Ironman triathlon starts
PILI, Camarines Sur—Pete Jacobs makes no secret of the fact that he’s in this sun-scorched Bicol province to get ready for a bigger, tougher grind ahead.
“I’d like to test my swim and bike (strengths) for Hawaii,” Jacobs said on the eve of defending his Cobra Ironman 70.3 Philippines Triathlon championship at the CamSur Watersports Complex here. “And after that, I just hope to survive the run.”
Kona in Hawaii is the site of the World Ironman championship later this year, and Jacobs has been listed as the man to beat in CamSur if only because of his speed in the water compared to the others in the Elite field.
Jacobs remains one of the best Ironman swimmers in the world, a talent he developed further earlier in the year after he suffered a foot injury that forced him to train only in the water.
Everyone in the field, Jacobs included, would need all the headway they can get in the swim and bike stages to prepare for the back-breaking 21-kilometer run under strength-sapping heat.
Cameron Brown is listed as the bet with the best chance of upstaging Jacobs. Justin Gilmer, Dan Brown, the Philippine team coach married to Ani de Leon, and American Jesse Thomas are the other male bets worth watching.
Two man-made lakes, both with gorgeous Mount Isarog as the backdrop, will be the site of the 1.9K swim.
Rain fell yesterday and overcast skies were prevalent for most of the day, making most everyone hope that the same weather conditions would prevail today.
Meanwhile, the event got under way yesterday with close to 100 kids competing in eight divisions for the Alaska Ironkids challenge.
Team TriMac put three entries into podium finishes with Nicolle Danielle Eijansantos clocking 15 minutes and 32 seconds for the 100m swim, 3K bike and 1K run to top the girls’ 9-10 category.
Nathan Nalo won the boys’ 9-10 with a time of 15:14; Tara Borlain and Juan Francisco Banigued ruled the girls’ and boys’ 6-10 categories with clockings of 18:14 and 19:34, respectively.
Sixto Lalanto and Lance Vincent Plaza ruled the boys’ 13-14 and 11-12 divisions, respectively, after timing 30:00 and 34.23 seconds for the 300m swim, 10K bike and 2K run with Magali Echauz (32:22) and Sophia Vizcarra (36:41) topping the girls’ side.
“I’ve done training here (in the Philippines) before,” top women’s pick Belinda Granger, an 11-time Ironman Australia winner, said. “But after experiencing the heat yesterday (Friday), it seems that we’re in for a lot of suffering in the run (stage).”
The run route has been dramatically altered for this year’s event—a full 21K loop compared to two 10.5K laps the previous two seasons. The bike stage will be relatively easy, with the 90K race set over very flat roads that will take participants to as far as 45K away to a quaint town called Goa and back.