The stage is set for the biggest triathlon event on Philippine soil as the Cobra Energy Drink Ironman 70.3 Asia Pacific Championships presented by Ford blasts off on August 7 in Cebu.
Close to 3,000 competitors led by defending champions Tim Reed and Caroline Steffen are set to answer the starting gun for the prestigious race that starts and ends at Shangri-La Mactan Resort and Spa. This will mark the first time the AsPac tourney will be held outside of Australia.
“On August 7, we’ll have over 2,900 athletes from 43 countries, marking the biggest triathlon in the history of the Philippines,” Wilfred Uytengsu, president of the organizing Sunrise Events, Inc. said during Thursday’s kick-off event at Shangri-La at The Fort.
“We will assemble the largest cast of professional triathletes – over 30, many of whom are world champions competing and preparing not just for the rights to be Asia Pacific champion but also for the world championships in Australia set a few months after the race,” he added.
Produced and organized by Sunrise Events and backed by Cobra Energy Drink as title sponsor with Ford as Presenting Sponsor, the 1.9K swim, 90K bike, 21K run race will also offer the biggest prize money ever in the Philippines at $75,000 and the highest points earned.
Uytengsu was joined in the launch by Hubert Tan, Asia Brewery, Inc. Senior Vice President, Commercial Division, Ford Philippines managing director Lance Mosley, Tourism Promotions Board COO Domingo Ramon Enerio, Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza, Cebu Provincial Administrator Mark Tolentino, Globe Telecoms VP for content Jil Go, Shangri-La Mactan director of sales Natalia Zotova, and renowned designer Kenneth Cobonpue, who once more designed the medals for the winners. Matteo Guidicelli co-hosted the launch with Chiqui Reyes.
“On its fifth year in Cebu, the Province will be ready to welcome all participants and their families with the traditional Cebuano warmth and festivities,” said Tolentino.
“Year on year, we dream bigger, we grow stronger and we aim to achieve greater heights. For eight years we’re able to successfully grow and build a community of enthusiasts who dare to push their mind, body and spirit to its limit. And on this year, first time in the history of Ironman 70.3 that the Asia Pacific Championship is outside Australia. We celebrate and share this moment of well-deserved success with everyone behind Cobra Ironman,” said Tan.
The event backed by Ford as presenting sponsor, Globe as official wireless and broadband services partner, Philippine Airlines, Summit Water, Department of Tourism, Tourism Promotions Board, 2Go Express (official courier and logistics partner), Asics, Gatorade, Mactan Resort and Spa, Cebu Province, Lapu Lapu City, Cebu City, Talisay City, Prudential Guarantee, Oakley and Timex will offers 50 slots to the 2017 Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Other sponsors are Alaska, David’s Salon, Intercare, Gu gel, Kenneth Cobonpue, Megaworld Mactan Newtown, Sun Life Financial, TYR, media partners The Philippine Star, ABS-CBN Sports+Action, TriLife Magazine, AsiaTri, FinisherPix, technology partner Xurpas, official hotels Shangri-La Mactan Resort and Spa, Be Resorts Mactan, Crimson Resort and Spa Mactan, Waterfront Hotel and Casino Mactan, Movenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu and official registration partner Active Network.
Action will be aired live on www.ironman.com courtesy of Globe Telecoms, according to SEI.
Celebrities slated to see action include Piolo Pascual, Paul Jake Castillo, Dingdong Dantes, Gretchen Fullido, Kim Atienza, Apl de Ap, Dyan Castillejo, Ivan Carapiet, Bubbles Paraiso, Xander Angeles, Anthony and Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan, Sara Black, Gilbert Remulla, and SEI’s Uytengsu.