Benedicto, Santiago rule Cebu Ironman 70.3 race

By: Glendale G. Rosal - Multimedia Correspondent - CDN Digital | August 07,2022 - 06:28 PM
August Benedicto, a Filipino triathlete based in Germany, finished first in men's division of today's Megaworld Cebu Ironman 70.3 competition . | Photo by John Velez Photography via Glendale Rosal

August Benedicto, a Filipino triathlete based in Germany, finished first in men’s division of today’s Megaworld Cebu Ironman 70.3 competition . | Photo by John Velez Photography via Glendale Rosal

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Highly-regarded Filipino triathletes, August Benedicto and Ines Santiago, lorded over the Megaworld Cebu Ironman 70.3 Philippines on Sunday, August 7, 2022 at the Mactan Newtown in Lapu-Lapu City.

Both triathletes put on impressive come-from-behind performances to rule the major international triathlon event dubbed as the “Comeback Race,” after being postponed for nearly three years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Benedicto and Santiago trailed in most parts of the race, but they managed to nose out fellow contenders in the run portion’s final stretch to win the overall title and the $300 purse apiece. 

The race fielded in a total of 1,928 triathletes from 46 countries. 

The 38-year-old Benedicto, who together with his family is currently based in Germany, finished the grueling 1.9-kilometer swim, 90k bike, and 21k run with the time of 4 hours, 29 minutes, and 16 seconds.

Meanwhile, the 40-year-old Santiago, the reigning Century Ironman Philippines full-distance champion, clocked in at 05:23.13 to emerge as the fastest female triathlete. 

Benedicto nosed out erstwhile leader and fellow Filipino Satar Salem, despite meeting a minor accident during the run portion. Benedicto bumped a child who crossed the road while running. 

Despite the mishap, Benedicto finished the swim in 35:17, while completing the bike at 2:19.34, and wrapped up the run in 1:29.43. 

He also earned P10,000 for tallying the fastest bike split among 516 male triathletes to bag home P10,000 additional purse. 

Australian Mark Jansen placed second in 4:38.39, while John Dedeus Alcala rounded off the top three in 4:37.54. 

Salem dropped to fourth place overall in 4:38.39, while Jailani Lamama grabbed the fifth place in 4:39.38. 

Sixth to seventh placers in the men’s overall were Leonard Rondina (4:43.09), Petr Lukosz (4:43.39), Jorry Ycong (4:44.01), Mervin Rencel Santiago (4:44.08), and Abdul Rahman Toroganan (4:46.00) respectively. 

“Water was the most challenging part of the race. I was thirsty the whole race because of the weather, but I enjoyed it and I didn’t think of winning the race. I just enjoyed my return here in Cebu,” said Benedicto, the pride of Tarlac City.

Benedicto also said that he had a tough time training for the race since he was helping his wife in nursing their two toddlers in Germany, especially during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ines Santiago came in first in the women's division of the Megaworld Cebu Ironman 70.3 race. | Photo by John Velez Photography via Glendale Rosal

Ines Santiago came in first in the women’s division of the Megaworld Cebu Ironman 70.3 race. | Photo by John Velez Photography via Glendale Rosal

Super Negrense shines

In the distaff side, Santiago also known as the “Super Negrense” of Bacolod City was also trailing behind the race. She trailed eventual fourth placer Wang Ruby Cheng of Hong Kong and eventual second placer Leyann Ramo.

Cheng, who was leading the swim and bike legs, got dislodged by Ramo in the first 10k of the run portion, while Ramo was trailing behind them.

Santiago then displayed her winning form by grabbing the lead in the final stretch of the run, en route to winning the title. 

Ramo clocked in 5:32.00 to finish second, while Cebuana Cianyl Jamae Gonzales completed the top three with the time of 05:36.09. Cheng tallied 5:36.53 official time for fourth place, while Malaysian Mei See Chin grabbed the fifth place in 05:42.33. 

“I really enjoyed the bike course. The run was also nice and shaded. I’m really grateful for the nice weather today. I know it was a tough course to race, I expected so much about that, but the weather was great and I enjoyed the race a lot,” said Santiago. 

Aside from topping the overall race, Benedicto also topped his age category, the 35-39 years old male category, while Santiago for the 40-44 years old female category.

Cebu relay teams rule

Meanwhile, Cebuano relay teams ruled the top three overall places in the relay category. 

Team Spectrum Nephro Mayo, Team Go4Less1, and Team Spectrum Mayo Kidney Care grabbed the top to third places respectively. 

Team Spectrum Nephro Mayo finished the race in 4:11.40, while Team Go4Less1 wrapped up the race in 4:14.02, and Team Spectrum Mayo Kidney Care tallied 4:18.07. 

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TAGS: August Benedicto, Benedicto, Cebu‬, Cebu City, Cebu Daily News, cebu news, Cebu relay teams, Ines Santiago, Lapu-Lapu City, Mactan Newtown, Megaworld Cebu Ironman 70.3, Santiago, South Road Properties, Team Go4Less1, Team Spectrum Mayo Kidney Care, Team Spectrum Nephro Mayo

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