City of Naga impresses international triathletes after hosting first-ever 5150 race

By: Mars G. Alison April 28,2019 - 05:56 PM

CITY OF NAGA, CEBU, Philippines—The City of Naga, one of the key cities of the Cebu Province,  just made its mark in the world of international triathlon races.

This after it successfully hosted its first-ever 5150 triathlon race on Sunday, April 28, 2019, with pros coming from Australia, New Zealand, Guam and Hungary promising to return for another race in this city located south of Cebu.

“It had that 70.3 quality, which I’ve always tried, beautiful swim course, the bike course, I think having that multi flat in five loops is actually great, the crowd was really good, we had great support out there,” said Sam Betten of Australia who bagged the pros male title of the inaugural 5150 triathlon race in Naga.

The 5150, which is the Ironman version of the Olympic distance triathlon race, is an international event, and was held for the first time in Cebu after Subic and Bohol.    

“It’s a nice coast, we’ve had had the opportunity going on nice smooth roads, there’s actually some beautiful weather, it always seems to be sunny, and you got nice  beach to swim in, great environment and very welcoming people, so we’re  looking forward to it,” said Alexander Polizzi also of Australia, who came in second to Betten.

Betten made negotiating the 1.5 kilometer swim, 40-kilometer bike and 10-kilometer run easy after crossing the finish line with a time of one hour, 59 minutes and 32 seconds (1:59:32).

Proof that Betten was enjoying the course was that he had built a sizeable lead over Polizzi, who came in almost four minutes behind him at 2:03:55. 

“Sunrise (Events Inc.) just did a phenomenal job here. Thank you Cebu, thank you to the mayor (of Naga), thank you to Sunrise Events, all the people supporting this, this is a phenomenal local event. If you haven’t been here for the first time, you’d think that this race has been run for 10 years, you got professionals out here,” added Betten.

Most of the pros have already raced in Sunrise Events Inc. (SEI)-organized events in the Philippines but this is their first time to race in the City of Naga. This is also the first time that an SEI event is brought to the southern part of Cebu. 

SEI general manager Princess Galura said that they chose Naga because the Cebu Province, with whom they have been partnering for the Ironman 70.3 held in Cebu every August for the last seven years, wanted to bring the races to the southern part of Cebu.

“No.1, a 5150 is a shorter race, we want people to make sure that they’re ready for a longer race, the 70.3 and second, the Province of Cebu would like to share the benefits of hosting a big sporting event to the southern part or other parts of the province because in the past, we always stayed in Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue. But, we want to share it now toward  the area of Naga, Minglanilla and Talisay,” said Galura. 

Completing the top 3 in the male pros was another Australian Mitch Robins who clocked 2:05:34.

The female pros title was clinched by New Zealand’s Amelia Watkinson who finished the whole course in 2:06:44.

She was trailed by Hungary’s Anna Eberhardt (2:14:51) at second place and Guam’s Manami Ijima (2:16:16) at third place.

Cebu City Rider Omega Triathlon Team’s Jorry Ycong and Banjo Norte made a 1-2 finish in the Asian Elite category.

Ycong bagged his third 5150 title after finishing the race in 2:12:15 while Norte came in second at 2:14:45. /bmjo

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TAGS: City of Naga, Naga 5150

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