Triathlon athletes belong to an inclusive community which welcomes everyone who want to be part of a group of like-minded individuals.
Sunrise Events General Manager Princess Galura said they partnered with Sun Life, the City of Naga and the province of Cebu to hold the Sun Life 5150 Cebu and Go For Gold Sunrise Sprint, held recently at the City of Naga, precisely to welcome more members into the fold.
“The triathlon community is like a family. We are trying to grow that family and welcome everyone who wish to join. But not everyone can go directly into a 70.3 event. That is why we organized the 5150 and the sprint distance for those who cannot yet handle the 70.3 (distance),” said Galura.
Sam Betten and Amelia Watkinson led from the start to post wire-to-wire victories in both the men’s and women’s categories. Alex Pollizi, Mitch Robbins and Dan Brown followed Betten. Anna Eberhardt and Manami Iijima finished behind Watkinson.
The shorter 5150 and sprint distance triathlons allow for a faster pace which lets the participants go all out the entire race.
“I have been racing 5150 triathlons for many years and because of this I am a lot more experienced over this race distance compared to the 70.3. I really enjoy the faster racing of the 5150 triathlon events,” said Watkinson.
The shorter distance is also less strenuous and less challenging which make it easier for first timers to join.
“As organizers we want them (newcomers) to be ready when they participate. We don’t want them trying to join when they are not ready. Because if they are unprepared they can be a danger to themselves and others,” said Galura.
Organizing shorter more manageable (for the participants) races is therefore very important if the community wants to remain inclusive and welcome new members.
The 5150 and the sprint distance are perfect for those who want to participate in a triathlon for the first time. They are for those who have been out of the sport for a while and who wish to come back but are not yet in the shape they were before.
The distance is also for the young athletes who have graduated from the Alaska IRONKIDS program and who wish to continue in the sport.
“I have really enjoyed the hard and fast racing over the 5150 distance in the Philippines and it has been really great to have had so much success. Being that I have been racing this distance for so long I have so much experience which really allows me to make the most of the opportunity to succeed on race day,” said Watkinson.
She added that there are no races like those organized by Sunrise Events which has become an expert in turning races into world class events.
“I really love to race as many of the Sunrise Events as I can every year. The Sunrise team set such a high standard with the professionalism and overall event experience,” said Watkinson.
“I have had two 5150 wins so far this year and really love racing over this distance. It is very different from a 70.3 or IRONMAN in the sense that in a 5150 you go as hard as you can for the entire race.”
The Sun Life 5150 Cebu and Go For Gold Sunrise Sprint will hold more races in Naga City, Cebu in 2020 and 2021.
Those who wish to join a triathlon for the first time and graduates of IRONKIDS will no doubt return to Naga City as will triathlon professionals who have fallen in love with racing there like Watkinson.