by Caecent Noot Magsumbol, Staff Writer
Manny Villaruel, Sports Editor
CEBU, Philippines - A record field of 200 triathletes will showcase their wares today for the Cebu leg of the 2011 SPEEDO National Age-group Triathlon Series at Plantation Bay Resort and Spa.
Triathletes who failed to beat last Friday’s deadline will still be accepted today but they will have pay a penalty and could no longer avail of the event t-shirt provided by the event's presentor, Speedo.
“This is the biggest so far here in terms of participation.This is even bigger than the Timex event before. Only 170 shirts were sent to us, but there are triathletes who didn’t mind not having the t-shirts,” said Rodriguez to The FREEMAN yesterday.
Lorhiz Echavez and Nonoy Jopson are Cebu’s top bets for the event.
Senator Pia Cayetano and businessman-Ironman and Xterra franchise holder Fred Uytengsu are also expected to see action.
Also expected to steal the limelight are Wayne Mcdougall from Vancouver, Hiroshi Takei of Chiba,. Japan and two 61 year-old entries Pio Salvador of Dumaguete and Nigel Short, who is based in Surigao City.
Youngsters aged 15 years old and below are also set to show off their know how including Cebu’s upcoming cyclist-triathlete, Luis Miguel Maximo, local swimmer Romylin Nina Ignacio, Cagayan’s Sixto Abeth Lalanto and Talisay’s Steven Carl Tan.
There are 10 triathletes from Manila, 20 from Bacolod, three from Cagayan de Oro and two from Iligan seeing action, making it harder for the Cebuanos to get into the top spot of the different categories featured in.
A very tough battle is expected with the city government of Lapu-lapu City allowing the organizing Triathlon Association of the Philippines (TRAP) to close the bike and run route of the event.
For Lapu-Lapu, the NAGT Series serves as a dry run for its own Tri Lapu 113 set this December.
Aside from Lapu-Lapu, the management of Plantation Bay Resort and Spa headed by Efren Belarmino, Rudy Project Eyewear through Jens Funk, RUNNR Store in Ayala, Holiday Gym and Spa, Danao City Sports Commission, Philippine Sports Commission and Gatorade are fully supporting the event. (FREEMAN)