CEBU CITY, Philippines – Cebu is gearing up for a huge triathlon event on August 7, 2022 as the IronMan 70.3 Philippines returns with over 1,800 triathletes from 40 countries.
Sunrise Events Inc. (SEI) and Ironman Group Philippines CEO Princess Galura told CDN Digital that they are lining up a large number of triathletes to mark the return of Asia’s biggest triathlon race.
This year’s comeback race will start and end at Mactan Newtown in Lapu-Lapu City.
The IronMan 70.3 Philippines will feature a 1.9 km swim course, a 90 km bike course and a 21 km run course.
This year’s number may not be as high compared to previous editions of IronMan Cebu, but given the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic and Super Typhoon Odette last December, Galura and the rest of the organizing team are delighted to be able to attract so many triathletes.
Galura admitted it was no easy task to bring the IronMan event back to Cebu
In an interview with CDN Digital, Galura said they overcame many challenges along the way just to make racing here possible.
“Perfectly efficient at a high level, having 1,800 triathletes is already a blessing. I knew Cebu as being really fun, spectacular, incredible, but we all know that times have changed after Typhoon Odette, after the pandemic. Triathletes have their challenges too. So I think being at the starting line for all of us, sponsors, government, participants, is a start,” Galura said during the Sun Life 5150 & Go For Last Sunday’s Gold Sprint in Panglao Island, Bohol.
The highest number of participants in the IronMan races in Cebu was 2,967 during the 2016 edition. Triathletes from 43 countries joined this race.
The return of IronMan 70.3 Philippines marks the end of its two-and-a-half-year hiatus due to the pandemic.
Cebu IronMan is expected to offer participants a whole different racing experience this year.
The highlight of this year’s race is the 90-kilometer bike path that crosses the iconic 8.9-kilometer Cebu-Cordova Link (CCLEX) highway.
Mactan Newtown will also host the international triathlon race for the first time since 2012. Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa has hosted the race ever since.
“We also look forward to reuniting with Shangri-La, perhaps in the future. They too have challenges because of Odette. Lahat tayo may kanya-kanyang challenges, my message is that being here, all together again, 1,800 people from over 40 countries, they are not bad guys. So we have to give ourselves a pat on the back by being able to survive Covid-19 and being able to be on the starting line,” Galura said.
READY TO RACE
Galura said they were 85% ready for the race. She said her team will be in Cebu this week to meet with various teams, including Lapu-Lapu City and Cordova City LGUs, to smooth things over with their preparations.
According to Galura, they are confident that they will use the Pilipog-Gabi coastal road project which connects CCLEX, Cordova and Lapu-Lapu City for the cycle path.
The Pilipog-Gabi coastal road project is expected to be completed this month according to Galura.
“The Pilipog-Gabi coastal road project, according to the mayor, will end in July. This is in coordination with DPWH, so we will monitor this progress. It will be a very fantastic race because we have a new central race in Mactan Newtown, we have a new transition between swimming, cycling and we are coming back to Cebu after two years,” added Galura.
Last June, the Central Visayas Department of Health advised the Ironman 70.3 Philippines Technical Working Group to ban unvaccinated triathletes from participating in the race.
However, Galura said they plan to reconsider the decision advised by DOH-7. Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan told him it was discrimination to ban unvaccinated triathletes from competing in the international triathlon event.
“Actually, I’m paying inside DOH-7. Pero, we continue to discuss with Mayor Ahong, because the mayor does not want to discriminate. So hopefully, at this meeting this week, we will get better guidelines and clarity on how they want to handle vaccinated and unvaccinated.”
Amid all the challenges, Galura wants to send a message to everyone involved in the upcoming race.
“It’ll never be as perfect as it used to be, but I’m sure it’s going to be a lot of fun because more than anything else, more than luxury, we’re all coming back together, we’re coming back healthy, we’re alive , we are capable of doing it. We work on it together, keep going and rise to the challenge,” she said.
Crossing the iconic CCLEX highlights the return of IRONMAN 70.3 racing to Cebu
Triathlon is back in force in the Visayas
Subscribe to our regional newsletter