Keen competition is seen when the Bellevue Resort 5i50 Triathlon is fired off on Sunday with an elite cast of triathletes all geared up for the 1.5k swim, 40k bike and 10k run event held at the Bellevue Resort in Panglao Island, Bohol, for the first time.
Sam Betten and Dimity Lee-Duke of Australia set out for back-to-back title bids in their respective sides but brace for a fierce challenge from the likes of Henry Beck, Daniel Garry Brown, Amelia Watkinson, Michelle Duffield and Rebecca Ohlwein as they dispute the top $2,000 purse in both divisions in the event hosted by the Bellevue Resort and organized by Sunrise Events, Inc.
The 6-4 Betten placed third in the recent Cobra Ironman 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championship in Cebu but has racked up three victories this year, including the Queensland Triathlon Series, Hell of the West Triathlon and the Hervey Bay 100 Triathlon, making him the man to beat in the event.
But Beck, a Bundesliga triathlete and two-time Sparda-Munster City Triathlon champion, and Brown, the former Aussie Half-Ironman champion who has mentored Korean and Philippine national teams, are raring to spoil Betten’s drive for another crown in the premier endurance race.
Like Betten, Duke is fancied in the women’s side although the 2016 Bangsaen Triathlon Thailand champion, who also finished third in the Century Tuna Ironman 70.3 in Subic early this year, remains wary of Watkinson, who won the ITU Long Course Triathlon in China and the Challenge Iskandar Puteri this year, and Duffield, who topped this year’s Bateman’s Bay Ultimate Triathlon and placed second in the 2016 Ironman 70.3 Busan.
Ohlwein, Betten’s girlfriend who has been competing since 2012, also looms as a top contender in the event which also features the Sunrise Sprint race series, a 750m swim, a 20k bike and a 5k run event for beginners and for those who has been off the circuit and out to make a comeback.
Meanwhile, the 5i50 Expo Open and Bike Service Open will be held until today (Saturday) at The Bellevue Pavilion.
SEI and Bellevue Resort, a world-class resort on the coastline of Panglao Island in Bohol, have 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.
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.