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Saturday, August 22, 2015

2015 Cobra Ironman 70.3 Philippines Weekend

I went to Cebu this year not to race, but to cheer friends who are racing the 2015 Cobra Ironman 70.3 Philippines.

My compadre, Victor Viola, and myself took the early morning flight of August 1 to catch the Alaska Ironkids.  Road leading to Shangri-La Mactan was closed, and we had to walk along Punta Engano to reach the event area.

We were greeted by the big boys who are already on the run leg of the race.  As we reach the gate of Shangri-La, we saw some girls who are finishing their bike leg.  At the finish line, proud parents cheer their children as they run towards the chute and raise the finish tape.  Atmosphere was very festive and everything was truly magical as parents and the Ironkids celebrate the victory of all finishers.

The following day, August 2, marked the 4th staging of the Cobra Ironman 70.3 Philippines in the Queen City of the South - Cebu City!  More than 2,500 athletes participated and they were greeted and cheered by the gracious Cebuanos along the race route.

Sunrise Events finally implemented the rolling start in an Ironman 70.3 event, which allows the participants to safely seed themselves and avoid the harsh "washing machine" start.  The rolling start was actually introduced in 2013 by the World Triathlon Corporation, the owner of the Ironman brand.

We were billeted in Waterfront Mactan, and decided to wait for the triathletes along the bike route.  It was almost 8AM when most of the triathletes passed the Mactan Marina Mall going to Fernan Bridge.

We then walked a good 7 kilometer from Mactan Marina Mall to Shangri-La to watch the triathletes take on the run route of Punta Engano.  Here, we were able to catch some friends who were racing and those who are waiting and watching like us.

This trip inspired me to get back on training, and plan for next year's edition.  I learned that Cebu won the bid for the 2016 Ironman 70.3 Asia Pacific Championship.  It's going to be big, and this is something I surely can't miss.

See you next year!


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