Enjoy the race, enjoy the people, enjoy Cebu…but

By: Glendale G. Rosal August 02,2015 - 11:16 AM

Ironman kids

Enjoy the race. Load up on the locals’ warm hospitality and bask in the festive atmosphere of the Cobra Ironman 73.3 Philippines.

But at the same time, be on the lookout for possible dangers lurking in the entire 112.9-kilometer route like stray dogs, uneven roads and kids crossing the streets.

This warning was aired by race organizers as a record field of 2,618 triathletes from 52 countries straddle the cities of Lapu-Lapu, Mandaue, Cebu and Talisay today for the year’s biggest sporting event which starts and ends at the posh Shangri-la’s Mactan Resort and Spa.

“I look at this audience in total awe because seven years ago, we were just 450. And never in my wildest imagination would I expect today’s record field of 2,618 triathletes,” said Sunrise Events Inc (SEI) CEO and President Wilfred Steven Uytengsu during yesterday’s official race briefing.

The atmosphere inside Shangri-la’s Mactan Resort and Spa remained festive following Friday’s announcement of Cebu’s hosting of the Ironman 70.3 Asia Pacific Championships on August 7 next year.

SEI Project director and general manager Princess Galura for her part, assured everyone that it will be a memorable race. “It’s gonna be festive. I hope everyone will have a good time. We will be there for them in the entire race,” said Galura.”

This year’s festive theme is reflective of the world famous Sinulog Festival in Cebu City and Lapu-Lapu City’s Kadaugan sa Mactan.

Witnessing today’s mammoth event are organizers of various Ironman 70.3 races in the Asia Pacific region who attended the Ironman Asia Pacific Conference along with WTC officials.

Organizers warned participants to be on the lookout for stray dogs, children crossing the street to pick up hydration bottles and most especially the pot holes.

In yesterday’s Alaska IronKids, a girl  almost fell off her bike after a stray dog suddenly crossed the street.

Last year, not a few racers complained about children suddenly crossing their path to pick up water bottles. In fact a policeman broke his arm after being hit by a female biker who lost control of her bike trying to evade a crossing child. Last year’s bike route drew the biggest flak with most of the North Reclamation Roads under repair.

This year, there will be nine ambulances stationed in key areas of the route according to the head of the medical team Dr. Peter Mancao. He said that no less than 80 medical personnel will man the finish area.

The renovated stretch of Plaridel St. in Mandaue City finally got a last minute facelift courtesy of the Cebu Provincial government’s engineers tasked by Provincial administrator Atty. Mark Tolentino.

Engineers evened the surface by covering it with asphalt. “I am more confident this time because the Cebu Provincial government took over DPWH in fixing Plaridel St. We are more in control of the area right now after they took over. They made temporary asphalting in the excavated part to make sure that the road will have two lanes during the race, one lane going to SRP and one going back to the transition area in Mactan New Town,” Galura added.

Tolentino himself will join the race as a member of a relay team tasked to run the 21k course.

Galura added that they are continuing to pray for good weather today despite the announcement made by weather man Kim Atienza that there’s only a small chance of rain. “We continue to pray for good weather and also for everyone’s safety, Galura said.

The race will kick off at 6:27 a.m. with the pro and Filipino elite racers going first.

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TAGS: bike, Cebu, Cobra Ironman 70.3, Ironman 70.3 news, run, swim, triathlon

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