70.3 Davao, Philippines (Hot, Hot, Hot)
1800 athletes participated in the inaugural Ironman 70.3 Davao, representing more than 40 countries, despite the harsh weather condition (hotter than Cebu race). But as triathletes we usually turn this into a badge of honor, as a sign of overcoming the extreme conditions. Sunrise Events pulled no stops once again in managing a world-class international race.
The race in the Philippines was hard, but that’s exactly what I wanted to feel. It was challenging and very mentally demanding which has given me the experience to now push to that intensity you “don’t feel” during a hard training session.
I race smart and achieved everything I set out too. So I’m happy, and excited to make some improvements to be a better all round athlete. I finished 9th and look forward to the first round of the XTERRA World Tour in NZ on the 7th April.
A little bit about the Race/Course at Davao….
Calm and warm waters, with a rolling start makes it also a stress-free and safe start.
The bike course was very straight forward. The Race venue is just off one of Davao main road, after a quick ride of 500m out of the Azuela Cove complex, we rode 45km straight to the u-turn and then back. The first two thirds of each 45km leg were in the city and industrial suburbs, which helped to bring the locals to support the race. The final third of each leg was a lot quieter with a lot more nature as the background.
There was a very strong head wind on the way out, so if you race by speed be careful as it may be deceiving. Course was very safe, 100% closed to traffic, the safest in the Philippines with a police man every 50m. Road conditions varied, from very good quality to sections where there were some constructions going so at those the ride was rather bumpy.
Similar to the bike course, athletes ran for 500 meters out of the Azuela Cove complex, then it was two loops of 10km, as five kilometers out and back. The course was all flat despite one gentle elevation near the furthest u-turn
Just like on the bike course, the crowds were out to support the athletes at every kilometer of the 10k loop and there were also plenty of aid stations.
Like most races in South East Asia, the slower the athlete is on the swim and bike, the hotter it gets on the run course, but overall a challenging and rewarding course.