THE signature Filipino hospitality has proven time and again that the Philippines is home to the Ironman 70.3.
For the eighth year, Cebu hosted the Half Ironman event two weeks ago, and the locals gave both Pinoy and foreign participants nothing but love and a warm welcome.
Tim Reed ruled the men's division, while super mom Caroline Steffen dominated the women's category on August 11 at Shangri-La Mactan in Lapu-Lapu City in Cebu.
Ironman Ambassador and Sunrise Events Inc. Founder Wilfred Uytengsu, a passionate triathlete himself, feels extremely proud every time Ironman 70.3 is held in the country, especially in the Visayas region.
"There's no race where you can see so many people on the bike course and having raced this race myself, the hair stands on the back of my neck when you hear all these people cheering. They don't know us, we don’t know them but there's just this wonderful environment of support," said Uytengsu, who also revealed that some of the professional athletes get so emotional and even "shed a tear" with the never-ending support.
Sunrise Events Inc. General Manager Princess Galura couldn't agree more.
"People here cheer as if they're family. Here, when they cheer, may kasama pang talon at 'saka sigaw," she said. "So, I know what Fred is saying, some pros really cry because triathlon is such a lonely sport. You're out there by yourself. Kapag may nag-cheer sa'yo at narinig mo ang pangalan mo, lalo na hindi mo kakilala, you get that high."
Watch the Ironman 70.3 highlights here: