NORTH LOOKING BRIGHT
Ironman organizers courting mayors of five northern LGUs for use of roads for bike leg
With the way things are going, it seems the only option left for organizers of the Regent Aguila Ironman 70.3 Asia Pacific Championships is to go north.
Following Cebu City Mayor Tommy Osmeña’s decision not to allow the use of the Cebu South Coastal Road (CSCR) of the South Road Properties (SRP) for the bike phase of the triathlon event, organizers from the Sunrise Events Inc. (SEI) have been busy looking for other options.
Now, the northern towns of Cebu seem to be the best way to go to accommodate the 90-kilometer bike course.
SEI general manager Princess Galura started talking to the mayors of the northern towns of Consolacion, Liloan, Compostela, and Carmen, and also the mayor of Danao City regarding the possibility of using the national highway for the race that will be held in August 5 starting and finishing at the Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa.
“That’s what we are working on. We are planning to visit three more mayors,” said Galura.
If approved by the five mayors, the new route will bring cyclists to the Cansaga Bay Bridge in Consolacion, then through the Cebu North Coastal Road passing through Tayud, Liloan en route to the National Highway near the San Fernando El Rey Parish Church in Liloan. From there, participants will then pedal their way through the towns of Compostela, Danao City, and Carmen then turn back to the same route going to Shangri-La.
The five mayors SEI will be talking to are Teresa Alegado (Consolacion), Cristina Garcia Frasco (Liloan), Joel Quiño (Compostela), Nito Durano (Danao City), and Gerard Villamor (Carmen).
For the past six years, the CSCR has been used for the bike course of the international triathlon event. Osmeña, however, denied last week SEI’s application to use the road this year due to traffic congestion concerns.
The mayor explained that the CSCR is important for motorists since there is an ongoing construction of an underpass along Natalio Bacalso Avenue in Mambaling. At present, only one lane is open because of the P638-billion project.
Cebu Vice Governor Agnes Magpale on Tuesday suggested that the bike route could instead pass through roads in the northern towns of the province.
She believed it would be a good idea since it could help bolster each town’s tourism industry.
“It’s good that it can be held in the north this time around. Think of the number of tourist who will come. And they’re staying for not just a day,” Magpale said.
Consolacion Mayor Alegado also said she has no problem with letting the bikers use the roads in Barangay Tayud.
“That would be good for us if our place would be part of this prestigious international event,” said Alegado.
The race starts at the Shangri-La with the 1.9-km swim followed by the 90-km bike phase. The last segment is the 21-km run, which will be within Punta Engaño in Lapu-Lapu City. /with a report from correspondent Rosalie Abatayo
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