Save for the bad weather and minor injuries, the 2013 Cobra Energy Drink Ironman 70.3 Philippines in Cebu was successful, according to Governor Hilario P. Davide III.
Davide said it was a boon to the tourism industry stating, “If there is a beneficiary here, that is our local tourism industry in Cebu. It brought too many people from all over the world to Cebu. Cebu was at the center, a major attraction.”
Shangrila’sMactan Resort and Spa in Lapu-lapu City assumed most of the hosting of the recent Ironman Philippines. The swim course was held at the resort while bike and run courses started in Shangrila and covered the cities of Lapu-lapu, Mandaue, Cebu, and Talisay.
Around 2,000 triathletes from 35 countries participated this year’s race. They also brought with them their family or spouses for a vacation as well.
Two-time Olympian Courtney Atkinson won the race. This is the first time he joined the Ironman Philippines and he only registered for the race to have an island getaway with his wife.
“When we travel to different events and different resorts, this is definitely one of the peak races to come to. Thank you to Shangrila for hosting the event, this is one of the big things to thank for,” he said.
Second placer Pete Jacobs, who won the race for three consecutive years since 2010 (until Atkinson arrived), also came with his wife. He said when they come to the Philippines they are relaxed, stress-free, and in a happy place.
“If there’s something special here in the Philippines is that I race well every single time I come here. This is one of my best races of the year and the other is in Hawaii, USA. So Hawaii and Philippines are very special places to me,” he said.
Davide, however, apologized to the local and foreign tourists whose flights were delayed or were not able to take their flights because of the heavy traffic the event caused on the road leading to the Mactan-Cebu International Airport.
The governor said if there is one aspect that they would like to improve is how to host the event without disturbing the day-to-day affairs of the people in Cebu and of the travelers.
The provincial government already assisted in providing traffic advisory as early as Friday. But the race still drew complaints.
“Depende mani sa mga organizers. Sila may mo tan-aw asa ang area. We are just here to lend our support, to assist and to facilitate kung unsa ang ilang kinahanglan. They should also be receptive to the criticisms and comments from tourists who were affected by the event itself,” he added. (Xerxes Alkuino)