A prize fund of $15,000 and 30 berths in the Ironman 70.3 World Championship will be up for grabs in the Century Tuna Ironman 70.3, which gets under way Sunday in Subic Bay.
A stellar international field, including some of the world’s leading triathletes and upcoming stars, gears up for another spirited battle of power and stamina in the event presented by Century Bangus, Department of Tourism and Tourism Promotions Board.
The three-day weekend of fun and competition actually kicks off today (Friday) with a 2GO Bike Service and Expo while the Alaska Ironkids and the highly popular Century Tuna Superbods: The Underpants Run will spice up the action tomorrow (Saturday).
Last year’s champions Craig Alexander of Australia and Swiss Caroline Steffen are in town and are eager to defend their respective titles with both bracing for a tougher challenge from a slew of rivals raring to foil their bids in the premier 1.9km swim, 90km bike and 21km run event produced and organized by Sunrise Events, Inc.
They include inaugural champion Tim Reed, Sam Betten and Jason Hall and Dan Wilson of Australia, South African Johan Stofberg, and Till Schramm of Germany, along with Radka Kahlefeldt, Dimity Lee Duke, Kate Bevilaqua, Sarah Lester, Imke Oelerich and Imogen Simmonds in the women’s pro side.
Aside from the top $3,000 purse, the pros will also chase slots in the World Championship set in September in Chattanooga, Tennessee where they will join the other top finishers from the other Ironman elims in Australia, Germany, South Africa and Switzerland.
Close to 1,000 entries are competing, besting the 902 field in the inaugural run drew 902 and the 823 roster last year with triathlon powerhouse Great Britain, the US and Australia fielding in 23, 22 and 20 entries, respectively. Singapore has 16, Guam 14, Japan 12, Germany 11 while Switzerland has 10.
Other countries participating are Argentina, American Samoa, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Spain, France, Greece, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Hungary, Indonesia, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Lebanon, Sri Lanka, Monaco, Mexico, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Thailand, Uruguay and Vietnam.
The event is backed 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) and The Philippine Star, Hyper HD on Cignal, TriLife, Asiatri.com and Finisher Pix as media partners.
Aside from the centerpiece pro and Asian Elite, other titles to be disputed are the 18-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69 and the 70-and-above age categories.
Also on tap is the relay competition featuring the mixed and the all male and all female classes, according to the organizing SEI.
For details, visit www.ironman703subicbay.c om, facebook at im703subic or twitter at subicbayim703.