Over 600 bidders, led by the country’s elite triathletes and rising stars in various age-group categories, go for broke in the 5150 Dapitan Philippines today, all motivated to reach their potential in the Olympic-distance race’s historic run in Zamboanga del Norte.
For one, John Alcala sets out for a third straight triathlon honors, upbeat but wary of his chances both in his age-group (30-34) bracket and in the overall championship of the centerpiece 1.5-kilometer swim, 40km bike and 10km run race.
He bested a crack international cast to snare the first IRONMAN 70.3 Puerto Princesa last November then the Team TRI-SND Barracuda spearhead stamped his class in wet conditions in the 5150 Subic last June.
But the rest of his rivals for the overall championship worth P175,000, headed by Satar Salem, Fernando Casares, Maynard Pecson, Raymund Torio, Josh Gellane and Jacob Taylor, are also all geared up for the first-ever race in Dapitan City.
“We are excited to be the only race, to combine, in this depth, an event to celebrate our heritage and sports. It is the perfect opportunity for families and the community to get together and to honor our past, experience life in the present,” said Dapitan City mayor Seth “Bullet” Jalosjos.
The 5150 Dapitan is a fast race with the opening swim, starting near the Punto del Desembarco De Rizal along Sunset Blvd., clear and easy to navigate and the bike leg a 2-loop fast route from Dapitan City Hall and the Dipolog-Oroquieta National Road with some hills at the far turnaround.
A total of P870,000 is at stake for 22 age-group categories in 5150 Dapitan, which serves as part of the year-long 5150 and Sprint programs.
The battle for the women’s overall trophy is also expected to be fast and furious among Bea Quiambao, Kim Mangrobang, Diana Gellane, Erika Burgos, Alexandra Torrillo, Angela Gatuslao, Valerie Marcos and Anne Relova and Vietnam’s Ngan Lam.
Also up for grabs is the Bagong Bayani awards, formerly the Filipino Elite, where the Olympic 5150 male and female winners will receive P40,000 each while the Go for Gold Sunrise Sprint, a 750m-open water swim, 20km bike and 5km run, also promises to be an interesting clash for those seeking to go deep into triathlon racing in the future.
Alcala, meanwhile, expects to do better in the bike leg where he expects his chief rivals to anchor their respective title bids in the event organized by The IRONMAN Group/Sunrise Events, Inc.
The Sunrise Sprint top three placers, on the other hand, will get P20,000, P10,000 and P5,000 plus trophies, respectively, aside from the top P75,000 prize.