By Kristel Satumbaga
New Zealand’s Cameron Brown and Great Britain’s Liz Blatchford headline the star-studded field when the 2018 Century Tuna IRONMAN Philippines fires off tomorrow at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone.
Brown, a 12-time IRONMAN New Zealand champion, and Blatchford, winner of the 2013 and 2014 IRONMAN Cairns, are installed heavy favorites to dominate their respective divisions.
But they can’t be too sure as others like Nick Baldwin of Seychelles, Simon Cochrane of New Zealand, Eneko Elosegui of Spain, Marek Nemcik of Slovakia, Freddy Lampret of Austria, Jana Candrova of the Czech Republic, Li Shiao-Yu of Chinese Taipei, and Julia Grant of New Zealand are out to pull off surprise wins.
The grueling 3.8-kilometer swim, 180-km bike, 42-km run race, which is the country’s first and only full distance event, stakes a total prize of $25,000 as well as 30 age group qualifying tickets to the 2018 IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.
At presstime, 1,552 participants will be competing on Sunday’s race with 1,219 joining the full IRONMAN and 333 for the IRONMAN 70.3 race.