PUERTO PRINCESA CITY — The IRONMAN 70.3 Puerto Princesa reels off here Sunday with the spotlight on the Asia TriClub and Relay Championship while putting emphasis on individual performances both in the overall race and in various age-group categories.
TriClubs from Singapore, China, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong and the host country set out for a test not only of power and endurance in the punishing 1.9-kilometer swim, 90-km bike, and 21.1-km run race.
Emphasis will also be on teamwork, the IM 70.3 Puerto Princesa serving as first-time host to the IRONMAN TriClub Championship Series, making it the 10th event globally in the season about to end.
Puerto Princesa Mayor Lucilo Bayron is putting up P500,000 for the club to produce the fastest cumulative time of the Top 5 members, regardless of age and gender. The points will be counted based on results and number of participants from each tri club.
This guarantees a spirited chase for top honors in the Asia TriClub Series, which has staged championships across five regions, including Panama, Oceanside, Marbella, Australia, Victoria, Virginia’s Blue Ridge, Steelhead, Maine and Wisconsin.
“On behalf of Puerto Princesa City, I would like to thank IRONMAN for giving us the honor of being the first and only Asia TriCub Championship and Asia Relay Championship host as we hold the IM 70.3 for the second straight year,” Bayron said.
The host city is also putting up P60,000 for the overall male and female finishers while the winners in the relay competitions — all-male, all-female, mixed — and the fastest in swim, bike and run will receive P10,000 each.
John Alcala, who earned the bragging rights after emerging the first IM 70.3 Puerto Princesa champion last year, is all geared up for a title repeat with Dutch Eric van der Linden, who won the IM full triathlon in Subic last June, out to make up for his sixth place finish the first time out.
Others tipped to figure in the overall individual race are Sprint champ Dai Matsui of Japan and Men’s Open titlist Aday Alvarez Diez De Ulzurrun of Spain along with local aces Satar Salem, Jailani Lamamam, Usama Dimaporo, Mervin Santiago and Jethro Ramos.
Fancied to contend for the women’s tiara are Leyann Ramo, Angelica Rejas, May Dalinog, Germany’s Sabina Ossyra, Meeren Aguilar, Catherine Wood of the US, Jessica Morillo and Nica Virtucio, among others.
The event also stakes 40 age-group qualifying slots plus an additional 15 spots for women to the 2024 VinFast IRONMAN World Championship on 14 to 15 December in Taupo, New Zealand.