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No complicated strategy for Reed as Ironman kicks off

/ 05:38 AM August 05, 2018

Zedrick Borja (left) edges Clifford Pusing at the finish to rule the 13-14 age category in the Alaska Ironkids race. —Sherwin Vardeleon

LAPU-LAPU CITY—The strategy is simple: Get to the finish line as fast as you can.

“What else can you do against very tough opponents?” asked defending champion Tim Reed of Australia, who will try to collect a fourth straight Cebu crown in Sunday’s Regent Aguila Ironman 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championships.

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The 33-year-old Reed, the 2016 Ironman 70.3 world champion when it was held in his country, will lead the 5:55 a.m. start of the professional category at the beachfront of Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort & Spa here.

The 1.9-kilometer swim, 90km bike, and 21.2km run event is the first of five Cebu 70.3 races under the Regent Aguila-Sunrise Events partnership.

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Listed as the oldest participant is 81-year-old Garth Barfoot of New Zealand.  The businessman has competed in at least 250 triathlons since picking up the sport 30 years ago.

Craig Alexander, the other prominent Aussie who is a triple Ironman world champion, said age can be a factor in an endurance sport.

“At 43 years old and against a collection of the best triathletes, age is definitely an issue,” said Alexander, who ruled the Ironman 70.3 worlds in 2006 and 2011.  “But they push me to be better and I’m glad I’m still at it. Still competitive, still having fun.”

Last year’s runner-up here, Mauricio Mendez of Mexico, said Cebu always feels like home.

“I love the atmosphere, the best among all Philippine 70.3 races,” said the 22-year-old Mendez.

SEI founder Wilfred Uytengsu welcomed the participants on Friday.

“The key to a great sports event is to keep getting better at it,” said Uytengsu of SEI’s decade-long triathlon success, with the assistance of the provincial governments of the cities of Cebu, Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue since they first co-hosted 70.3 events in 2012.

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At the Alaska IronKids competition on Saturday, Zedrick James Borja edged Davao leg winner Clifford Pusing in the 13-14 category by the slimmest of margins, clocking 38 minutes and 24 seconds against the runner-up’s 38:24.1.

Borja also won here last year and in Subic last June.

It was a 1-2 Cebu finish in the girls’ division of the 400-meter swim and 3-kilometer run after Moira Frances Erediano kept her title in 41:12.7, besting Nicole Marie del Rosario’s 42:01.1.

Other winners were Justin Hermosa and Kira Ellis, 11-12; Carron Paulter Cañas and Zurielle Kenzie Galo, 9-10; Kenshie Luke Cabando and Christy Ann Perez, 6-8; Cebu City, Under-14 Relay; Talisay City, U-10 Relay.

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TAGS: Clifford Pusing, Regent Aguila Ironman 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championships, Tim Reed, Zedrick Borja
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