PILI, Camarines Sur – Local athletes are set on not giving away any quarters and simply letting foreign and other national triathletes dominate the forthcoming second edition of the Cobra Energy Drink Ironman 70.3 Philippines slated Aug. 22 at the Camarines Sur Watersports Complex (CWC) .
Camarines Sur sports buffs are seemingly unfazed by the daunting exhibition of speed, strength and stamina demonstrated by visiting participants during the maiden staging of the Ironman 70.3 Philippines here last year. The triathlon was the very first such international event to be held in the country.
Over 800 triathletes have already registered to date, a big number of them are homegrown, who are confident to pit their skills and staying power against the big names of international triathlon tourneys coming from no less than 34 countries around the globe who will be competing in 12 professional and age categories and four relay categories – all female, all male, mixed and corporate.
With the growing surge of entrants, the organizers are optimistic the total participation may reach as many as 20,000 come ground zero day.
At the forefront of local sportsfolk with the grit to challenge the triathlon Goliaths from all over the world is no other than Governor LRay Villafuerte, an accomplished sportsman in his own right, and spouse Lara.
The governor is enrolled to tackle the running segment for the CamSur Tri Team 4 All Male relay team while his First Lady will handle the pedaling for the CamSur Tri Team 3 All Female relay crew.
The CamSur Tri Team, founded by Governor Villafuerte after last year’s Ironman 70.3, has in fact fielded tour relay teams, one composed of graduates of the Camarines Sur Sports Academy (CSA), which is another sports-related project of the province and is the first and only such educational institution focused on sports.
Another team is composed of present students of the CSA, and two teams manned by members of the CamSur Cycling Team, another sporting group supported by Governor Villafuerte.
In the individual events, Governor Villafuerte has also sponsored CSA graduates—Cris Dimaano and Mark Anthony Hosana—who both survived their baptism of fire in last year’s Ironman with colors well aloft, plus two more members of the CamSur Tri Team, Philip Atento and Joel Javier who were selected through rigorous tryouts and are also veterans of last year’s Ironman and other triathlons across the country.
Noted Filipino sportsmen who have registered in the Ironman 70.3 include Noy Jopson who is conceded to be the number one Filipino Ironman today, Heracleo “Leo” Oracion who is the first Filipino to ascent the summit of Mt. Everest, Alaska’s CEO Wilfred Steven Uytengsu, Jr., Senator Pia Cayetano, the showbiz heartthrob Piolo Pascual, and other nationally known personalities.
Among their foreign protagonists and stars both foreign and local triathletes will have their eyes on will be New Zealand’s Terenzo Bozzone, who topped last year’s Ironman 70.3 men’s professional and his fellow Kiwi Cameron Brown who finished third and Australian Pete Jacobs who was fourth.
Other international men’s pro big names who are here for the first time are Paul Amey of United Kingdom, Leon Griffin of Australia, Lance Watson of USA, Fredrik Cronenborg of Sweden, Justin Cole of Australia, Erich Felbabel of Hong Kong, and Philippine-based Wayne Dearing.
Rated women triathletes now registered include Hawaiian Bree Wee who placed in last years Ironman, Rachel Paxton of Australian, and Magali Tisseyre of Canada who will be in the contest for the first time. – GB Claveria