LAOAG CITY – Emerging from a successful race last year, the much-awaited ‘Tri Ilocos Nort3,’ kicked-off on March 28.
On its third year now, the triathlon race which featured triathletes from the different parts of the country and the world as well as local warriors and youngsters, was organized by TriSports Solutions Inc. (TSI), Tri North, an Ilocos Norte-based triathlon club, and the provincial government of Ilocos Norte.
Marcos continues to support major sports events, not only due to their potential to highlight the growing tourism industry of the province but also because more Ilocanos are becoming health conscious.
TSI head and race director Mikey Chua, said the number of racers for this year’s triathlon series went up to 245—a 200% increase in participants.
Promoting ‘sportourism’ in Ilocos Norte for highlighting many of the province’s famous tourist landmarks, the race started at a private village resort owned by Dr. Joven Cuanang in Sitio Remedios in Currimao town.
Combining a sporting challenge with Ilocos Norte’s well-known tourist spots such as the UNESCO Heritage Site in Paoay Church and the rock formations in the coastal barangay of Pangil, Currimao , calm beaches, serene landscapes and breathtaking sites were included in the course of the triathlon event.
A favorite venue for MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing, and Exhibitions), Ilocos Norte has already hosted a number of major sports events, including the International Paoay Regatta which involved various international boat clubs from India, Pakistan, Singapore and United Kingdom among others in 2013.
Chua also explained that Ilocos Norte is a good venue to hold triathlon events because the environment is not polluted and the accessibility of wide roads enable participants to race freely without causing much traffic uproar.
“We can’t find other good places as Ilocos Norte,” said Chua even as he added that the the triathlon series succeeded due to the support of the provincial government of Ilocos Norte.
Male and female age groupers competed in the race distances that included sprint distance, standard Olympic distance and half-ironman distance while mixed all-male and all-female relay teams vied for honors in the standard distance and half-ironman distance.
Competitors included Senator Pia S. Cayetano, a veteran Ironman triathlete, and Isabella Kapunan, the first female finisher in the Sprint division, ages 12-15.
Ryan Reed and Alessandra Reed, a couple who came all the way from Australia, participated in the sporting event.
Meanwhile, Australian National Michael Murphy dominated the race in the 133-kilometer distance category for 25-29 ages group with a total time of 04:15:10. Neil Nazarro who competed in the sprint distance for 12-15 ages group finished at 01:22:40.
Team Golden Coolers ruled the 133-kilometer relay run with a clock time of 04:23:16 while the TriNorth Ladies finished first in the 51.5-kilometer relay run by clocking in at 03:02:05. (with report by J. Michael Mugas, PGIN-CMO)