Puerto Princesa is pulling out all the stops to guarantee not just a successful staging of its first-ever IRONMAN 70.3 hosting but also a memorable racing experience for more than 1,200 triathletes all geared up for the premier endurance race blasting off this Sunday.
“It is our inaugural year and any inaugural year in any location is special,” Puerto Princesa Mayor Lucilo Bayron said.
“We have over 1,200 triathletes from 26 countries competing in a new race after pandemic. It’s an excellent turnout and we must make it special.”
The IRONMAN Group/Sunrise Events Inc. has staged triathlon events in Subic, Cebu and Subic with general manager Princess Galura expressing her impression with the debuting city host’s preparations to ensure the smooth conduct of the 1.9-kilometer swim, 90km bike and 21k run event over a challenging course set up to international standards.
In fact, a Puerto Princesa contingent, led by Mayor Bayron and city officials, watched the IM 70.3 event in Cebu last August to observe how the event is planned, organized, hosted and managed.
The new host city, however, said it’s more than providing the participants a new racing experience but also a “race-cation of triathletes” of sorts, this being a rare chance for them to visit various scenic locations throughout the city which is home to a number of world-class natural attractions.
They include the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park or the Underground River, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and holds a place in the new seven wonders of nature.
Puerto Princesa has also guaranteed the city’s hosting of the IM 70.3 in the next two years with next edition to include the pros from all over.
Titles to be disputed are the individual for men and women and the various age-group categories, along with men’s and women’s relay and the relay mixed with the recent Kona and St. George finishers also competing.
Expected to crowd the locals for top honors are the triathletes from the US, Hong Kong, Guam, Singapore, France, the United Kingdom, Australia, India and Japan, Brazil, Thailand, the Netherlands, South Africa, Vietnam, New Zealand, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Turkey, Korea, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Saint Lucia and Guatemala.