Kiwis eye strong finish in Penong’s 5150
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New Zealand’s Kieran McPherson and Laura Wood hope to make the most of their first-ever stints in Davao, aiming for no less than a sweep of the men’s and women’s pro crowns in the inaugural Penong’s 5150 Triathlon unfolding July 7 at the Waterfront Hotel.
Winner of XTERRA Pan American Tour last year, McPherson has vied in other endurance races in the country but will be setting out for the upcoming event over the Olympic distance of 1.5k swim-40k bike-10k run in the country’s emerging triathlon hub with high expectations given his top form.
“This will be my first time here racing in Davao and first non-drafting race in 5-6 years,” said McPherson. “My fitness is very good at the moment and I look forward to racing some of the best road athletes in the world. I have raced several fantastic Sunrise events in the past (XTERRA) and I look forward to joining the Ironman family.”
But he will be as much tested as Aussies Mitch Robbins and Alex Polizzi and Czech Jakub Langhammer, who banner the early roster of bidders in the men’s side of the centerpiece pro division of the event organized by Sunrise Events, Inc. and sponsored by Davao’s favorite barbecue house Penong’s Barbecue and Seafoods Grill.
Like McPherson, Wood also exudes confidence coming off a third place finish in the IRONMAN 70.3 in Subic recently, polishing her biking skills by training in Thailand.
“I’m very excited to race in Davao for the first time. I had a recovery week following Subic Bay 70.3 and then had a few solid weeks of training in Thailand. I was a bit disappointed with my bike in Subic so that has been my focus. I look forward to putting it all together on race day and then enjoying some more time in the Philippines,” said Wood, who will be facing multi-titled Dimity Lee Duke and Lisa Tyack, also from Down Under, and Guam’s Manami Iijima for the women’s pro diadem.
Also on tap is the Sunrise Sprint, to be disputed over the 750m swim-20km bike-5km run distance. Other titles up for grabs are those in various age categories and relay competition.
For details, visit www.ironman.com/philippines, http://penongs.5150philippines.com and http://www.goforgold.sunrisesprint.com with official hashtags #Penongs5150, #5150Davao.
“All of us from Penong’s are excited to headline the inaugural 5150 triathlon in Davao City. This race is a great opportunity to welcome new and upcoming endurance athletes, showcasing the growth of Penong’s as we started out as a marketing sponsor for IRONMAN 70.3 and now we have our own race, right here in the company’s hometown,” said Penong’s liaison officer JJ Sarona.
SEI founder Wilfred Uytengsu also said that two short distance races are ideal for newbies to the sport as well as those who have graduated from the IronKids, the youth version of the Ironman 70.3, and who want to continue in the sport.
Backing the event, which comes on the heels of SEI successful staging of the second Alveo Ironman, also in Davao, are Lungsodng Davao, Waterfront Insular Hotel Davao, 2GO, Nature’s Spring, David’s Salon, F2P Sportswear, Pioneer Insurance, Vitargo, Alaska, AlcoPlus, Australia Harvest, Cetaphil, Devant, Regent Foods, Sanicare, Sun Life Financial, Timex, TYK and Active with One Sports, Cignal, Manila Bulletin, Crosstrain.ph, MBody.ph, Tempo, Trilife, AsiaTri.com and Finiser Pix as media partners.