PH can host full IronMan, but …

By: Glendale G. Rosal July 07,2016 - 10:16 PM

Organizers of the upcoming Cobra IronMan 70.3 Asia Pacific Championships headed by Wilfred Steven Uytengsu are confident they can hold a full-distance IronMan event in the country but not anytime soon.

Uytengsu, who along with other members of the organizing team, launched the Asia Pacific Championships yesterday at Shangri-La’s The Fort in Taguig City, said they are ready for the challenge of hosting a full-distance triathlon, but there are a lot of aspects that need to be fixed first, particularly with regards to road infrastructure.

“At this point in time, I’m not sure we are right there,” Uytengsu said. “The key of that is the race course. [It should be] pleasurable for the participants. Safety is our top priority. I hope that there are more road improvements under the new administration. Then maybe we can give you a full IronMan distance.”

A full IronMan distance consists of a 2.4-mile (3.86 km) swim, a 112-mile (180.25 km) bicycle ride and a 26.2-mile (42.16 km) run. The IronMan races held here in Cebu in the past five years offers a half IronMan distance of 1.9k swim, 90k bike and 21k run.

The Cebuano Uytengsu, a business tycoon who also owns the Alaska Aces basketball team in the PBA, said he and his team with the Sunrise Events Inc. will first focus on making the Asia Pacific Championships successful to hopefully pave the way for a full IronMan hosting soon.

“Never in my wildest imagination that this will happen; the Asia Pacific Championships. It’s never been held outside Australia. We are very privileged at the same time pressured because it is now the chance for Philippines to shine and to show them what we can do,” Uytengsu said.

The Asia Pacific Championships will be held in the Province of Cebu on Aug. 7, starting and ending at Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa in Lapu-Lapu City. Also involved in the race are the cities of Mandaue, Talisay and Cebu.

Cebu Provincial administrator Mark Tolentino said Cebu is ready, especially when it comes to the roads to be used for the bike leg. He said the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Region VII office assured them that the roads will be in very good condition this year.

Uytengsu said this is a huge help, especially in the country’s bid to host the world championships in the coming years. He added that the result of how the country hosts the Asia Pacific Championships may be used as a basis for the World Triathlon Council (WTC) to consider when the time comes that the Philippines bids for the world championships.

“Let’s prove to them that the Philippines can make this successful. Let’s put the Filipino brand in this race,” said Uytengsu.

Last year’s Cobra Ironman 70.3 Philippines was named by the WTC as the “Crown Jewel of Asia” for its success in providing its participants a unique and memorable experience.

Meanwhile, Uytengsu again has tasked world renowned Cebuano interior designer Kenneth Cobonpue to design this year’s finisher’s medal.

Uytengsu was given a glimpse of this year’s medal during the launch when Cobonpue showed off the design concept of the medal. Uytengsu described the design as the best he has seen so far.

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TAGS: Asia Pacific Championships, bike, Cebu, Cobra, Cobra Ironman 70.3 Asia Pacific Championships, Ironman, Ironman 70.3, marathons, Philippines, run, swim, triathlon, wim

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