Iron teams gear up

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

TRIATHLON is mostly known as an individual sport. But it’s a team game, too.

Some of Cebu’s top athletes in cycling and running are training just as hard as those competing in the individual events. They, however, are training with their teams for the much-anticipated Cobra Ironman 70.3 Philippines on Aug. 3 in Lapu-Lapu City.

Team Roro will be banking on Mary Joy Tabal’s running prowess and experience to help them in the race.


Tabal is Cebu’s top runner and the current fastest female marathoner in the country.

Tabal will have formidable teammates racing with her.

Keith Ashley Ocampo, the 2014 open water swim Olango Challenge champion, will do the swim part for the team and cyclist Roberto Uy Jr. is tasked to bike.

Cyclist Niño Surban, who recently bagged second place of the men’s elite cross-country race in the UCI-sanctioned Asean MTB Cup in June, will be racing with team Rdak-B in the all-men’s relay. Surban is teaming up with Richard Ray King, who will do the swim, and Regan Rex King. Surban also participated in last year’s race and finished 12th in the mixed relay.

Another top cyclist, John Renee Mier, a national team member and a gold medalist in the men’s open of the Asean MTB Cup last June, teamed up with Ivy Suarez and John Dairy to make up Team Rdak-A.

The Cebu Students Multisport is composed of University of San Carlos (USC) swimmer Ara Denisse Echavez, cyclist Luis Miguel Maximo, and RJ Lao III on the run.

Politicians and fitness enthusiasts Joseph Ace Durano and Ramon Durano III teamed up with Angela Cara Durano making up Team RD III.

Meanwhile, with 16 days left for the anticipated event, the organizers of Cobra Ironman 70.3 Philippines released on their website the final 90-kilometer bike route, which has updates of the turnaround points.

These were revised due to road constructions in the old race route.

One of the turnaround points this year is at the Talisay Fish Port Bay, which was the same as that of last year.

The former turnaround point at the Cebu International Convention Center (CICC) last year was transferred to the Palma Road entering the tunnel going to the Cebu South Coastal Road (CSCR). The bike turnaround point was changed due to the ongoing road construction on Sergio Osmeña Ave. With the shortened turnaround points, the triathletes are set for eight loops this year compared to four last year.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 17, 2014.


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