Steffen, Reed Win the 2015 Cobra IM703 Championship Title


The Ironman PROs

Cobra Ironman 70.0 Philippines Pro Champions Caroline Steffen and Tim Reed. Photo by Jamil Buergo

2015 #CobraIronman703 Pro Champions Caroline Steffen and Tim Reed. Photo by Jamil Buergo

Swiss Miss Caroline Steffen took home her fourth Cobra Ironman 70.3 championship title on August 2, 2015, in Mactan, Cebu.

Alaska Tri-Aspire’s Pro triathlete Caroline Steffen, who goes by the monicker Xena, proved her being a warrior princess as she led the women’s Pro category in the swim leg. And despite having a broken chain and a bike crash, the crowd saw her in her running perfect form to land her in the top spot.

From his recent winning at the 5i50 in early this year held in Subic, Australian Tim Reed battled it out with his contemporaries in the men’s Pro to win his first Cobra Ironman 70.3 championship title.

The festive beach front of the Mactan Shangri-La on an early Sunday morning teemed with triathlon Pros, Filipino Elites, age groupers, relay participants and spectators from all corners of the country and across the globe. Vintas donned with colourful banderitas line up along the designated swim course. As the excitement crept up, the Pros took off followed by the Filipino Elites. Age groupers and relay participants seeded themselves in their respective swim time finish of the 1.9km swim course.

Defending champion Brent McMahon made it first off the swim to the transition followed Reed and Tim Van Berkel. The 90-kilometre bike course was a close competition among the top three contenders. As the race progressed, the speeding bikes coursed through the four cities namely Talisay, Mandaue, Cebu and Lapu-Lapu, with Reed taking over the lead with Van Berkel close behind. McMahon trailing on the third spot. Steffen held strong on her lead. Approaching the 40th kilometre, 15 times Ironman Champion Belinda Granger was a few metres behind. Soon, she gained her lead back putting Granger on the second spot, with Dimity-Lee Duke catching up; Kathryn Haesner, Beth Gerdes and Carole pedalling for the fourth, fifth and sixth spots.

2015 Cobra IM703 Philippines Finisher's medal designed by Kenneth Cobonpue.

2015 #CobraIronman703 Finisher’s medal designed by Kenneth Cobonpue.

From transition area to the run course, the endless queue of spectators filled the sides of Punta Engano Rd. where the final leg of the race was taking place. It’s a two-loop course of the 21 kilometre run with a turn around point at the Discovery Bay with the scenic seaside as the backdrop. Loud cheers emanated from the crowd as Pros and Elites covered each kilometre of the course. It was the most festive leg of the race as there are several cheer dancers donned in colourful attires performing their routines.

The male Pros pounded each kilometre of the road towards the finish line. The eventual champion, Tim Reed made made the top podium in 3:46:03, 2 seconds ahead of second placer Tim Van Berkel (3:46:05). Brent McMahon slipped into the third spot (3:50:23), followed by Mitch Robbins on the fourth place (3:55:20). World Champion Crowie Alexander completed the roster of the male Pro champions (3:57:11).

Caroline Steffen made an impressive finish (4:23:54) by winning her fourth championship title. Beth Gerdes slipped into the second spot (4:29:07) past the third placer Dimity-Lee Duke (4:29:36), Kathryn Haesner made it to the fourth spot (4:32:15). Belinda Granger gracefully retired from competitive racing as she reached the finish line for the fifth spot (4:42:00). Carole Fuchs completes the line up of the female Pro champions (4:43:39).

With Jamie Jacobs, my favourite IM Champion Belinda Granger, Pete Jacobs and Justin Granger at the Cobra IM703 finishers' lounge.

With Jamie Jacobs, my favourite IM Champion Belinda Granger, Pete Jacobs and Justin Granger at the #CobraIronman703 finishers’ lounge.

The Filipino Elites

While the Pros battled for the top spot in their category, our Filipino Elites did not flicker as they boldly raced for supremacy amongst themselves in the 70.3 mile distance.

August Benedicto of Team Unilab bagged the top spot (4:28:36), Team Ford Forza’s John Philip Duenas came in second (4:28:42), and Alaska Tri-Aspire’s Banjo Norte made the triumvirate of the local male champions complete (4:29:05). Always regarded as the fastest Filipina triathlete, Monica Torres towered over her female contemporaries (4:39:37) with a 13-minute lead against the second placer Maria Hodges (4:53:09). LC Langit made it to the third spot in 5:05:30.

****

The annual Cobra Ironman 70.3 Philippines is the most anticipated sports and tourism event in the country, especially in Cebu as not only the Pros, Filipino Elites and CEOs partake to compete but also age groupers and celebrity triathletes join in the individual and relay categories. Matteo Guidicelli and Piolo Pascual were a total crowd drawer as loud screams echoed everytime they pass.

Giorgia Guidicelli at the run leg turn around point. #CobraIM703Ph

Giorgia Guidicelli at the run leg turn around point. #CobraIronman703

I positioned myself at the 18th kilometre mark at the first pass, which was right next to the tunnel heading towards Plaza Independencia. As I busied myself with the live updates of the ongoing race, here comes Matteo Guidicelli coming off the tunnel who first recognised me and called my attention. And to think that I’ve known him and his family for only a few months! Later that afternoon, he shared that he felt good during the swim and bike legs, however, it was rather challenging for him during the run leg. His equally athletic sibling,Giorgia, remained tough and strong despite the increasing temperature when I spotted her at the turn around point. Giorgia made her second podium finish in a 70.3 race.

The event concluded with the awarding ceremony held at the golf course area of the Shangri-La, Mactan. As the event wrapped up, it was announced that the Ironman 70.3 Asia Pacific World Championship will be hosted by Cebu in 2016!

The finisher’s medal and winner’s trophy was designed by world-renowned designer Kenneth Cobonpue.

For complete race results, please visit: 2015 Cobra Ironman 70.3 Philippine Results

Congratulations to the winners and finishers!

For race updates, like Cobra Ironman 70.3 on Facebook: Cobra Ironman 70.3 Philippines
Twitter: @CobraIronMan703
Instagram: @cobraironman703/

Registration for the Cobra Ironman 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championship 2016 opens on October 1, 2015, 8am (Manila Time, GMT+8). Log on to www.ironman703phil.com

See you all in 2016!

Cyclists Gear Up at the Alaska Cycle Philippines


On its second year since the inaugural Alaska Cycle Philippines in 2014, cyclists of all ages gathered for another fun-filled event at SM MOA open grounds on May 16-17, 2015, which kicked off with the expo held at Microtel Inn & Suites.

To address the increasing concern on poor nutrition especially among the children, Alaska headlines the annual Alaska Cycle Philippines to further spread awareness on the important role of proper nutrition in helping children become champions in life, through sports.

Featuring young and upcoming cyclists, first time bike riders, junior triathletes and cycling enthusiasts, Alaska Cycle Philippines gathered children and their families on May 16, 2015, for a healthy non-competitive bike ride.

Highlights of the event include the 100 metre and 500 metre fun rides for the little ones aged 2 to 3 and 4 to 5 years old, respectively, with  each rider accompanied by an adult. Mini-bikes and trikes in different forms and sizes paraded towards the start line, with their respective riders. Along with other children her age, Anika debuted as a cyclist in her Disney princess inspired mini-trike.

Watching them was entertaining. While they all thought that everything was only just play, these little riders were apparently oblivious that they have already shown a bit of their competitiv side. All at such a very young age, with their parents cheering non-stop from start to finish.

Paolo Guidicelli wrapping up his 5km ride.

Paolo Guidicelli wrapping up his 5km ride.

The 5km Kids Ride was joined in by more trained children aged 6 to 9 years of age. Paolo Guidicelli, who recently made a debut in the world of multisport through Alaska Ironkids, impressively finished his 5km bike ride. While it was a non-competitive event, still Paolo couldn’t help but to stay on top of his game. His Dad Gianluca can’t be any prouder than his mom Glena and triathlete sister Giorgia, who have been cheering him on.

In order to cater to riders of all ages, Sunrise Events, Inc. designed a more challenging category for riders 10 to 12 years old – the Junior Challenge, which is a 30-minute bike ride. In this category, each participant can cover as many kilometres as he can within the 30 minute window.

Alaska Ironkids Finishers Una Sibayan, Wacky Baniqued and their teammates at Team TriGear.

Alaska Ironkids Finishers Una Sibayan, Wacky Baniqued and their teammates at Team TriGear.

Since doing a coverage of Alaska Ironkids races in 2012, seeing familiar faces in events like the Alaska Cycle Philippines is not uncommon. For one, coming all the way from Laguna with their parents in tow, Una Sibayan and Wacky Baniqued headlined the Team Tri-Gear in the Junior Challenge. Coming off from the finish line arc, Ted Jacob Laminta, who made a podium in the Alaska Ironkids Aquathlon in March, completed his 30-minute bike ride smoothly.

Day 2 of the event saw more cyclists joining the event – from the Community Ride, Foldies and The Challenge categories. This is also the event for the parents who accompanied their little ones the previous day.

The Challenge category was a 40 kilometre ride and was participated in by more seasoned cyclists and triathletes. The route took the riders to a safe a technically challenging route in the metro.

Alaska Tri-Aspire's Jenny Guerrero, Banjo Norte, Paul Jumamil & JC Abad

Alaska Tri-Aspire’s Jenny Guerrero, Banjo Norte, Paul Jumamil & JC Abad

Though not a race category, Alaska Tri-Aspire’s youngest triathlete, JC Abad, was the top finisher who completed the route in roughly two hours. Seconds behind him is Paul Jumamil. Jenny Guerrero and Banjo Norte came in with lead pack – all representing the Alaska Tri-Aspire Triathlon team.

Professional triathlete and Coach Matt O’Halloran purposely enjoyed the bike ride with Alaska Milk Corporation CEO Fred Uytengsu and Spectrum Worldwide’s Chris Robb.

Giorgia Guidicelli, Mr. Fred Uytengsu, Gianluca Guidicelli, Victor Basa and the rest of Team Fordza.

Giorgia Guidicelli, Mr. Fred Uytengsu, Gianluca Guidicelli, Victor Basa and the rest of Team Fordza.

Giorgia and dad Gianluca Guidicelli joined the Challenge category. Also joining in the category is actor Victor Basa.

In continuing its commitment to help Filipinos, especially the young ones achieve good nourishment, Alaska Cycle Philippines participants and non-participants alike can have their fill of the refreshingly nutritious milk, both in vanilla and chocolate flavour, at the Alaska Milk Bar. Drinking milk after a physical activity like cycling aids in the individual’s faster recovery. Thanks to the essential nutrients found in milk.

Alaska Milk’s “Nutrition. Action. Champion.” campaign comes alive through different Alaska Sports such as the Alaska Cycle Philippines. For updates on Alaska Sports, follow @AlaskaSportsHub on Twitter.

Alaska Cycle Philippines is presented by Alaska, organised by Sunrise Events, Inc. in partnership with Spectrum Worldwide.

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