Queen City all set to welcome Ironman
Can the Queen City of the South rise to the challenge?
This was the question posed by some quarters when organizers of extreme sport event Ironman 70.3 Philippines first announced that it would be holding the annual event in Cebu back in 2012. Not to disappoint, Cebu has proven indeed to be a prime location, best suited to ensure the continued success of the biggest sports event in the country to date.
Event organizer Princess Galura admitted that the location does play a crucial role in the overall success of the event, and thus it pays to choose a site that has all the necessary elements and the capacity to handle such daunting task.
“It is very challenging to hold an event as big as Ironman Philippines as there are many stakeholders—the participants, the sponsors, the exhibitors, the local government units (LGUs), different agencies such as the Philippine National Police and Department of Tourism, hotels, airlines, airports. There are a lot of moving parts plus, of course, the weather,” Galura explained.
According to Galura, Cebu has all the needed elements present—from the infrastructure, crucial institutions, logistics, technology, and even manpower to make the event a complete success.
“Cebu has the mix of urban and rural beach, allowing one to have and experience the best of both worlds. It has the infrastructure—hotel, airport, flights, types of aircraft—needed to support the event and most importantly, Cebu has the heritage and the experience of hosting huge events as in the case of Sinulog,” Galura related.
“Add to that is the fact that Cebu has the cuisine, such as lechon, puso, and mangoes which would all the more make the event really enjoyable not only for athletes but for spectators as well. Lastly, Cebu has the friendliest people who are hard working, and fun loving,” she further said.
More recently however, Galura noted that the hosting of the Ironman 70.3 Philippines has seen some significant changes, specifically in the technological space, which had made life for the event organizers, athletes, even the spectators all the more convenient.
“The Ironman event has changed tremendously because of the number of participants. Everything had multiplied from food, bikes, hotel rooms, flights, and security among others,” Galura related.
“Technology somehow played a crucial role—the Internet in particular—as it allowed for easier and more efficient transaction processes. Now registration and payments are made online. Activities and schedules can also be easily viewed as they are now posted on social media. For spectators and the avid followers of Ironman, they can easily view and track their favored athlete during the race day through the athletes tracker app,” Galura explained.
The athlete tracker will allow families and supporters of the estimated 2,500 Ironman triathlete participants to get real time updates on the race performances of their favored athlete.
To avail of the updates, interested parties can text TRI (space) <athlete number> to 2600. Each SMS costs PHP 2.50 or PHP 20 for eight alerts throughout the event. Athlete numbers can be searched at www.ironman703phil.com/athlete.
The service, which was exclusively produced by mobile platform developer Xurpas for Globe Telecom, is said to make the event extremely exciting even for those who can’t make it to Cebu this weekend.
Globe is again this year’s official telecom partner of Ironman 70.3 Philippines. A strong supporter of the event since it was locally introduced in 2009, Globe will provide Wi-Fi connectivity and laptops for the media center, cash support, and high speed Internet to the game to ensure that organizers, athletes, media and spectators can have a wonderful digital experience which they can share globally through various social media platforms.
“Technology has indeed made organizing and working for Ironman 70.3 Philippines more efficient and hassle free,” Galura concluded.