THE future of local triathlon takes center stage ahead of the cream of endurance racing crop as they clash for top honors in four individual categories set over new distances in the Ironkids Philippines Saturday at the Azuela Cove in Davao.
Titles to be disputed in a competitive but fun racing are the 6 to 8 years old (100- meter swim and 1-km run), 9-10 (150m swim and 1.5km run), 11-12 (200m and 1.5km run) and the 13-15 (250m and 2km run).
Also up for grabs in the event ushering in the much-awaited Alveo Ironman 70.3 Davao on Sunday are the mixed team relay trophies in the 6-10 (100m swim and 1km run) and 11-15 (200m swim and 1.5km run) categories.
The novel swim-run event drew a huge cast of participants after the organizing The Yeng Tupaz, Group/Sunrise Events Inc. introduced new distances and added an extra year in the premier side to enable the 15-year-old campaigners to still join the event as part of their preparations for bigger competitions ahead.
The Yeng Tupaz, has provided the steady flow of triathlon talents while contributing to the growth of the sport. It has also helped develop values like discipline, sportsmanship and respect for others and at the same time preventing gadget addiction among them and encouraging the children to live an active lifestyle.
Peter del Rosario and Celinda Raagas led the roster of winners when the event marked its return at Vermosa Sports Hub in Cavite last October after the pandemic.
After the 5:50 a.m. briefing, the 13-15 bidders fight it out in the swim leg to be followed by relay 11-15 at 6:05 a.m., 11-12 swim and relay 11-15 at 6:15 a.m., 9-10 swim at 6:30 a.m., relay 6-10 at 6:35 a.m., 6-8 swim and relay 6-10 at 6:45 a.m.
Meanwhile, the 18 pros, including 11 in the men’s side, are all primed for a grueling battle in the 1.9-km-swim, 90-km bike and 21-km run race powered by Petron, marking the return of the pro category in the Ironman series after the pandemic.
It is also the lone pro race scheduled this year with the winners in the men’s and women’s sides to pocket $30,000 each.
Keen competition is also expected in various age-group divisions, including 18-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64 and 65-69 in both categories of the event sponsored by Alveo, Petron, Lungsod ng Dabaw, Azuela Cove, Aboitiz, Aboitiz Power, Apo Agua, Davao Light, Lightwater, Prudential Guarantee, One Sport, Cignal and Philstar.
The IRONMAN 70.3 will also feature a 12-man team competition (Tribu Maisugon) held in honor of the 11 tribes of the host city with a winner-take-all cash prize of P550,000 at stake, including P500,000 from Davao City and P50K from Aboitiz.
For details, log on to ironman.com/im703-davao-philippines-athletes.