Despite the heavy downpour early in the morning of August 4, the inclement weather failed to dampen the spirit of the triathletes, the spectators and the organizers of the 2013 Cobra Energy Drink Ironman 70.3 Philippines.
The games began at exactly 6:30 a.m. with the 1.9 km. swim, after Gov. Davide formally opened the competition. Local and foreign men and women, belonging to varying age groups, some in their senior years, joined. Some local celebrities, including Allan Pineda or Apl.de.Ap of the Black Eyed Peas, added glitter to the event.
More than an hour later, the athletes emerged from the water and proceeded to the bike station to the cheers of the spectators. A little over two hours, bursts of cheers can be heard again at the bike station, as the first group of bikers arrived, changed to running gears and advanced to the 21.1 km. run course.
Another hour or so passed and the first runners were seen winding through the last stretch of the run course onward to the finish line, were more excited spectators greeted them with even louder applause.
Such was the scenario until barely over noontime when the last runner crossed the finish line. The organizers and sponsors treated the triathletes with an array of fruits, ice cream, finger food, energy drinks, water and even beer. Specially constructed shower booths gave the triathletes the chance to wash off unwanted dirt and sweat with soap and shampoo handed over by attendants. Lunch was served at a designated area just across the snack area.
A brief break time was afforded the participants before the top finishers were brought to the media center that was located at the Mactan, Shangri-La ballroom where a short press conference was scheduled. The winners were all praises to and congratulated the Provincial Government and the organizers for a successful and peaceful event.
In a press conference at the Capitol which was held a day after the race, Gov. Davide congratulated the winners and expressed his gratitude to the organizers for considering Cebu as the venue for this famed event. According to him, the “beneficiary (of this event) is the local tourism in Cebu. It brought many people from all over the world to Cebu, so Cebu was at the center, a major attraction.”
Congratulations to the organizations, and Kudos to all the winners. Your hard work has clearly paid off. On to Ironman 2014! (Roger Serna)