Cebu braces for big Cobra Ironman staging

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Australian Tim Reed goes for back-to-back 2017 Cobra Energy Drink Ironman 70.3 Philippines. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Preparations are in full swing for the 2017 Cobra Energy Drink Ironman 70.3 Philippines on August 6 with Cebu putting its best foot forward to ensure another successful staging of the country’s premier triathlon.

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The Queen City of the South earned raves from all over following its hosting of last year’s first-ever Ironman 70.3 Asia Pacific where Australian Tim Reed and Swiss Caroline Steffen ruled their respective sides to share top honors at Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa.

With the organizing Sunrise Events, Inc., they are guaranteeing another world-class setup for the grueling 1.9K swim, 90K bike, 21K run race that starts and ends at Shangri-La’s Mactan Resorts and Spa.

Reed is back to defend his crown against a stellar roster of pros and though Steffen has opted not to seek a repeat – actually missing out on a shot at a sixth straight title in Cebu, the depth of the women’s field remains as talent-laden as ever with Dimity-Lee Duke going for a follow-up to her breakthrough win in Regent 5150 Triathlon in Subic recently.

As determined to race for top honors as the more than 27 pros are a number of Filipino elite aces, CEO tri racers and close to 2,000 age-groupers and mixed, all-male, and all-female relay participants.

August Benedicto and Monica Torres are also expected to defend their respective titles in the Filipino Elite category, which stakes $1,000 to the winner.

A record 51 countries and a running roster of 2,696 participants have so far signed up for the blue-ribbong event backed by title sponsor Cobra Energy Drink and presentor Tourism Promotions Board Philippines and Summit Natural Drinking Water, also the official hydration partner.

Listup for the pros is ongoing with deadline set on July 16. For details, visit sunriseevents.com.ph.

Also on tap are the IronGirl on Aug. 4, a 5km fun run for females 12 years old and above, and the popular IronKids on Aug. 5.

The race will take competitors on a swim at the beachfront of Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa, then on a bike course that features punishing climbs at the Marcelo Fernan bridge to the Cebu International Convention Center then head to the iconic Plaza Independencia through the Cebu South Coastal Road Tunnel on the way to the Cebu South Coastal Road in Talisay and back to Mactan Newtown.

The culminating run stage, on the other hand, is a 2-loop course of flat terrain of mixed asphalt and concrete roads from Shangri-La Mactan Resort and Spa to Punta Engaño and back.

Other backers of the event are Asics, Gatorade, Prudential Guarantee, Philippine Airlines, Globe, Oakley, TYR and Active Network.

Other sponsors are Mactan Resort & Spa, Lapu-Lapu City, Megaworld, Sun Life Financial, David’s Salon, Intercare, Alaska, GU, Timex, DeVant, Regent, Omega Pain Killer, Sanicare, AlcoPlus, Bionic Cebu, Daylong and media partners The Philippine Star, ABS-CBN Sports + Action, AsiaTRI.com and Finisher Pix.

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