Story & photo by Randy S. Peregrino
FORD Philippines is once again supporting the Forza triathlon team competing for the 2017 Ironman 70.3 in Cebu this coming Sunday (August 6). Around 2,500 athletes from 45 different countries are expected to join in one of the biggest triathlon races in Asia—to compete in the ultimate endurance race involving cycling, running and swimming.
“We are excited to partner with the Ford Forza triathlon team, whose member have showcased their commitment and dedication to the sport over the years. For years, not only have they gone further, they have also served as an inspiration to a bigger majority because of their life stories and journeys and their motivation to make it big with the sport. With this, we are delighted to rally behind these athletes as they brave through tough challenges and races this year,” Ford Philippines AVP for Marketing Prudz Castillo said.
Since 2015, the team continues to uphold its advocacy to support talented Filipino athletes who demonstrate passion for the sport but lacked the means to join the race. This year businessman Gianluca Guidicelli will lead a diverse team consisting of members from various industries. The mainstays are actors Ivan Carapiet and Matteo Guidicelli, along with his sister and entrepreneur Giorga Guidicelli. Likewise, current Forza team members’ TV host and sports correspondent Dyan Castillejo, cancer survivor Joey Torres, longtime triathletes Elmo Clarabal and Joseph Miller, business manager Ian Solana, triathlon coach Noel Salvador and businessman Jomer Lim will join the strong lineup.
Expanding the team participants to 20, new members were added to the roster ranging from 10 to 50 years of age. These are 2013 Pinoy Big Losers participants and brothers Ralph David and Yves Christian Du, businessmen Romeo Castro and Tyrone Tan, sports enthusiasts Patricia Espino, Donikko Fernan and Christian Saladaga, and cyclist Ica Maximo.
“The team is especially driven this time. We have new members, and everyone is just excited to race harder and tougher this year. I have great confidence in my team—we’re strong. We’re called ‘Forza’ after all. Having Ford, who is as tough as we are, to back us up once again, only fuels our desire to keep racing and to keep inspiring,” Gianluca said.
During the presentation, team member and cancer survivor Joey Torres shared his inspiration on overcoming his life obstacle. “I think that my being an athlete on my life helped me a lot in conquering the challenge. I couldn’t imagine going through the surgery and treatment after without being fit. It was also that year that Ford Forza was being formed and I’m sorry for myself because I couldn’t initially join after the physical challenges I was going through back then, but being with the team helped me get back in shape and, as soon as I was well, I began again doing triathlon,” he said.
Aside from the Ironman 70.3 happening in Cebu, the Ford Forza triathlon team will also compete in upcoming competitions, such as the 2017 Mount Mayon ASTC Triathlon Asian Cup in Bicol on August 17 and the 5150 Triathlon in Bohol on November 5.