Sam Betten and Dimity Lee Duke set out for the Bellevue Resort 5i50 Triathlon unfolding Nov. 6 at the Bellevue Resort in Panglao Island, Bohol, upbeat of their chances but wary of the elite field out to foil their back-to-back title bids.
The Australian duo dominated the 1.5k swim, 40k bike and 10k run event last year but will be in for a tougher challenge this time with a crack set of rivals all primed up for a shot at 5i50 honors and the $2,000 top prize in both sides.
They include fellow Aussies Alexander Polizzi and Michelle Duffield, Amelia Rose Watkinson of New Zealand and local based Dan Brown and top Filipina elite Monica Torres along with the top triathletes from Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Europe, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom and the United States.
“This is going to be exciting. Betten and Duke will be hard-pressed to score a repeat with the rest of the cast coming into the event in top form, guaranteeing a wide-open race for top honors,” said Fred Uytengsu, founder of the organizing Sunrise Events, Inc.
He added that the defending champions are coming back not only because they want to defend their titles but also because they genuinely love Bohol and Panglao Island.
“We realize the best way to promote the best places in the Philippines is to do triathlon so we thought of tying up with Sunrise for this race,” said Bellevue Hotels managing director Ryan Chan during yesterday’s event launch at Bellevue Hotel Alabang.
Registration is ongoing with limited slots up for grabs for early bird and the 5+1 promo. For details, visit www.bellevue.5150philippines.com.
To spice up the twin events, a 5i50 Expo Open and Bike Service Open will be held on Nov. 4-5 at The Bellevue Pavilion.
Action is also expected to be fierce and tight in the elite division which offers P30,000 to the winners in the men’s and women’s categories.
SEI and Bellevue Resort, a world-class resort on the coastline of Panglao Island in Bohol, have also lined up a challenging course with the swim stage to start in the shores of Bellevue Hotel. The bike and run legs will be relatively flat but also feature narrow roads and hilly areas.
Meanwhile, SEI is also putting up the Sunrise Sprint, a short distance race series and a sub-category of The Bellevue 5i50 featuring a 750m swim, a 20k bike and a 5k run held for the second time this year but first in Bohol.
Backers of the event are The Bellevue Resort as official hotel, Active Network (official registration partner), 2Go Express (official logistics and courier partner), Powerade (official hydration partner), Wilkins Pure (official hydration partner), Alaska Milk Corp., David’s Salon, GU Energy Gel, Prudential Guarantee, Intercare, TYR, Newton, The Bellevue Resort and Province of Bohol (host venues), Municipality of Dauis and Municipality of Panglao (bike course partners), The Philippine Star, Trilife Magazine, AsiaTRI.com and FinisherPix (media partners) and Ford, Cetaphil, Devant, Daylong, Motor Ace, Regent, Sanicare and Storck Bicycle (marketing sponsors).
The Bellevue 5i50 also caps SEI’s triathlon calendar for the year that included the Xterra Albay, Century Tuna Ironman 70.3 and the Alaska Ironkids in Subic, the Alaska Ironkids Aquathlon at The Village Sports Club in Paranaque and Subic, the Regent 5i50 Triathlon, also in Subic the Cobra Ironman 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championship and the Alaska Ironkids Triathlon in Cebu.