Philippine triathlon is one of the fastest growing endurance sports communities in the world and this weekend will see the gun go off on Saturday 22 February at the inaugural Challenge Philippines in the spectacular setting of Bataan.
As well as over 700 age group athletes, the event has attracted some of the top names in the sport including four-time world champion Chris ‘Macca’ McCormack (AUS), keen to take on this tough but stunning course.
If McCormack is to take another Challenge title, he will have a world-class field to beat first. Current ITU Long Course World Champion and reigning Challenge Laguna Phuket champion, Rasmus Patreaus (DEN), Olympian and two-times ITU World Series Champion Greg Bennett (USA) and Fredrik Croneborg (SWE) will also feature in the 20-deep mail pro field.
The women’s field is equally competitive with Challenge Melbourne champion, Annabel Luxford (AUS) being joined by Challenge Laguna Phuket champion Melissa Hauschildt (AUS), Olympian and USA World Cup champion Laura Bennett (USA), Olympian Radka Vodickova (CZE) who has numerous titles to her name and Olympic silver medalist Emma Pooley (GBR) who will be the one to watch on the bike in a field of extremely strong women.
Challenge Philippines’ swim course is set to take athletes to the white sand beaches of the Camayan Beach Resort, which ventures into Ilanin Bay, its waters filled with protected marine life forms with an abundance of tropical fish, reefs, a bed of giant sea clams, and two historic shipwrecks.
The bike leg showcases a wealth of greenery as athletes bike their way through picturesque, tree-lined roads through historic Bataan. High speed downhill descents take cyclists through a coastal loop before heading to T2 for the half marathon.
The run course, like the bike course, will take athletes to a place that no-one has raced before: the Ilanin Forest Reserve. The beautiful and peaceful course goes from paved roads to a rare and exciting triple canopy run before finishing on the shores of Adventure Beach.
Dave Voth, Challenge Philippines CEO, said more and more triathletes in the Philippines and rest of the Southeast Asian region are signing up for international races. “Challenge Philippines with its “signature” bike and run courses, as well as its magnificent swim-course will provide that needed jump-off point especially for age-groupers who want to compete at the level of their international counterparts.”
Challenge Philippines is part of the Challenge Family series of triathlons which now features 25 full and half distance races around the world, including the world’s largest long distance triathlon – Challenge Roth in Germany. The birthplace of the Challenge Family, Challenge Roth now features over 5,500 athletes and 220,000 spectators and home to both world records held by Andreas Raelert (GER) and Chrissie Wellington (GBR). Since 2002, races throughout Europe, UK, Australasia, Asia and North America have joined Roth. Together they provide athletes with a new experience of long distance racing with a strong focus on athlete and spectator experience, giving back to the community while respecting the legacy of sport and being committed to its continued growth. For further information on Challenge Family visit http://www.challenge-family.com/challenge-philippines/.