The Big Return: Ironman 70.3 Makes Grand Comeback in Cebu with Thousands of Athletes
Ironman’s Crown Jewel of Asia Marks Big Return for Triathlons in Cebu, welcoming almost 2,000 athletes from 46 countries
The highly-anticipated Ironman 70.3 triathlon event is finally set for a return in Cebu this weekend after a longsome pause from the pandemic.
As one of the longest-running race venues for Ironman in the country, the race’s return to Cebu will be a foreign and familiar experience for the athletes.
This tranche will feature tried and tested racing areas in Lapu-Lapu and Cebu City while also introducing new routes such as the Municipality of Cordova, the newly-built CCLEX bridge, and Megaworld’s Mactan Newtown as the race central and starting point.
As the flagship race of the IRONMAN group, the upcoming Ironman 70.3 will be the ultimate test of strength and endurance as athletes traverse Cebu in the swim, bike, and run races for individual and relay categories.
The race will begin at 6:20 am with a 1.9km long swim course that begins and ends at the beachfront of Mactan Newtown.
It will then be followed by a formidable 90km bike race from Mactan Newtown all the way down to SRP and back via the newly completed Pilipog-Gabi Coastal Road and Visayas’s new landmark, the CCLEX bridge.
Finally, athletes will go through a 21km run along Lapu-Lapu City’s Punta Engano stretch and will finish across Savoy Hotel.
With the confirmed participation of almost 2,000 athletes coming from a total of 46 countries, organizers have established precautionary and safety protocols to ensure a safe event on race day.
“Cebu has always been a crowd favorite among our race in the Philippines. This is the location that our international athletes always look forward to. For our grand return since the pandemic, we want to give them the best action while ensuring that our race venues and routes remain safe with the help of our LGU partners. This has been planned for the longest time and we are more than ready to give our athletes the ultimate racing experience,” says Sunrise Events General Manager Princess Galura.
With Megaworld as the title sponsor, its flagship property in Cebu, The Mactan Newtown, will prove to be a perfect race central for the athletes.
“We are excited to show athletes and their supporters the beauty of Mactan. More than a challenge for the athletes, the big race will also mark a return of triathlons in Cebu which would further boost tourism. And as a prime location in Lapu-Lapu City, The Mactan Newtown is ready to welcome these athletes and their throngs of supporters,” said Jennifer Ann Palmares-Fong, Vice President of Sales and Marketing of Megaworld.
AIA Vitality presents this year’s IRONMAN 70.3 race— marking the health and wellness program’s continued to support of the IRONMAN races in an effort to promote a lifestyle that puts a premium on healthier, longer, and better lives.
“It’s been a long 2-year break from such an exciting race and we’re sure you’re all fired up to swim, cycle, and run towards a healthier, longer, better life. We are excited to honor our IRONMEN this year,” says AIA Philippines Head of Health and Wellness Kats Cajucom.
Undoubtedly, one of the highlights of the upcoming race will be the new bike course that will predominantly be situated in the new Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX). Now heralded as the longest and tallest bridge in the country, the 8.9km road that hovers 52 meters above the Mactan channel will be an enduring challenge for the athletes.
“This is the first time for the bridge to host triathlon and it is all the more opportune that it will be for IRONMAN. We understand the long-running tradition between the race and Cebu. And with this partnership, we hope to be a part of that tradition,” says CCLEC general manager and president Allan Alfon.
The triathlon has been in the planning stages before the pandemic and has been a collaborative effort from the private and public sectors alike. The big race day expects to highlight Lapu-Lapu City and the municipality of Cordova where a significant chunk of the races will take place.
“We are more than ready for the weekend’s race. The city has always been a strong and unwavering partner for IRONMAN and we can’t wait to reignite the love for the sports while we also introduce the beauty of Lapu-Lapu to our athletes,” says Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan.
Meanwhile, as a neophyte partner in the race, the Municipality of Cordova will be a significant linkage from Mactan Newtown to SRP via its newly completed Pilipog-Gabi coastal that links to CCLEX.
“We are excited for this collaboration as we show the beauty of Cordova and Cebu as whole to the international stage,” says Cordova Mayor Cesar “Didoy” Suan.
The IRONMAN 70.3 races in the Philippines have been the flagship triathlon in Asia for the IRONMAN Group. Since its official incorporation into the IRONMAN Group, Sunrise Events Inc. expects to jumpstart triathlon again more frequently in the country. “It was a difficult resting period for us because we understand and know the spirit of triathlons. This big return in Cebu will just be the first of many triathlons to come,” says Sunrise Events Inc. founder Fred Uytengsu.
Highly regarded as the crown jewel in Asia for triathlons, the big return in Cebu is both a strategic and symbolic approach.
“Cebu has always been one of the most significant race venues that we have in Asia so we see it very appropriate to have the big return of IRONMAN here. It’s the perfect venue that highlights the beauty of the City’s man-made and natural structures as well as exhibits just the right levels of challenge that our athletes can look forward to,” says IRONMAN Group managing director Jeff Edwards.
With just two days left before the big day, organizers from both private and public sectors in Cebu are gearing up for a successful race.
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