Lanao del Norte’s Satar Salem packed up his gear and headed to Bohol armed and ready for another shot at the overall championship in the Sun Life 5150 Triathlon, which unwraps Sunday at the Bellevue Resort on Panglao Island.
Like in last year’s edition of the event, which marked the return of the sport in full blast after the pandemic, the TRI SND Barracuda team spearhead braces for another feisty battle with a slew of rivals out to foil his back-to-back title bid and eager to fuel their respective drive in the 1.5-kilometer swim, 40-km bike and 10-km run distance event.
Though he failed to turn in a podium finish due to a minor lapse in the bike stage in the Alveo Ironman 70.3 in Davao City last March, Salem helped steer TRI SND Barracuda to the team championship that netted them the Tribu Maisugon title.
But the 27-year-old campaigner is all primed for a repeat in the blue-ribbon race set over an Olympic-style setup and put up by Sun Life Philippines in its continuing effort to help promote an active, healthy lifestyle among Filipinos.
The Bohol event also serves as the first of three 5150 races for the next three months organized by The Ironman Group/Sunrise Events Inc.
The sport will make a homecoming of sorts in the Bicol region after 12 years for the CamSur 5150 on 6 August. Dapitan City is pulling all the stops to guarantee a successful hosting of a first-ever 5150 in Zamboanga del Norte on 10 September.
For the second straight year, the Bohol 5150 is staged as part of the Sandugo Festival celebrations, a project of the Province of Bohol under Gov. Aris Aumentado.
Fierce duels are also seen in various age-group categories, from 15-19 to 65-69, both in the men’s and women’s sides.
Held side-by-side with Bohol 5150 is the Go for Gold Sunrise Sprint, a 750m open-water swim, 20km bike ride and a 5km run race for beginners and those making a comeback to the sport or wanting to reach the IRONMAN level someday.
Also to be disputed are three titles (men’s, women’s and mixed) in relay competitions.
Meanwhile, triathletes from 11 countries beef up the cast in the main event, including seven from Malaysia, four each from Australia and United Kingdom while France and the United States have three bets each so far.