August is a time for some of the world’s most talented athletes to gather in Lapu-Lapu City, where they will swim the crystal clear waters, cycle around the neighborhoods, and sprint along the major roads.
Ironman, Cebu’s most popular sports event, takes place every year in August. This leg of the world-famous triathlon features swimming, biking, and running courses, spanning different areas around Cebu.
Suffice to say, only the best of the best can endure the long-distance races held by this prominent sports event.
WHAT HAPPENS AT THE IRONMAN TRIATHLON?
Shangri-La Mactan in Punta Engaño has hosted all three major courses in the past few races.
However, Megaworld, the Ironman 2022 organizers, moved the race to the island’s premier business hub, Mactan Newtown.
The race starts with a swimming course in the waters of the Mactan Channel, with a starting point at Mactan Newtown Beach. Athletes are to go on a 1.9 kilometer single-loop clockwise swim on this course.
After the swim, athletes will transition to the bike race, with a distance of about 90 kilometers in a 3 loop course.
The route for this year’s bike race includes the newly opened Cebu Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX).
Previously, bikers traversed the Marcelo Fernan bridge to Cebu City through the North Reclamation Area in Mandaue City.
The route would then take the participants to South Road Properties, where they would loop back to Mactan Newtown through the same path.
When they arrive at Newtown, they will transition to the running course, which spans a large portion of Lapu-Lapu City, with 3 loops around Punta Engaño.
The final loop is at Mactan Newtown Boulevard, which leads them straight to the finish line outside the Savoy Hotel.
WHAT’S SO INTERESTING ABOUT THIS SPORTS EVENT?
- Worldwide Popularity
The triathlon typically appeals to sports enthusiasts who love the thrill and excitement of a good race. Ironman is one of the few events held in Cebu that has garnered worldwide recognition.
The event is graced every year by hundreds and thousands of athletes from around the world. It is also arguably the most prestigious event an athlete in Cebu can join.
Aside from welcoming international sponsors, the event also brings in tourists wanting to support their favorite athletes. One can say that the event is crucial to the economy and tourism of Cebu.
- Massive Scope
Indeed, Ironman is one of the most grueling triathlons because of the vast distance for each course. Athletes would need to go through extreme conditioning to finish the race.
Athletes pass by a dozen areas around Cebu, allowing spectators to see the action on the streets. The speed of the bikers and runners is exciting to watch as they race for the finish line.
This also means that some major roads will be closed throughout the event, causing several traffic jams in some parts of the city.
- Celebrities and Athletes
Several notable celebrities have registered to join the race for the past iterations of the triathlon, and hundreds of fans attend the event to catch a glimpse of their favorite local stars.
Some of these individuals include famous actors and models who are interested in finishing the famous triathlon. While it would be a big surprise to see them win the whole thing, it is still a fun opportunity to see them in action.
Ironman can also be fun for marathon enthusiasts who follow the race outside Cebu. Sports fans would surely enjoy the high-octane action in person, as it is one of the major sports events held in Cebu.
- Supporting Fellow Filipinos
Ironman doesn’t only cater to athletes and celebrities around the world. Many first-time racers who register for the triathlon are just as eager to be part of this world-renowned sporting event.
Many Cebuanos attend the event to see their loved ones compete in the major courses. In fact, it can be a thrilling and memorable experience even for those of us who are only there to spectate.
The Ironman triathlon continues to be a sports event that many Cebuanos and sports enthusiasts look forward to watching every year. After two years of missing the intense action on the streets of Cebu, it’s great to see the best runners, bikers, and swimmers worldwide compete for glory once again.
Many of us are happy to see the return of this special event to witness the adrenaline-pumping action of the incredible athletes. All three races definitely make this the biggest sporting event on the island.