BOHOL, Philippines – Some 650 athletes from 25 countries will vie for the Pros, Filipino Elite and Age Group titles in The Bellevue Resort 5i50 Triathlon, which will kick off early Sunday, November 6, in Panglao island in Bohol.
Defending champion Sam Betten of Australia will view for another back-to-back title in the 5i50 series of races of Sunrise Events Incorporated after he also ruled the Regent 5i50 in Subic in June.
The race will cover 1.5-kilometer swim, 40-kilometer bike, and 10-kilometer run.
The 6-foot-4 Betten said he is very focused on clinching his fourth title in the event and his second straight in Bohol.
Dan Brown and Henry Beck are among those who will challenge Betten. Brown is an Australian based in the Philippines while Beck, who is from Germany, will join the event for the first time. Beck will also see action in Ironman Malaysia in Langkawi next week.
In the distaff side, Australia’s Dimity Lee Duke will be hard-pressed to defend her title as Amelia Watkinson of New Zealand is once again around to challenge her. Watkinson had relegated Duke to third place in the Regent 5i50.
Also seeing action are Australia’s Michelle Duffield and Rebecca Ohlwein, Betten’s girlfriend, who has already promised to return and race next year.
An exciting contest is expected between Bohol’s very own Paul Jumamil and Luzon’s August Benedicto. Jumamil, the defending champion, may hold an advantage over Benedicto who will race on the island for the first time. Jumamil also holds a psychological advantage over Benedicto whom he defeated in the Regent 5i50.
Making the race more exciting is the addition of the sprint distance wherein participants will only need to conquer 750-meter swim, a 20-kilometer bike, and a 5-kilometer run.
Sunrise Events chairman and CEO Wilfred Uytengsu Jr said the sprint distance was first introduced in the Regent 5i50 in June. They decided to include it in The Bellevue 5i50 after it got positive response from participants.
“The sprint distance is not only a good way to introduce the sport of swimming, biking, running to the athletes but it also good venue for triathletes recovering from an injury to segue back into the sport,” Uytengsu said during the Meet the Pros presscon of the event.
Uytengsu said that the island of Bohol shows promise in hosting a full distance Ironman race, should Sunrise finally organize one.
“I am not saying no but perhaps not yet,” said Uytengsu, when asked when Sunrise could organize a full-distance Ironman.
He said that holding one will rely 90% on the road condition. He added that once the infrastructure and the local base of triathletes are in place, SEI would be happy to organize a full distance Ironman triathlon that the Philippines would be proud of. – Rappler.com
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