Aussie Mitch Robins is back for another crack at a 5150 diadem, headlining a compact men’s pro field all geared up for a showdown for bragging rights as the first Penong’s 5150 Triathlon champion on Sunday, July 7 at the Waterfront Hotel in Davao.
Robins marked his first stint in local triathlon with a victory in the inaugural Safeguard 5150 in Subic in 2013 then snapped a string of runner-up finishes with another win in the first Black Arrow 5150, also in Subic, last November where he bested a stellar international field.
That makes him the marked man in the upcoming event, another first, this being Davao’s favorite barbecue house Penong’s Barbecue and Seafoods Grill’s initial foray in endurance racing organized and produced by Sunrise Events, Inc. in the country’s newest triathlon hub.
But the 30-year-old ace from Port Macquarie, who also won the IRONMAN 70.3 Japan in 2016, faces a tougher challenge against the likes of fellow Aussie Alex Polizzi, Czech Jakub Langhammer and Kiwi Kieran McPherson in the event set over the Olympic distance of 1.5k swim-40k bike-10k run.
“I’ve been joining SEI events for six or seven years so I’m back and will keep on coming back for a long time,” said Robins, who unleashed a strong finishing kick in the run stage to upend fancied and fellow Aussie Sam Betten in Subic last year.
But Polizzi, who had a runner-up finish and a fourth place effort in Cebu and Subic, respectively, early this year; Langhammer, who placed third in Black Arrow 5150; and 2018 XTERRA Pan American Tour champion McPherson are all coming into the event all primed up and all focused on stopping Robins, guaranteeing a fierce battle for top honors worth $2,000.
The race kicks off with the swim leg at the Waterfront’s beachfront where participants will tackle an L-shaped course in calm, clear waters of Pakiputan strait. The two-loop ride bike phase will be held at the Daang Maharlika Highway and back with the closing one-loop run event is also set at Daang Maharlika.
Guam’s Manami Iijima, Dimity Lee Duke and Lisa Tyack of Australia and New Zealand’s Laura Wood dispute the women’s pro title in the event to be spiced up by the Sunrise Sprint set over the 750m swim-20km bike-5km run distance.
The two short distance races drew athletes who are 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.
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 www.goforgold.sunrisesprint.com with official hashtags #Penongs5150, #5150Davao.
Backing the event, which comes on the heels of SEI successful staging of the second Alveo Ironman, also in Davao, are Lungsod ng 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 Finisher Pix as media partners.
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