WHILE the elite pros are expected to finish it in over eight hours or so, the bulk of the brave 1,268 participants from 47 countries brace for a grueling race that could stretch into the night when the first Century Tuna Ironman fires off on Sunday in Subic.
Cutoff for the 3.8-kilometer swim is two hours and 20 minutes, and a 10-hour 30-minute limit has been set for the 180km bike ride, and 17 hours to finish the 42.95km closing run.
Seven each in the men’s and women’s sides will slug it out for the coveted crown in the centerpiece Pro division while two in each category are vying in the Asian Elite.
But focus will also be on the 11 age group divisions, which drew the bulk of the Ironman participants.
Two hundred ninety nine are entered in the 40-44 age class, including 266 in the men’s side, while 280, including 257 in the men’s, are entered in the 45-49 category. The 35-39 group has 248 entries while the 30-34 and 50-54 classes drew 151 and 122 participants, respectively.
Ironman legends Dave Scott of the US and Craig Alexander will hold a meet-and-greet session on Thursday at 4 p.m. at Shangri-La at The Fort.
“Everybody’s got that mixed feelings rush heading to the event – thrilled yet wary. But it will certainly be a unique feeling for every full Ironman finisher, a combination of relief, fatigue, joy, this being the first full Ironman to be staged here,” said Sunrise Events, Inc. general manager Princess Galura.
After holding three 5150 and Ironman 70.3 races, Century Tuna is putting up the Ironman in partnership with SEI.
“The last three years, we saw our Century Tuna Ironman 70.3 races sold to almost full capacity, proving that the Philippine triathlon community has grown and progressed," said Greg Banzon, vice president and general manager of Century Pacific Food Inc. Other backers of the event are venue hosts Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority and ACEA Subic Bay, bike leg racing partner NLEX and SCTEX, courier and logistics partner Black Arrow Express, footwear sponsor Hoka One One, hydration partners Gatorade and Aquafina, swim cap TYR, energy gel Gu and bike mechanics Storck. Also supporting the event are David’s Salon, Intercare and Prudential Guarantee, Hyper HD on Cignal, The Philippine Star, Trilife,Asiatri.com and Finisherpix, Alcoplus, Cetaphil, Devant, Ford, PLDT, Regent, Sanicare and Timex, Active Network, and ACEA, Best Western Plus, Court Meridian, The Lighthouse, Mansion Garden Hotel, The Villas, Subic Bay Peninsular, Subic Bay Yacht Club and Subic Holiday Villas.