Triathletes joining this Sunday’s Megaworld IRONMAN 70.3 Philippines in Cebu will be up for a challenging but scenic bike route, the 8.9-kilometer Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway. Among the participants are six who are part of two CCLEX relay teams.
“It is very humbling,” said Cebu Cordova Link Expressway Corporation Vice President and Project Manager Herbert Laboy when asked what he feels about seeing the CCLEX becoming a venue for an international sporting event.
He said the CCLEX might pose a bit of a challenge, especially for non-professional cyclists, because of the incline and elevation. But the scenic panorama of seeing the Cebu skyline from the bridge deck is breathtaking, he said.
That view is described by Ironman Asia managing director Jeff Edwards in a news report as “spectacular. It’s a visual experience.”
On Sunday, however, Laboy will be focused on making it to the bike cut-off time. The 57-year-old father of 3 will be the biker in the CCLEX relay team that has Manuel Pelago as swimmer and Jenny Chico as runner.
Laboy said he prepared for his first Ironman 70.3 by biking with friends all over Cebu.
Pelago, who works as part of the CCLEC staff, said Sunday is his first race. The Alcoy native, however, has been swimming for 16 years, having been living in a coastal area. He started training for Sunday’s event after being chosen to become part of one of the CCLEX teams.
Chico, who works with business development at Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation, said she prepared for the event by doing “mind and body conditioning.”
“I’ve been doing regular cycling, running, and swimming alternating sessions as part of my daily routine. Taking part in any race requires each of us athletes to include training sessions as part of our daily lifestyle,” said Chico, who has been into the sport for 5 years now.
The other CCLEX team has Ian Tagudan as swimmer, Ricardo Rontal as biker, and Pio Tumpang as runner.
Tagudan, a health and wellness specialist with MPTC, has been into swimming as a sport for 15 years. Sunday will be his first Ironman and he has been preparing for it with mind and body conditioning, regular biking, and running, as well as water therapy training.
Rontal, who works with the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) Patrol, has been biking for 25 years but Sunday will be his first Ironman. He has been preparing for it through regular biking, running, and having proper nutrition.
Anchoring their relay team is Tumpang, who works as HRAD Support Service Admin. He has been running for 30 years but Sunday will be his first Ironman.
The six members of the two CCLEX relay teams are part of a global field of 1,928 triathletes from 46 countries. Sunday’s event is a historic return to Cebu of the annual race after the pandemic lockdowns.