LAPU-LAPU CITY — Youth will take over the roads of the Mactan Newtown here when the IRONKIDS Philippines, the junior division of the Megaworld IRONMAN 70.3 Philippines, kicks off Saturday, Aug. 6.

IRONMAN participants traverse the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway ahead of their race on Sunday, Aug. 7 at Mactan Newtown in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu. (Photo from Megaworld Cebu Ironman 70.3 Philippines’ Facebook page)

IRONMAN Philippines general manager Princess Galura expressed her excitement that the iconic triathlon in the Philippines returns to Cebu after two-year lull due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Cebu also suffered an onslaught when Typhoon Odette hit the country in December 2021.

Amid the uncertainty, Galura heaved a sigh of relief when the IRONMAN was given the green light as early as April.

“Not everybody knows that maybe like six months ago, we didn’t know that we are coming back to Cebu,” recalled Galura. “‘Cos after Covid, after Odette, it was not my place to ask for a lot of things from the government especially what they have been through.”

A total of 222 junior triathletes will showcase their mastery in swimming, cycling, and running as the centerpiece event 13-14 age gap had 54 participants.

The 13-14 class will engage in 400-meter swim, 12-kilometer bike, and 3km run; the 6-8 group will trail 100m swim, 2km bike, and 1km run; the 9-10 category will cross 200m swim, 6km swim, and 1.5km run: while the 11-12 bracket will traverse 400m swim, 6km bike, and 2km run.

Race begins as early as 6 a.m. for the 13-14 class while transition open and briefing starts earlier at 5 a.m.

A relay competition for IRONKIDS, which served as a side event in the IRONMAN, also fires off over the weekend.

Meanwhile, more than 2,000 triathletes from 46 nations take centerstage Sunday, Aug. 7, for the IRONMAN also here as they race through the 1.9km swim, 90km bike, and 21k run course.

Stealing the spotlight of the race, presented by AIA Vitality, is the country’s newly-built and longest bridge Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway, commonly known as CCLEX, which easily takes over 8.9km of the 90km bike race. The CCLEX is the latest pride of Cebu which links Cebu City and Cordova.

“We were able to make it… slowly in about — by April I know that we already have a race. so we started building it up, we started promoting the CCLEX, we started promoting Megaworld, and lo and behold, we are close to 2,000 [participants].

Source: Manila Bulletin (