CEBU CITY – Australian Pete Jacobs put his personal stamp on the country’s premier race, completing a ‘three-Pete’ in the professional men’s category of the Cobra Ironman Triathlon that ended at the Shangri-La Mactan on Sunday.
Jacobs established an early lead in the swim stage but yielded the upper hand briefly to New Zealander Cam Brown in the bike ride before cutting loose with his pathetic big finishing kick to win in a time of four hours, seven minutes, 38 seconds.
"I'm not really disappointed at all with my time because the course is different and time doesn't matter. I'm happy to have finished ahead of everyone else," said Jacobs, who won last year’s race in Camarines Sur in 3:51.
The win, Jacobs said, comes as a big boost for his preparation for world championship races. "You race here in the toughest conditions and it gets you physically ready for world championships," he said.
Brown finished in second place in 4:09:01 while Philippine resident Matt O'Halloran came in third in 4:19:32 in a race that lured a big field of 1,340 racers and 125 relay teams from 31 countries.
In the women’s race, Caroline Steffen of Switzerland dethroned last year’s champion Belinda Granger of Australia despite coming over barely six days after running in another race in Spain.
"I was just racing last weekend. I was tired because from Europe I had to travel right away to the Philippines. The course was hard because of the heat," said the Swiss, who won in 4:20:48.
American Bree Wee was second in 4:27:24 while Granger settled for third after she reached the finish line in 4:32:09.
Meanwhile, August Benedicto claimed the men's Filipino elite title in 4:27:39. Coming in second was Franklin Peñalosa with a time of 4:35:28 while Cebuano Mendel Lopez nailed his first podium finish by coming in third in 4:39:24.
Benedicto's training partner Monica Torres completed a hat-trick of titles in the women's Filipino elite with a time of 4:28:49, followed by second-placer Lea Langit in 5:09:51 and third-placer Kim Mangrobang in 5:18:04.
In the other results, the group of Nike Park made up of Eric Panique, Johansen Aguilar and Eboy Quinones won the men's relay team while Team Mateo consisting of Amale Jopson, Lorhiz Echavez and Mary Joy Tabal prevailed in the women's race.
Formula One star Jenson Button also qualified for the World Championships after placing third in the 30-34 age group.