at the Shangri-la Mactan Resort and Spa where the 1.9-kilometer swim will be held on the waters fronting the resort.
From Lapu-Lapu, the race will take participants to the cities of Mandaue, Cebu and Talisay then back for the 90-kilometer bike ride on an “M” loop. The race will be capped by a 21-kilometer run in barangay Punta Engano in Lapu-Lapu.
Participants will be coming from 52 countries including the Philippines. Of the 2,756 participants, 26 are professional triathletes—17 are men and 9 are women.
The Philippines will have one pro in Kim Kilgroe who first turned pro in last year's Cobra Energy Drink Ironman 70.3 Asia Pacific Championship, which was also held here in Cebu.
Australia's Tim Reed is back this year and will be gunning for his third straight Cobra Ironman 70.3 Philippines title.
Reed is up against tough competitors, one of them is his best buddy Tim Van Berkel also of Australia. The two battled to a neck-to-neck finish in the 2015 edition of the race with Reed only managing to cross the finish line just two seconds ahead of Van Berkel. Their anticipated rematch fizzled out when Van Berkel missed the race when he injured himself on a practice bike out.
However, the biggest threat in this Sunday’s race is the 23-year-old Mauricio Mendez of Mexico, who is the 2016 Xterra world champion. The Mexican started joining the Xterra, an off-road triathlon race, when he was 18 and became the first overall amateur at the world championships. In his second year as a pro, he became the youngest Xterra world champion.
The rest of the male pros seeing action are Brent McMahon, Cameron Brown, Sam Betten, Callum Millward, David Mainwaring, Mitch Robins, Eric Watson, Iain Alexandridis, Alexander Polizzi, Jakub Langhammer, Ryan Fisher, Eddie rawles, Brad Williams and Johan Stofberg.
On the women’s side, Kilgroe will be up against Dimity-Lee Duke, this year’s favorite to take the title, as the 5-time champion Caroline Steffen, will not be gunning for her sixth straight after announcing her pregnancy. The Swiss, however, will still be competing but only in the relay category.
Other female pros seeing action are Anna Eberhardt, Amelia Watkinson, Kerry Mulholland, Kirra Seidel, jacqueline Thisleton, Gurutze Frades, Alise Selsmark and Monica Juhart.
Aside from the individual category, there will be the Asian Elite, the age-group and the relay.
The island of Cebu will once again try to exceed expectations by holding another spectacular Cobra Ironman 70.3. Last year’s Ironman 70.3 Asia Pacific Championship which was dubbed as the crown jewel of Asia received an overall satisfaction rating of 87.9 per cent. The rating, which was polled from the replies of about 800 participants, was more than 3 per cent higher than the rolling global average of 84.87 per cent.
SEI which has been organizing the half ironmans in the Philippines for the 9th year already assured of an even festive atmosphere this Sunday sure to wow not only the participants but the spectators as well.
This Sunday’s race, the 6th in Cebu (the first 3 were held in Camarines Sur) will kickoff Friday, August 4, with the Alaska Run Out and Breakfast. Participants especially the pros will run from Shangri-la to the Mactan Elementary School. After a short program and having breakfast with the students there, they will run back again to Shangri-la.
Then there will be the Cebu Province-sponsored Bike out, Meet the Pros press conference, the Irongirl, a 5K race for the wives and girlfriends of the male participants, then the carbo-loading hosted by the Lapu-Lapu City government.
Saturday, August 5, will start with the Alaska Ironkids, the race’s version for the young ones then the race briefing for the Cobra Ironman 70.3 Philippines.
The main race will kickoff at 6 am on Sunday, August 6. – Rappler.com