With last year’s pro champions Mitch Robbins and Esther Dudaz begging off to honor previous commitments, the fight for this year’s titles in the 2014 Safeguard Active 5i50 Triathlon is expected to be fierce when the event fired off today at the Bellevue Hotel in Bohol.
For one, a total of 650 triathletes from 28 countries will slug it out for top honors in the keenly awaited swim-bike-run event, led by a number of veteran campaigners and a slew of rising stars. The new course in Bohol is also expected to provide a different kind of challenge for the competing field, making it doubly interesting for the competitors and triathlon fans alike.
Robbins topped the male pro side while Dudaz dominated the ladies section of the event in Subic last year. But despite their absence, the depth of the competing field remains as talent-laden as ever with Aussies Eric Watson, Josh Amberger, Justin Granger and Michael Murphy tipped to lead the chase in their side and Frenchwoman Carole Fuchs and Aussies Ashleigh Gentle and Belinda Granger expected to fight it out in the ladies side.
Up for grabs is the $10,000 total purse in the pro division and P120,000 in the elite category of the event sponsored by Safeguard Active, with Bellevue Resort as the official hotel, and 2Go as the official courier and logistics provider.
As title sponsor for the second straight year, Safeguard Active addresses the athletes’ need for superior skin germ protection while encouraging athletes to protect their bodies’ first line of defense, the skin, with products that remove and guard against sickness- and odor-causing germs.
Other backers of the event, produced and organized by Sunrise Events, Inc., are Aqua Sphere, Coca-Cola Femsa Philippines, David’s Salon, Devant, Intercare, Planet Sports, Prudential Guarantee, Rudy Project, Smart, The Philippine STAR and Zoot.
Focus will also be on Monica Torres, the elite champion of the last two editions of the Century Tuna 5150, who will be vying in the pro class against the best of the crop. She also dominated the Asian elite division of the 2014 Challenge Philippines with the lone Filipina pro campaigner hoping to buck the odds in the upcoming event.