SEI diffuses potential Ironman race hiccups
As race day nears, Sunrise Events Inc. (SEI), the organizer of the Cobra Ironman 70.3 Philippines, is faced with another potential headache for the August 2 race that will start and finish at the plush Shangri-la’s Mactan Resort and Spa.
This after a portion of Plaridel St. in Mandaue City, which is part of the 90-kilometer bike route, is currently undergoing repair by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
SEI project director Princess Galura met with the media yesterday during the event’s Cebu launching at the Laguna Garden Cafe and assured everyone that they already have a contingency plan.
Galura said that although DPWH officials told her they cannot complete the project before the big event, she said the completed portion of the road can be used for the Ironman bikers.
“Since the participants will only pass the area twice, going to SRP and back to Shangri-La, we decided to use the completed portion of the road which has two lanes, just enough to let the participants pass,” Galura said.
“Yes, it will affect the race but we can do nothing about it,” Galura added.
In 2013, the Ironman 70.3 in Cebu got a rating of 97.6 percent, making it the world’s second best Ironman race according to the World Triathlon Council (WTC).
However, last year, during Cebu’s third hosting of the race, the rating drastically dropped to 80 percent because of the poor road condition in the North Reclamation Area and S. Osmeña, a crucial stretch for the bike leg.
Another potential problem was also addressed early this year with the postponement of the planned repair of the Marcelo Fernan Bridge.
“This is a record-breaking number. It’s the biggest so far in the history of the race that’s why the Cebu Ironman is called the Crown Jewel of Asia. We only allocated a few slots because we don’t want to compromise the experience of the participants by overcrowding the race,” Galura said.
The reason for the record attendance is attributed to the annual Asia-Pacific Ironman conference which Cebu is also hosting during the race week.
This year’s edition drew 1,879 Filipino triathletes, 176 from Singapore, 79 from Australia, 61 from the US, 49 from Hong Kong and Japan, 26 from Malaysia, 22 from Indonesia and 21 from France.
The race will feature 1.9k swim, 90k bike and 21k run which is half the distance of the full Ironman.
Extra patience will come in handy on race day especially those going to the Mactan Cebu International Airport as major roads will be closed.
In Lapu-Lapu City, roads from Punta Engaño to ML Quezon Avenue going to the Marcelo Fernan Bridge will be closed during the race.
From Punta Engaño going to Amisa, the road will be closed from 4 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Motorists going to the airport can use the Sangi Motumbo road but trucks, trailers and tourist buses are prohibited to use this diversionary route.
In Mandaue City, motorists coming from northern Cebu must take the Lopez Jaena and MC Briones Sts. while those bound for Lapu-Lapu City and MCIA may use the Lopez Jaena St., MC Briones St. and UN avenue. All motorists bound for Mandaue City and Cebu City must use the same routes while vehicles bound for MCIA must take S.B Cabahug St. to UN Avenue.
In Cebu City, the entire S. Osmeña road as well as the Mahiga Bridge, Legaspi Extension and the underpass going to South Road Properties (SRP) will be closed from 5 a.m. to 12 noon.
Road closures in Talisay City will cover the Cebu South Coastal Road to Congressman Bacaltos Road from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m.
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