Craig Alexander sets out for a repeat, fellow Aussie Tim Reed is seeking redemption and a slew of others are raring to spoil the aces from Down Under, guaranteeing a fierce duel in the 2017 Century Tuna Ironman 70.3 which gets under way today in Subic Bay.
The chase for the women’s tiara is also too close to call with Swiss Caroline Steffen hard-pressed to complete a three-peat with a talent-laden set of rivals all primed up to end her reign in the premier 1.9km swim, 90km bike and 21km run event presented by Century Bangus, Department of Tourism and Tourism Promotions Board.
Five-time world champ Alexander, who gave a sampling of his legendary skills with his triumph last year, eyes a repeat in the men’s pro against rivals led by 2015 winner Tim Reed, Sam Betten, Jason Hall, Johan Stofberg and Till Schramm.
“It’s an unbelievable field and I think it’s gonna be a great race,” said Alexander. “I’m a competitive person and I love racing against the best.”
Steffen also expects a tough challenge but carries the same objective in the women’s pro hostilities, where the likes of Radha Kahlefeldt, Dimity Lee-Duke, Kate Bevilaqua, Sarah Lester and Imogen Simmons are dead-set on wresting the crown.
“It’s never easy to defend a title but I’ll do my best,” said Steffen.
The world-class pros banner close to 1,000 tri warriors from 47 countries, including Britain, the US and Australia, out to test their limits in the 1.9K swim, 90K bike, 21K run race that starts at Acea Beach and ends at Subic Bay Convention Center.
Local celebrities such as Dingdong Dantes, Drew Arellano, Jake Cuenca, Gerald Anderson, Kim Atienza and Gretchen Fulido add up to the star power as they vie in the relays side of the event offering $15,000 in prizes and 30 world championships slots.
Wilfred Steven Uytengsu, chief of race organizer and producer Sunrise Events, Inc. and Greg Banson, GM of Century Canning Corp. GM Greg Banson graced yesterday’s press launch and urged participants to “break personal records, develop new friendships and conquer new challenges.”
The 2017 Century Tuna Ironman 70.3 is presented by Century Bangus, Department of Tourism, and Tourism Promotions Board.
It is also sponsored by 2Go Express (official courier and logistics partner), Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (venue partner), Acea Subic Bay (host hotel), Manila North Tollways Corp. (bike course partner), Gatorade (official sports drink), Saucony (official footwear and apparel partner), and TYR (official swim cap partner).
Media partners are The Philippine Star, Hyper HD on Cignal, TriLife, Asiatri.com, and Finisher Pix. It is also supported by Alaska, David’s Salon, GU Energy Gels, Intercare, Prudential Guarantee, Premier Waer and Sante Barley and backed by marketing sponsors AlcoPlus, Cetaphil, Dalong, Froehlich Tours, Inc., Sanicare and Storck.
Other countries represented in the event are Hungary, Indonesia, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Lebanon, Sri Lanka, Monaco, Mexico, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Thailand, Uruguay and Vietnam.