Participants concerned about safety of new bike route

By: Mars G. Alison and  Glendale G. Rosal July 04,2018 - 10:22 PM

THE ANNOUNCEMENT of the new course of the 90-kilometer bike leg of the Regent Aguila Ironman 70.3 Asia Pacific Championship happening on August 5 got mixed reactions from participants.

The new bike course will have participants doing three loops within the cities of Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue, passing through the narrow roads of Lapu-Lapu and crossing the Mactan-Mandaue Bridge six times.

While many were elated that a new bike course was found and that the race will push through, some expressed concerns for their safety.

John Philip Dueñas, who has had several podium finishes in the Filipino Elite category of this race, said that the organizers should prioritize the safety of the participants, considering that the covered roads are known to be crowded with people and vehicles.

“The second and third loops are crowded. The route is okay, but the safety of the participants should be prioritized because this area is a bit crowded, and also safety in the looping,” said Dueñas.

Voltaire Montebon, who has been racing in the Ironman 70.3 for the past six years, shared the same sentiment.

“Should be safety first. We need more marshals especially at the crowded areas and narrow places because people there are careless [when] crossing the streets, and there will be a lot of tricycles.”

As for Hazel Busa, another consistent participant of the race, she said the route is dangerous for women and newbies. She and several of her friends are contemplating on asking for a refund or hoping the organizers will allow them to choose from among their other organized races.

“Safety of the participants and spectators must always override potential economic loss,” said Abby Ponce, another participant. “I hope the organizers and authorities hear our concerns, mainly safety.”

Others, however, find the bridge part of a challenge and are already planning their training for it. Some said they prefer crossing the bridge several times than having to contend with the winds at the SRP.

“For my part, this route is very challenging because we will be crossing the bridge six times because of the three loops. Last year, we were up against the winds at the SRP,” said Banjo Norte, one of the Filipino elite top contenders.

“Those who are aiming for the best time should forget about it because this is a difficult route. For me, the bridge is bearable, what’s dangerous is if the elite and pros will be caught in a traffic at the 2nd and 3rd loop because that’s where the age groupers will mostly be,” said Mendel Lopez, another consistent participant of the race.

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TAGS: about, bike, concerned, new, participants, Route, safety

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