The IRONMAN 70.3 Puerto Princesa international field braces for a blistering race on a course positioned as a sprint distance and at the same time exacting when the premier endurance event is held Nov. 13 in Palawan.
Over 1,200 bidders from 26 countries are all geared up for the top triathlon event marking its first foray in what has been billed as a City in a Forest so rich in natural wonders and widely regarded as the “Gateway to Paradise.”
In nine days time, however, it could become a place of trial for the merry mix of triathletes all primed for the grueling test of speed and staying power in the 1.9km swim, 90km bike and 21.1k run on a course set up to international standards.
“We have a very fast, challenging and scenic racecourse and we are so delighted to share what we have been working on for a very long time,” said race director Neville Manaois.
The 1.9km (1.2-mile) swim course will fire off at the Puerto Princesa Bay Walk Park with the field next tackling a challenging 90km (56-mile) three-loop ride from the southern part of Puerto Princesa to the Iwahig Bridge. The closing 21.1km (13.1-mile) run will be held along the bay to the city center all the way to the finish line at the Ramon Mitra Jr. Sports Complex, according to the organizing The IRONMAN Group/Sunrise Events, Inc.
Maynard Pecson clocked 4:45:28 in winning the IM 70.3 Subic last March, the first IRONMAN Asia event in two years while Germany-based August Benedicto timed 4:29:16 in topping the IM 70.3 in Cebu last August with Manaois confident of besting those times by the Puerto Princesa winner.
“For such a long time, we have dreamed of bringing the IRONMAN 70.3 to Puerto Princesa and now it’s here, we can’t help our excitement,” added Manaois, who also cited the host city’s all-out support through Mayor Lucilo Bayron.
Registration is ongoing. For details, visit www.ironman.com/im703-puerto-princesa, firstname.lastname@example.org, or www.ironman.com for brand and global event series.
The entry list in the individual competition is now pegged at 895 with the relay mixed cast now numbering to 177. The men’s and women’s relay field has drawn 93 and 48 entries, respectively.
Backed by Active, Athletic Brewing Co., Breitling, Fulgaz, Gatorade, Hoka Fly Human Fly, Hyperice, Qatar Airways, ROKA, Santini, Vinfast, Wahoo, the event has lured triathletes from various age-group classes from the US, Hong Kong, Guam, Singapore, France, the United Kingdom, Australia, India and Japan.
Other countries represented are Brazil, Thailand, the Netherlands, South Africa, Vietnam, New Zealand, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Turkey, Korea, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Saint Lucia and Guatemala.