Mad effort in run leads to upset Alcala win | Inquirer Sports

Mad effort in run leads to upset Alcala win

/ 04:20 AM November 14, 2022

John Dedeus Alcala celebrates. —CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

John Dedeus Alcala celebrates. —CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

PUERTO PRINCESA—Darkhorse John Dedeus Alcala stole the thunder from the favorites as he reached out from the shadow of his stronger teammate to capture the inaugural Ironman 70.3 Puerto Princesa here Sunday.

Alcala, a 28-year old Dipolog City native recruited by the Lanao Norte-based Tri-SND team, battled from as far behind as eighth place going into the run leg of the swim-bike-run event held for the first time in the city, clocking four hours, 32 minutes and 21 seconds to pocket the P150,000 prize money put up the city government.


Alcala crossed the finish line some five minutes ahead of age-grouper Mervin Santiago of Team Sante Barley, who surprised himself with a swift run in the final 10 kilometers.


Jailani Lamama, Alcala’s teammate, finished third, 7:25 behind the winner.

Two of the favorites, Southeast Asian Games gold medalist Fernando Casares and Subic Ironman winner Satar Salem, faded in the heat in the final stages of the run and could finish only fifth and 17th overall, respectively.

“It was hot out there,” said Casares, who is racing his first 70.3 distance after campaigning in the Philippine team in the shorter standard Olympic distance.

The women’s field was dominated by Singapore’s Choo Ling Er, who took the P150,000 women’s top prize with a time of 4:57:47. The Philippines’ Leyann Ramo came in second ahead of Mieko Carey of Guam by one minute. The three top finishers won their respective age groups.

The 70.3 event, also called a half Ironman, is a 1.9-kilometer swim, 90-km bike and a 21-km run held in succession.

Casares was first out of the water off the Puerto Princesa Baywalk and held the lead from the chasing Salem up to the halfway mark of the rolling bike leg. Once Salem, the heavy favorite, seized the lead, it didn’t look like he was going to give it up. He built a big lead into the run leg and was headed for a runway victory going in the final 10 kilometers of the run.

But Alcala slowly picked his way through the field and the two teammates looked headed for a 1-2 finish until the heat and humidity took their toll on Salem, who suddenly pulled up with cramps. INQ

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TAGS: Sports, Triathlon

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