Filipinos aim to finish within top 30 places in Ironman triathlon

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PILI, Camarines Sur, Philippines—Filipino triathletes are hoping to land within the top 30 slots of the Ironman 70.3 Philippines in Camarines Sur on Sunday to have a chance to race with the world’s best triathletes in the world championship in Hawaii in October.

Guy Concepcion, race director of Ironman 70.3 Philippines, said around 1,100 triathletes from 28 countries, 80 percent of them from the Philippines, will vie for the 30 slots.

Since most of the participants in Ironman 70.3 are Filipinos, there is a big chance that a good percentage of the slots will be taken by them, said Concepcion.

He said the Ford Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, would gather around 1,800 athletes in the “biggest and most difficult triathlon in the world.”

Done annually, the Ironman in Hawaii consists of 2.4 miles of swimming, 112 miles of biking and a 26.2-mile marathon through tough ocean waves and lava-covered terrain.

Concepcion said the triathletes should be ready to expect a more difficult terrain in Hawaii as the triathlon in Camarines Sur is just half of the race course that would be set up in Hawaii.

He said the Ironman in Hawaii would feature a rougher biking trail with strong winds pushing against the triathletes on their way to the finish line.

There are eight age groups in the Camarines Sur race: 18 to 23, 24-29, 30-35, 36-41, 42-47, 48-53, 54-59 and 60-66.

“The 30-34 age group among males with 160 participants makes up the largest group. The youngest is 18 years old and the oldest is 66 years old,” he said.

The top three or four winners in each age group will become the 30 qualifiers for the Hawaii championship, he said.

Concepcion said the Camarines Sur Ironman became the qualifying competition for the Ironman World Championships after Ironman China was suspended.

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