Over 800 local and foreign triathletes will have their hearts, minds and above all their bodies firmly set and ready on proving themselves “men and women of iron” in the Cobra Ironman 70.3 Philippines on Aug. 22 to be staged at the CamSur Watersports Complex (CWC).
Not just the adult multisports athletes but also the younger set share the same disposition and will have a similar chance to prove their mettle on Aug. 21 during the Alaska Ironkids Phils., a scaled-down versions of the triathlon for kids aged 6 to 14 years.
The Cobra Ironman 70.3 and other past promotion initiatives like international wakeboard, dragon boat and marathon competition have boosted Camarines Sur’s soaring reputation not only as the most visited eco-tourism destination in the country but also as an international extreme sports center.
Now on its second edition of a three consecutive-year franchise, Ironman 70.3 Philippines, which is the Asian segment of the world triathlon championships was realized through the collaborative efforts of Camarines Sur Governor LRay Villafuerte, Alaska Milk Corporation, and Asia Brewery.
At the forefront of the foreign field of participants from 36 countries and seen to stage a repeat performance this year is defending champion Terenzo Bozzone of New Zealand, who will pit speed, strength and endurance against some 12 seeded triathletes including countryman Cameron Brown who finished third and Australian Pete Jacobs who was fourth last year.
Other big-name professionals who are joining the triathlon here for the first time are Paul Amey of United Kingdom, Justin Cole of Australia, Erich Felbabel of Hongkong, Leon Griffin of Australia, and veteran American multisport trainer-athlete Lance Watson, who are taking their first stab at the Cobra 70.3 Philippines triathlon.
Seeded women professionals entered in the triathlon are last year’s fourth placer Hawaiian Bree Wee including former Ironman world champion and Sydney Olympics triathlon silver medalist Michellie Jones of Australia dubbed the “Queen of Triathlon,” another Australian Rachel Paxton, and Magali Tisseyre of Canada.
Local multi-sports standouts are rated number one Filipino triathlete Nonoy Jopson among sixteen elite professionals, as well as first Filipino Mt. Everest conqueror Heracleo “Leo” Oracion, business taipans Fernando Zobel and Wilfred Steven Uytengsu, Jr., Senator Pia Cayetano, screen idol Piolo Pascual, and a host of other local multi-sports aficionados.
As venue host, Governor Villafuerte has assured the province will do its utmost to ensure the safest possible conduct of the competitions including lifeguards every 100 meters, more conspicuous signage and more marshal complementation throughout the entire route. – GBClaveria