Cobra Ironman 70.3 Philippines HIGHLIGHT SHOW

Missed the showing of the Cobra Ironman 70.3 Philippines Highlight Show at Studio 23 last Sunday? Or you saw it but would like to watch it over again? Fret not, here now is an online copy of the show. Happy watching!




Manila, PHILIPPINES – The Cobra Energy Drink Ironman 70.3 Philippines obtained a 97.6% rating on a participant satisfaction survey making it the 2nd best Ironman event worldwide.

The survey was conducted by the World Triathlon Corporation, promoter and issuer of licenses for all Ironman events, to more than 2,000 participants of the race held in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu last August 4.

The Ironman 70.3 Mont-Tremblant in Quebec, Canada was ranked as number one. Canada also hosted a full Ironman and an Ironman World Championship event this year and is also set to hold all three events again next year.

According to Sunrise Events, Inc., the ratings from the WTC survey resulted from points gathered for the following criteria: pre-event activities like the registration and carbo-loading party, actual race management and handling from the swim, bike and run, to hydration and medical support and others like venue, entertainment, participant’s entitlements like medals and the post-event awarding ceremonies.

This year’s Ironman 70.3 event in the Philippines was the second time that the race was held in Cebu with the first three years being held in the province of Camarines Sur. 

Participants revealed via the survey that they liked the attention given to every detail of the race, especially the carbo-loading party hosted by Lapu-Lapu City at Shangri-la’s Mactan Resort and Spa. It included a fast-beat production number with pop-jazz dancers, show violinist Jake Gacanga, a Cebuano DJ and fireworks.

But the best praise was given to the level of excitement that was provided by the crowd during the entire conduct of the race.  “It was the cheering that got me through the race,” said Courtney Atkinson of Australia, who topped the male professional category. “The highlight for me was the cheering, the crowd and the run through the local community.”

Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza, in a statement, congratulated Oponganons “for putting their best foot forward.” She thanked the thousands of public school students who lined up along the race routes in rainy weather to cheer on athletes, barangays that fielded colorful “vintas”, peacekeepers and residents. “We will have to outdo ourselves in 2014,” she said.

On the other hand, the race was not only all praises as initial feedback gathered from the participants was that roads were very uneven, especially the roads used by cyclists in the South Reclamation Project tunnel in Cebu City.

This fact and the challenge posed by SEI President Wilfred Steven Uytengsu for the event to hit the no. 1 mark by next year’s hosting gives the group the energy to not only aim high for the number 1 rank but also to work hard especially in addressing the identified concerns, so that they get a better chance of securing the top spot.

From 400 participants in 2009, the Cobra Energy Ironman 70.3 Philippines has grown rapidly to 1,700 signing up for the event last year and 2,150 participants last August from 35 countries with about 600 on the waiting list.

For 2014, the race will be held on August 3 but preparations will already start by next month.

Our IronMan Weekend to Remember

The first weekend of August 2013 will have to be hubby and mine’s most memorable weekend of 2013 so far. Well, for one it was our first out of town trip together without the kids – our first for almost 19 years! Best of all it was great because we were at Cebu and witnessed the Alaska IronKids and Cobra Ironman 70.3 Philippines events.

If you were there, you will have the same feeling as ours – pride for being Filipinos! These events, for the uninitiated, are international events which attracts foreign participants from various countries. This year alone, the IM70.3 event attracted 2,150 participants from 35 countries. It was a great chance to see the beauty of our country and our people. Aside from the excellent event organizing of Sunrise Events, the people of the province of Cebu came all out to support this endeavor. Foreigners were harping that our Half-Ironman event in the Philippines is the best IM event they have been to.

We will definitely come back again next year!

Meanwhile, let me share with you the highlights of both the Alaska Ironkids and Cobra Ironman 70.3 Philippines via these video clips. Also found after each video are the race results for both events.


Awards Per Age Group-CEO Per Age Group-Per Relay Team
Overall Results – Age Groupers
Overall Results – CEO Category
Overall Results – TOP 20 PRO and FILIPINO ELITE
Overall Results – PROs
Overall Results – Filipinos
Overall Results – RELAY TEAMS

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The Cobra Energy Drink Ironman 70.3 Philippines – Year 5

Preparations for the Philippine version of the most prestigous half-distance Ironman race dubbed as the Cobra Energy Drink Ironman 70.3 Philippines is now in full-swing. Now on it’s fifth year of staging, this year’s edition was launched in it’s signature posh fashion and promises to be bigger – in terms of participation and event features.


During the launch at the Makati Shangri-la Hotel, most of this year’s event features and offering were presented by premier race organizer Sunrise Events, Inc. President and incidentally, Alaska Milk Corporation CEO, Wilfred Steven Uytengsu, Jr. If you were at the Rizal Ballroom, you will witness and feel the excitement of would-be race participants who are present there and feel how inspired non-participants came to be just by witnessing all the details unfolding right before their eyes.

In addition, we can’t help but have that longing to be in Cebu right away – what with all the food that came all the way from the Queen City of the South served to us – the famous and delicious Cebu lechon, my favorite Cebu ripe mangoes and the new rave, chocolate-coated dried mangoes! Yum!

Oh but before I make you all crave for these good food, let me share to you the most important information that we were able to gather during the launch, read on!


August 4, 2013 (Sunday)
Shangri-La Mactan Resort and Spa, Cebu
Individual and Relay
1.9K Swim, 90K Bike, 21K Run


  • The Cebu Provincial Government is under new management but same, if not even higher, level of support is to be expected
  • There are 2,150 registered participants creating a new registration record for this race because slots got sold out in 4 days, with 650 still in the waiting list
  • Registered participants come from 35 countries, 6 continents
  • A new race category, the CEO category, was created this year and is open to Chief Executive Officers, Presidents or Managing Directors of companies that earn $5 million in annual revenue. Mr Uytengsu said that this category was created to accommodate the CEOs who still want to race despite lesser time for training and practice. Participants of the CEO Category gets the privilege of starting the race together with the Pros.
  • The race has an outstanding line up of Pros, including Philippines’ very own, Ms. Monica Torres who have just elevated to the Pro ranks this year (starting with the Century Tuna 5150 Triathlon race in Subic last June)

PROS_page1 PROS_page2PROS_page3

  • 2012 Ironman World Championship Winner in Kona, Hawaii and three-time Cobra Energy Drink Ironman 70.3 Philippines Champion Pete Jacobs will return to this race to defend his title
  • 2013 Cobra Energy Drink Ironman 70.3 Philippines Top Female Pro Winner, Caroline Steffen will also return to defend her title.
  • Making the event more exciting is the confirmed participation of 2-time Ironman World Champion Chris “Macca” McCormack who will be joining the IM70.3 Philippines for the first time. Macca got his “short but sweet” Philippine experience just a couple of weeks ago when he went here for the Century Tuna 5150 Triathlon.
  • Popular Filipino celebrities in the field of politics, entertainment, media and lifestyle/fashion such as Sen. Pia Cayetano, actors Piolo Pascual, Matteo Guidicelli, hosts Drew Arellano, Kim Atienza, newspaper columnist and fashionista Tessa Prieto-Valdez, salon king David Charlton, will put glitter amidst this challenging but fun event.
  • As usual, a surprise participant will be seeing action also in this event for the first time.


left to right: Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza, Mr. Wilfred Steven Uytengsu, Jr., Sunrise Events Inc. President and Alaska Milk Corp. CEO, Cobra Energy Drink AVP Mr. Abe Cipriano and Mr. Kenneth Cobonpue, world-renowned furniture maker who is a Cebuano

left to right: Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza, Mr. Wilfred Steven Uytengsu, Jr., Sunrise Events Inc. President and Alaska Milk Corp. CEO, Cobra Energy Drink AVP Mr. Abe Cipriano and Mr. Kenneth Cobonpue, world-renowned furniture maker who is a Cebuano

  • The race event still has the full support of Cobra Energy Drink, who have been the event’s title sponsor since it’s debut in Camarines Sur on 2008.
  • Newly-elected Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III pledged the full support of the provincial government of Cebu and its people in the second year of the Cobra Energy Drink IM70.3 Philippines’ staging in their turf.
  • Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza also pledged once again their support and warm hospitality as she said that they will be putting up a fisherman’s village and 100 tents with well wishers at the Discovery Bay, commonly known as Mangal, which is the turn-around area for the run section of the race.  
  • Mayor Radaza also promised to mobilize a strong 20,000 manpower to line every kilometer of the race route with cheerers, supporters and traffic enforcers to ensure a memorable and positive race experience. “We will make sure that when you go back to your respective places after the race, you will bring with you only happy memories because it is double the fun in Lapu-Lapu City”, said the esteemed Mayor as she ended her speech.
  • Kenneth Cobonpue again provides his talent as support to this race event. For the second straight year, Mr. Cobonpue has designed the finisher’s medal and winner’s trophies of the event. 



countries countrycount


age profile


World-Renowned furniture designer and proud Cebuano, Kenneth Cobonpue was once again tapped to lend his talent in the design of this year’s Finisher’s Medal and Winner’s Trophies.

In his presentation at the launch, he proudly shared to us the following:

  • The 2012 Cobra Energy Drink Ironman 70.3 Philippines Finisher’s Medal which he designed, got the best looking medal recognition, next to the Olympic Medal, for year 2012.

2012 medal

  • He created this year’s medal design in a span of 2 months and have toyed with the below concepts:


  • The final medal design is made up of three segments of metal looped together making sure each segment will not touch at the center. Each segment represents triathlon’s three sports disciplines: swimming, biking and running.


  • The winners’ trophies are a spin-off of the medal’s design with the colors of the metal representing the swim leg made to adapt based on the winning rank – gold for 1st place, silver for 2nd place and bronze for 3rd place. Just like the medal, the trophies’ are entirely made of metal with the bike leg’s metal covered with rubber.

trophy-1 trophy-2

For sure a lot of other exciting pre-race, race and post-race features will be announced to the public as event day nears. As Sunrise Events, Inc. have always never failed to don their thinking cap, for sure a slew of other exciting surprises will be unveiled on race day. Of course all of these in the primary objective of making it known that “Triathlon is more fun in the Philippines“.


*Note: Credit goes to Sunrise Events, Inc. for all the videos seen on this post.


Late Post: My Cobra Ironman 70.3 2012 Experience

— was not a triathlete’s experience! I was there just as a mere spectator but it was a fun, fun, fun experience nevertheless! In addition, I was lucky to have, together with a number of my friends, to have been given media accreditation and thus have easy access to the event’s venue/s.

The Cobra Ironman 70.3 Philippines 2012, which was held for the first time in Mactan City, Cebu (the past editions were held at the CamSur Water Sports Complex in Camarines Sur), was not just an event but also was a celebration –  a celebration of the Filipinos’ growing love for Triathlon as a sport and also a celebration of the Filipino’s knack for hospitality.

The following chronicles  my three-day experience in Cebu for the pre-race, actual race and post-race experiences. I do not have a technical feedback about the conduct of the race though as I believe that the best people to provide these are the participants themselves.

AUGUST 3, 2012, Friday:

Upon entering the lobby of Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 on Friday morning, participants and guests travelling from Manila to Cebu already had a taste of the Cobra IM70.3  Philippines fever! Pretty ladies clad in native-costumes hold banners welcoming participants to the event. Signages are also clearly visible around the area making sure that participants are guided in what they should do prior to boarding. Best of all, an information desk was also setup right beside the entrance to the airline check-in counters. Clearly, all participants can ask for help or support inside the airport. My thought was – “Yey, this is it! I am definitely going back to Cebu to finally witness how an Ironman event is being held!” – I was uber excited!

ladies in native costumes all-smiles in welcoming IM70.3 participants bound from Manila to Cebu

the Cobra IM70.3 Philippines Info Desk by the entrance of the airline check-in counters

Our delayed flight to Cebu only coupled this excitement with anxiousness especially upon arriving at the Mactan International Airport. If the welcoming team at the Manila’s NAIA did generate excitement, it will be more so at the Mactan Cebu airport. Here, Filipiniana-clad ladies together with Barong Tagalog wearing-men are there at the airport, welcoming each participants and guests with a memento from Cebu – a handcrafted necklace which has the name Cebu on it. I was to later discover that we just missed a cultural dance presentation which is being held in intervals at the airport. The price a delayed flight makes…

After checking-in at the hotel and dropping off most of our things, Jenny and I went to the Shangri-la Mactan Resort Hotel to meet friends and of course, start our “IM70.3 experience”. The hotel’s sprawling area was converted into an Ironman haven! Everywhere you look, there is something that will make you remember that both the IronKids and IM70.3 races are just a few days away!

The following activities were simultaneously on-going when we arrived at the Shang:

  • Athlete Registration for both IM70.3 and IronKids
  • Bike Service
  • Meet the PROs PressCon
  • Selling at the Ironman Store
  • Sponsors Expo

human traffic was at a high and fast pace at the Marquee where most of the above-mentioned activities were held.

a portion of the Ironman Store

We were only able to catch the last part of the Meet the PROs presscon but what struck me the most was that most of the PROs are one in saying that the reason that they keep coming back to participate in the Philippines’ IM70.3 was because this was where they felt that they are best taken-cared of not just by the organizers but also the hospitable Filipinos. 

The Meet the PROs presscon did not only have the PROs in attendance. Mr Uytengsu, Cebu Gov Gwen Garcia, Mactan City Mayor, Kenneth Cobonpue were also there to answer the media’s questions

Some of the PROs in the presscon. Farthest from left is Cameron Brown and next to him Pete Jacobs. They eventually went on to win the 2nd and 1st place (men and overall), respectively with Pete Jacobs getting a 3-peat!

One of the highlights of the presscon was the unveiling of the Kenneth Cobonpue-designed Ironman 70.3 Finisher’s Medal. 🙂

We were also able to get a glimpse of the Alaska IronKids’s Carbo-Loading party that was then about to start. Yes folks, the Alaska IronKids, a side mini-event to the IM70.3 which was held a day before the actual race, also had their own version of a Carbo-Loading dinner. It was actually a children’s party of sorts, complete with kiddie treats such as a cotton candy cart, hotdogs, chocolate fondue/fountain and not to forget, a Magic Show. It was a kiddie Carbo-Loading feast with all the ingredients of fun in it!

The last activity for the day was the Carbo-Loading Dinner held at the Cebu International Convention Center. Shuttle service were provided to both participants, organizers and media as the venue is considerably far from the Shang. The carbo-loading dinner is presented in such a grand manner. Not only were the food the finest (with of course Cebu’s famous lechon prominently included in the  menu!), the program that comes with it was also grand! It was a presentation of Cebu’s beautiful culture through dance. It was just simply fantastic!

everyone were greeted at the entrance by Cebu’s cultural group clad in very colorful (and i assume, heavy!) costumes

As I have said the Carbo-Loading Dinner was the last activity to cap that day which I think was the day which kicked-off all activities leading to the actual races – for the kids and adults alike.

We came back to our hotel rooms tired but really happy. If this is a portent of things to come, then we are truly in for a lot of exciting and fun experience!

AUGUST 4, 2012 – Saturday:

Saturday found us awake very early as this was the day that the Alaska IronKids race is to be held. Being a parent myself, I so look forward to seeing the kids do their mini-version of a triathlon. For the most part, I truly would like to cheer and hug all of them as they are even better than most of us adults! These kids were truly full of courage as they have taken on the open swim course. Oh look at me, I can’t even do a decent swim at the pool! 😛

a kid having his body marked

A total of 139 kids participated at the Alaska IronKids race in Cebu

the kids, off the swim course and on to their bikes

and i suddenly missed mtbiking!

This cute little kid on the run course is Noy and Amale Jopson’s daughter, a TRIATHLETE just like her parents! 🙂

The Alaska IronKids event showed everyone how kids can overcome such daunting tasks given enough training and of course support and love from their parents and the people around them. During the awarding ceremonies, the mother’s heart in me got filled with so much awe and joy that I got teary-eyed just by watching these kids come up the podium! 

The rest of the day was meant for participant’s bike check-in and race briefing. Me and my friends opted to be out of the scene to do some “pasalubong” shopping. It was a great surprise to learn that discount privileges are being given to IronMan 70.3 delegates in some of the stores within Mactan. Non-participants such as us were extended this benefit by virtue of our bearing Ironman 70.3 Media passes. 🙂

The last activity for everyone on that day was the Anticipated Mass. I went alone as my friend is non-catholic but was lucky to have met-up with friend Gemma. We heard mass together which was to say the least was great. It was so overwhelming to see a ballroom-full of triathletes hearing Holy Mass together, praying for a good and blessed race day.  Afterwards, it was a dinner treat from my good friend P where I again saw my favorite PJ. 😉 

Day 2 was done with full of anticipation for the would-be happenings of Day 3. 🙂

AUGUST 5, 2012 – Sunday, IM70.3 Race Day:

This is it! Race Day Sunday. We were up so early in the morning, taking careful note that we should be able to leave the hotel early so that we can reach the Shang before the roads are closed. 

We arrived at the Shang at aroun 4AM, with already a lot of bustling and hurried movements happening about. My friend P is nowhere in sight but I took mental note of letting her be as of course she is busy being on top of all this.

Security was tight, errr may I just say SOOOOOOO TIGHT and sometimes TOOOO TIGHT FOR COMFORT. But as I have been a part of run race organizing for most of the part, I tried to obey and just try to use the power of persuasion without losing my cool. Tight security has its reasons, after all. 😉

The  transition area/relay team’s area was strictly off-limits to non-participants so by then I don’t have any idea as to how the body marking activity was being carried-out. But in my plain eye-sight, I got to see what a true “bike porn” really means! There lots and lots and lots of bikes – triathlon, road bikes at the transition area that is enough for those who bike to salivate! Heck, some of the bikes I saw practically costs as much as a car’s downpayment! 

Erwan Heussaff getting his body marked (photo courtesy of IM70.3 Philippines organizers)

bike porn! (photo courtesy of IM70.3 Philippines organizers)

The swim leg was kinda chilling. No it wasn’t cold, the sun in fact is up. It just brings me chills to see a lot of people in the open waters taking on the swim course. It was actually supposed to be a 1.9km swim that each participant has to finish within a maximum time of 1 hour 25 minutes.  Seeing them all, made me add another item to my bucket list: “Learn how to swim”. 😉

with friend Jun here all set to take on his first Ironman 70.3 Race 🙂

the participants released to do the swim on waves (photo courtesy of IM70.3 Philippines organizers)

Defending IM70.3 Philippines Champion, Pete Jacobs was first out of the swim course with a very fast time of 21 minutes and 26seconds! He almost also dominated the bike leg but was eventually over-taken by Cameron Brown. 

The bike leg is where I felt all the excitement and electricity. Maybe because this was where we spectators get to see the participants up-close. At the bike mounting area, you can basically “feel” them triathletes – there were those who are really strong and fast, those who are tense, those who were unlucky to have crashed a few seconds after mounting and of course, those who were trying to be cool and focused, those who are basically part of the tail-end of the pack. But there is one thing that defines everyone of them – their HEART. I am sure everyone of, not just me who came by to watch will agree with me when I say that each and everyone who participated in this race all has the heart of an Ironman. And each and everyone of them deserves my utmost admiration. 🙂

The bike leg was supposed to be the longest and the hardest to finish among the three legs of the ironman race. Participants are expected to complete the whole 90.1km bike course within 4 hours with head wind and the heat of the sun as a challenge on their way to the half of the course and exciting tail wind to propel them to finish most of the last part.

I positioned myself outside the Shangrila Mactan perimeter and saw the electricity of the crwod leveled-up. Here I have learned that the bike course was lined by spectators, mostly students wearing uniform-in-color shirts and bearing flags. They have untirelessly cheered on each passing bikers giving the participants that much needed extra boost to finish strong.

It was basically fiesta along the bike course especially when the likes of Piolo Pascual (who btw elicited the loudest cheers!), Matteo Gudicelli, Sen. Pia Cayetano and other celebrities are recognized as they pass by.

Again, I suddenly miss the feel of riding a bike!

there’s David Charlton of David’s Salon

Women’s Health Phils. EIC Lara Parpan

school kids waiting for participants to pass by the bike course outside the Shangri-La Mactan

According to the PROs, the bike course of this year’s Ironman race in Cebu is by far one of the toughest IM70.3 bike courses. They even went on to say that if you have successful completed it, you can take on other IM70.3 races in the other parts of the world.

As the intense heat of the sun was starting to become really uncomfortable, I opted not to check on the run leg activities and instead went on to go check out the Finish line area. It was a long walk from the transition area to the finish area as most of the area lining the run path to the finish has either been cordoned-off or barricaded. Even my media pass did not provide me any privilege since again, only organizers and finishers/participants were allowed to go in.

There I was able to check out what are in store for finishers once they cross the finish line:

an elevated finish arc so that everyone will literally look up to the participant as they cross the finish 🙂

the Kenneth Cobonpue-designed Finisher’s medals

towels to be used after having —

— a super refreshing iced-bath! I could have dipped there myself!

the Runner’s Lounge where participants were served by sumptuous dishes c/o the Shangri-la Mactan’s chef

a feast fit for IronMen and IronWomen 😉

Apart from this, the participants has the option to have a post-race massage c/o David’s Salon, Magnum Ice Cream and refreshments from Alaska and Viva Mineral Water. 

I luckily was able to catch the top finishers cross the finish and also get to catch up with my friend P who by this time is sneaking up some precious time to sit and have a break. 🙂 Top PRO winners were Pete Jacobs (over-all and PRO male) who nails his three-peat (they now call it three-“Pete”) in the IM70.3 Philippines as this is his third straight win while Caroline Steffen gets the top place for the the PRO female. For the local elites, August Beendicto finishes as the top male while Monica Torres bags her fourth straight top spot win for the Local Women Elite.  Complete race results for both the relay and individual categories can be found at the Cobra IM70.3 official website: Official photos and videos can also be viewed from the said site.

Pete Jacobs or “PJ” right after he crosses the finish to nail his “three-PETE” (photo courtesy of IM70.3 Philippines organizers)

Caroline Steffen wins the top spot for PRO Women

Monica Torres crosses the finish line for her “four-peat” win as the top Female Local Elite

relay team members each get a finisher’s medal! shown here is the Timex team of Piolo (bike), Toniel (run) and Larry (swim)

The atmosphere post-race almost resembles a feast or even a school fair where most of the people – supporters, spectators and participants themselves were sprawled in the vast grass-covered area on what is originally the resort-hotel’s helipad and golf course area, whiling the time resting, eating, sharing stories or even checking out the various on-going activities. As PROs and celebrities abound, many took the opportunity for numerous photo sessions with the stars (me included!) 😉

I am sure a lot of those who were there have their own version of Ironman stories to tell, many will have varied feedback and opinion. But for a first-time spectator/witness such as I, I would have to say that hands-down the Cobra Ironman 70.3 Philippines did not disappoint. It was a grand “production number” that have been worthy of my trip back to the South. And if I will be given the chance to decide on my schedule for the next two years, I will continue to have this trip to the South in time for the staging of the said race. I might after all be finally consent to participating in the relay race with friends to at least have a m”mini-feel” of how it is to be a participant to this awesome event.

I would like to thank the people of Sunrise Events (Mr. Uytengsu, P), Alaska Milk (Ms Belle, Ms. Ching, Ms. CK) and Event King (Mikko and staff), Fa, Bebang, Kyn, Guia for allowing us to roam around the area as accredited media and for being such good hosts. We truly had a wonderful experience.