THIRTY slots to the Ironman 70.3 World Championship will be up for grabs in the Century Tuna Ironman 70.3 on Sunday in Subic Bay.
World champion Tim Reed is seeing action, while Craig Alexander of Australia and Swiss Caroline Steffen are back to defend the titles they won in Subic last year in the centerpiece 1.9-kilometer swim, 90km bike and 21km run event.
Sam Betten and Jason Hall and Dan Wilson of Australia, South African Johan Stofberg, and Till Schramm of Germany, along with Radka Kahlefeldt, Dimity Lee Duke, Kate Bevilaqua, Sarah Lester, Imke Oelerich and Imogen Simmonds are among the other athletes to watch.
Aside from the top prize of US$3,000 purse (around P150,000), the pros will also chase slots in the World Championship set in September in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Close to 1,000 athletes are competing this time after 902 saw action in the inaugural run.
Britain has 23 athletes seeing action, while 22 are from the US, and Australia has 20 entries.
Singapore has 16, Guam 14, Japan 12, Germany 11 while Switzerland has 10, while also represented are Argentina, American Samoa, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Spain, France, Greece, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Hungary, Indonesia, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Lebanon, Sri Lanka, Monaco, Mexico, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Thailand, Uruguay and Vietnam.
Aside from the centerpiece pro and Asian Elite, other titles to be disputed are the 18-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69 and the 70-and-above age categories in the event presented by Century Bangus, Department of Tourism and Tourism Promotions Board, produced and organized by Sunrise Events, Inc. and backed by 2Go Express, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, Acea Subic Bay, Manila North Tollways Corp., Gatorade, Saucony and TYR.
A 2GO Bike Service and Expo is set on Friday, while the Alaska Ironkids and Century Tuna Superbods: The Underpants Run are slated Saturday.