Ironman 70.3 Philippines: Czech eyes third jewel

Radka Kahlefeldt
Radka Kahlefeldt

From Subic to Davao, Czech Radka Kahlefeldt tries to bring her winning act to what has long been considered as home of Ironman 70.3 Philippines in Cebu, shooting for a third crown in the Ironman 70.3 Philippines Asia-Pacific on Aug. 5 at the Shangri-La Mactan Resort and Spa in Lapu Lapu City.

Kahlefeldt, a former No. 1 in the European Triathlete Union, dominated the Ironman 70.3 Subic last year, besting four-time Phl champion Caroline Steffen then came out strong from the birth of her first child to rule the first Ironman 70.3 in Davao City last March.

Against a souped-up field in Cebu, the 33-year-old ace will surely be banking on her strong points – swimming and biking – where she expects to build enough cushion going to the concluding run part of the grueling 1.9km swim-90km bike-21.2km run event.

But she admits gunning for a three-peat will take a lot of hard work and determination plus a big fighting heart needed in a down-to-the-wire battle for supremacy in the blue-ribbon event put up by title sponsor Aguila Energy Drink and Regent Food Corp. and organized and produced by Sunrise Events, Inc.

For one, Kahlefeldt will be going up against the likes of Steffen and former Ironman Australia titlist Beth McKenzie, both veteran campaigners who have also primed themselves up for the upcoming event backed by presenting sponsors Alaska Milk Corp., Department of Tourism and Tourism Promotions Board Phl.

An equally fierce battle looms in the men’s side of the event held in conjunction with SEI’s decade-long staging of triathlon events in the country with Tim Reed eyeing a record fourth straight championship against former three-time world titlist Craig Alexander, former XTERRA world champion Mauricio Mendez, former Ironman As-Pac winners Tim Van Berkel, Josh Amberger and Braden Currie along with former Ironman South American winner Brent McMahon.

Meanwhile, organizers said record field of 2,700 from over 51 countries will compete in the event which also boasts of the one biggest and most complete triathlon expos to date. All finishers will receive podium trophies and medals designed and hand made by world class Cebuano designer Kenneth Cobonpue.

Local celebrities will also get some slice of action in the event, supported by venue hosts Province of Cebu, City of Lapu Lapu and Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa and bike course partners City of Cebu, Mandaue and Talisay, official logistics and courier partner 2GO Express, official hydration partners Gatorade, official energy gel Gu, official swim cap TYR, official footwear and apparel Asics and official registration partner Active Network and official hotels BE Resorts Mactan, Crimson, Waterfront Airport Hotel and Casino Mactan and Mont and Michel and Metropolitan Cebu Water District.

Other backers are David’s Salon, Intercare, Prudential Guarantee, The Mactan Newtown and SunLife Financial, Air Asia, AlcoPlus, Cetaphil, CrampFix, DeVant, Fern-C, Mactan Cebu, Mont St. Michel Purified Drinking Water, Omega Pain Killer, Prozza, Sanicare, Smart, Ssangyong and Timex with Hyper HD on Cignal, The Philippine Star, Trilife, and Finisher Pix as media partners.