Acea Subic Bay, Zambales—Will Mitch Robins of Australia and Manami Iijima of Guam leave us with a distinct feeling of déjà vu by ruling the second Black Arrow Express 5150 which fires off here today, Sunday, Oct. 27?
Robins and Iijima won the men’s and women’s category in the inaugural race here last year and are back to protect their crowns in the 1.5k swim, 40k bike and 10k run Olympic Distance race.
Aussie Sam Betten, Czech Jakub Langhammer, Aussie Dimity Lee Duke as well as Laura Wood of New Zealand will have a lot to say when these world class professional triathletes compete for the top prize.
The competitors are one in saying that managing the heat in this tropical setting will be a big factor on who wins the race.
The multi-titled Betten, a frequent participant in Sunrise Events races held here in the Philippines, is confident that his familiarity with the terrain and weather will be enough to hand him the victory.
“The heat is always a big factor when racing in the Philippines and especially in Subic Bay. Having raced in Subic Bay many times both in the Ironman 70.3 and 5150 events I feel like I know what to expect and how to prepare for such tough conditions,” said Betten.
Langhammer who beat Robins in the Penong’s 5150 held in Davao last July is equally confident that he can adjust to the weather enough to win.
“I would say that the heat factor is one of the biggest factors in a race like 5150 Subic Bay. I remember that last year was really hot. Tempo during Olympic distance race is always so fast. Faster than 70.3 or IRONMAN. So you have to make sure to stay hydrated and cooling your body as much as possible. Racing in heat is really hard especially during the run. My secret is not to run so fast during the first half part of the run and always take water or ice on each aid station,” said Langhammer.
Wood, like the other competitors, will be mindful of dealing with the extreme heat on race day.
“The heat is always a big factor racing in Subic. I raced the 70.3 in Subic earlier in the year and managed the heat by making the most of every aid station by drinking water and Coke plus pouring water on my head. The race this weekend is much shorter but I will probably still use the same strategy,” said Wood.
Last year Betten raced almost side-by-side through the swim and bike stages with Robins who eventually won. Robins only pulled ahead when he unleashed a strong finishing kick in the last of the two-loop run to prevail.
Iijima on the other hand prevailed over Duke last year when she leaned on a solid start to post a comfortable lead in the swim and bike stage. Iijima survived the strong finishing run by Duke to win.
A companion event is the Go for Gold Sunrise Sprint—a short distance triathlon series featuring a 750m open-water swim, 20km bike ride and a 5km run put up by Go for Gold to help Filipino athletes achieve excellence in their sport – which will be held on the same date.
Venue hosts of the Black Arrow Express 5150 are Subic Bay and ACEA Subic Bay. Other backers are TYR (official swim brand), GU (official energy gel), David’s Salon and F2P Sportswear as major sponsors. Media partners ONE Sports on Cignal, Crosstrain.ph, MBody.ph, Trilife, AsiaTri.com and FInisherPix with Alaska, AlcoPlus, Australia Harvest, Cetaphil, DeVant, Sanicare, Regent, Storck and Timex as marketing partners.