Dimity-Lee Duke is all geared up for the Cobra Energy Drink Ironman 70.3 Philippines set on August 6 in Cebu, hoping to ride the momentum of a big victory in a recent local race and atone for a mediocre finish the last time out.
Duke struggled to place fifth in last year’s Cobra Ironman Asia-Pacific Championship but the veteran Australian campaigner is brimming with confidence heading to the country’s premier triathlon event at Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa.
She has looked forward to racing again in the Queen City of the South where she hopes to finally reign supreme against an equally talented field that includes some of the world’s leading endurance runners in the event organized by Sunrise Events, Inc.
“Sure, I am really looking forward to racing in Cebu again. It’s one of the most fun and energetic events on the Ironman circuit,” said Duke, who scored a breakthrough victory in the Regent 5150 Triathlon in Subic after coming tantalizingly close in the past two editions. “I also look forward to seeing my Pinoy friends and triathlon family there.”
But the likes of compatriots Jacqueline Thisleton, Alise Selsmark, Kirra Seidel, Monica Juhart and Kerry Mulholland, Hungarian Anna Eberhardt, New Zealand’s Amelia Watkinson and local bet Kim Kilgroe have also trained their sights on her, all raring to foil her and claim the coveted women’s crown worth $5,000.
All her rivals pack impressive credentials, led by Thisleton, who topped the Age Group Athlete Overall in last year’s Ironman 70.3 World Championship and prevailed in Cairns and Port Macquaire, and Seidel, winner of last year’s Ironman 70.3 in Korea.
Meanwhile, fellow Aussie Tim Reed is also hard-pressed in the men’s side of the country’s premier triathlon with the bemedaled triathlon going for a rare three-peat in the 1.9K-swim, 90K-bike, 21K-run event backed by title sponsor Cobra Energy Drink and presentor Tourism Promotions Board Philippines and Summit Natural Drinking Water, also the official hydration partner.
The reigning world champion will be up against a crack field, led by compatriot Tim Van Berkel, Mauricio Mendez of Mexico, Brent McMahon of Canada, Kiwi Cameron Brown, another Aussie ace Sam Betten, who shared top honors with Duke in the recent Regent 5150.
Also in the fold are Braden Currie, Eddie Rawles and Callum Millward of New Zealand, David Mainwaring, Alexander Polizzi and Luke Bell of Australia, Americans Brad Williams and Iain Alexandridis, Czech Jakub Langhammer, Johan Stofberg of South Africa, Italian Jonathan Ciavatella and Eric Watson of Bahrain, all going all out to beat Reed’s 3:51:46 clocking last year.