THE inaugural Powerman Duathlon Pilipinas aims to do for duathlons what other foreign brands have done for triathlon when it kicks off in Balanga, Bataan on November 14-15.
To prove they mean business, Powerman organizers flew in 2014 Powerman World Champion Gael Le Bellec to the country to help promote the event which aims to elevate the status of duathlon in the country.
“Southeast Asia has the capacity to make duathlon become a big sport and become as performed as triathlon. The Powerman is the path duathlon has to follow in order to become as famous as Ironman,” Le Bellec said during a press conference at the Clawdaddy restaurant in Bonifacio High Street.
The 27-year old French-British national said he aims to promote duathlon as a growing competitive sport before he returns to the Philippines in November to participate.
“I still feel like I have a fresh view of this sport as I've not been part of the triathlon/duathlon community for long. I enjoy every moment I spend now I feel I can do well to help this sport to get bigger. This sport has offered me so many things since I started; I feel I owe something to duathlon,” Le Bellec said.
Participating in cycling, running, and triathlons since 2009, Le Bellec has bagged places in numerous competitions, placing seventh in the French Cross Country Semi Finals, and third on Tour de Nouvelle-Caledonie. Le Bellec won back-to-back French Nationals and Duathlon World Championships last year. He also placed first in the Men's ITU Elite category at the 2014 ITU Powerman Long Distance Duathlon World Championships in Zofingen, Switzerland.
The Powerman Duathlon's maiden Philippine race will be featuring the Powerman Classic distance of 10km-60km-10km as well as the Short category with a 5km-30km-5km distance. The duathlon series also serves as the official qualifying event for the 2016 ITU Powerman Long Distance Duathlon World Championship.
“More than just the chance of bringing the world-class sports event to the country, this is also an opportunity for us to send our athletes to the international arena,” said Powerman Duathlon Philippines president Tobias Bernando.
Bernardo, a marketing specialist and multisport enthusiast, has teamed up with race director Thumbie Remigio and restaurateur Raymund Magdaluyo to make an international standard Powerman race.
Remigio said they have mapped out a course characterized by a right mix of level and hilly terrain for the expected 1,200 participants who will start/transition at the Earthfield Center and finish in front of the Provincial Capitol.