Cebu Ironman 70.3 Asia Pacific Championship hosting tops survey

Specially-made Cobra-Sunrise Ironman jackets will be given away to the first 300 participants who will register for the 2017 Cobra Energy Drink Ironman 70.3 Philippines at the Cebu Province Capitol on October 1. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Specially-made Cobra-Sunrise Ironman jackets will be given away to the first 300 participants who will register for the 2017 Cobra Energy Drink Ironman 70.3 Philippines at the Cebu Province Capitol on October 1.

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Cebu’s chances of hosting another 70.3 Asia Pacific Championship or maybe the 70.3 World Championship just got a boost as the Cobra Energy Drink Ironman 70.3 Asia Pacific Championship presented by Ford held here last August 7 received an overall satisfaction rating of 87.9%.

This is more than 3% higher than the rolling global average of 84.87%. The rating was polled from the replies of about 800 participants.

The event which has been dubbed the “crown jewel of Asia” was organized by Sunrise Events Inc (SEI) in cooperation with the province of Cebu and the cities of Lapu-Lapu, Mandaue, Cebu, and Talisay.

It gathered 3,000 triathletes coming from 43 countries. The race kicked off at the Shangri-La Mactan Resort and Spa in Lapu-Lapu City for the swim phase, then covered the cities of Mandaue, Cebu, and Talisay in the bike phase, and back in Lapu-Lapu for the ending run phase.

Rolling global average encompasses all the 70.3 races held around the world which makes the 87.9% rating for the Cobra Energy Drink Ironman 70.3 Asia Pacific Championship quite an achievement. It also validates all the hard work put in by all the stakeholders to make the event a success.

According to SEI general manager, Princess Galura, this success is a culmination of the effort that everyone gave – not just from them, but also government sectors, especially the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), which made sure all roads in the race route from Lapu-Lapu to Talisay are well paved.

In the past 70.3s, the complaints received had to do mostly with road conditions. But with DPWH working hand in hand with organizers for the 70.3 Asia Pacific championship, last August’s 70.3 saw little of that. 

Craig Crowie Alexander of Australia, a 3-time world champion who finished second in this year’s Asia Pacific championship, said that the road condition was 100% better than last year when he also raced.

It however seems that there’s still a lot of work to be done on roads as the event received a 70.30% rating, about 4% lower than the rolling global average of 74.98%. Overall Bike Experience was rated 82.7% but not that far from the rolling global rating of 85.58%.

According to Galura, the issue might have been the crowded race route more than road conditions as there were about 3,000 who saw action in the race last August.

“So for next year, we will decrease number of participants, para lumuwag (to free things up),” Galura said.

Galura added that there are also just some areas where ratings would be low, such as parking, but for her, this is a given. “So we will always try to be good in things we can control.”

Although parking received a rating of 57.3%, overall venue experience was rated 88.2%.

The Overall Host City Experience rating of 90.9% also validated what Geoff Meyer, the managing director of Ironman Asia Pacific, said about last August’s race being “the best race ever.”

“If you go to all events in Asia, this one still ranks as no.1, it is fantastic, it's got everything, the atmosphere, the crowd, the technical aspects, and the beautiful area, it's got everything. If you look at the expos, the functions, it is basically topnotch, it is the no. 1 event in Asia at the moment,” Meyer said.

Meyer added that “the big thing here in Cebu is the atmosphere, it is basically second to none, amazing, truly spectacular.”

Meyer, as well as everyone else, raved about the crowds not only during race day, but also in other events such as press conferences. When asked about the possibility of having the World Championship here, Meyer said he found the Cebu hosting so amazing and that he would endorse Cebu. “Definitely athletes from around the world would love to come and race here.”

SEI CEO Wilfred Uytengsu Jr described the race as a “resounding success.” 

“I think it went better than we hoped it would go, it took tremendous support from the provincial government, from all of the cities involved, Lapu-Lapu, Cebu City, Mandaue, Talisay. The spectators were fantastic.”

Uytengsu, in his usual fashion, also gave assurances that despite all the praises, they would continue to work on improving the event, focusing on the safety of all participants. 

What pleased Galura the most is the 83.5% rating they got from participants when they were asked if they would attend next year’s 70.3 here. When participants were asked if they would be recommending next year’s race to their friends, 95.2% gave their thumbs up.

Incidentally, the registration for next year’s Cobra Energy Drink Ironman 70.3 Philippines will start on October 1, 10 days from the date the survey was released, which Galura said is very timely.

October 1 registration

SEI gave assurances they will continue working on producing a spectacular event even though next year’s race will no longer be an Asia Pacific championship, but will return to the usual Ironman 70.3 championship.

While the online registration will open at 8 am (Philippine Time) worldwide, SEI will also continue what they call “onsite registration” at the Social Hall of the Cebu Province Capitol, an activity started in 2015.

Participants wanting to race next year are also advised not to dilly-dally as slots for the Cobra Energy Drink Ironman 70.3 Philippines sell out in minutes. Last year, all 3,000 slots sold out in under 5 minutes.

As SEI plans to lower the number of participants to just 2,600 in 2017, registration will be a race in itself.  – Rappler.com