SUBIC BAY FREEPORT – Over 1,800 triathletes arrived in this free port for the 2014 Century Tuna 5i50 Triathlon on Sunday, marking the biggest number of participants in any Olympic-distance race to be held in the country.
In the third straight year that Subic has hosted the race, participating athletes again pitted themselves against a challenging course set against the picturesque locale and well-preserved environment of this former military base.
Among last Sunday’s racers, Australian Casey Munro topped the men’s pro elite division after completing the course which involved a 1.5-kilometer swim leg, 40-kilometer bike leg, and 10-kilometer run course.
Munro, who placed fifth in the Ironman 70.3 Busselton and Geelong competitions, finished the race in 2 hours, 7 minutes and 22 seconds.
Coming in at second was fellow Australian and last year’s third placer Michael Murphy, who clocked in at 2:08:26, while 2008 Olympian Simon Agoston placed third with 2:09:13.
Caroline Steffen, who won this year’s Ironman Australia Asia-Pacific tourney, led the women’s pro elite division with 2:15:32, followed by Australian Belinda Granger with 2:25:05, and Monica Torres of the Philippines with 2:28:20.
Jonard Saim led the local triathletes by topping the Filipino men’s elite with 2:13:45, followed by Banjo Norte with 2:14:46, and last year’s winner John Leerams Chicano with 2:15:20.
The Subic Bay Freeport has been earning raves as the triathlon capital of the Philippines after playing host to several major triathlon events like the Subic International Triathlon and the 2014 Family Challenge Philippines.
The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority Chairman Roberto Garcia said the agency has been maintaining the beauty of the free port and building better facilities and accommodations to further develop Subic as a premier sporting and tourist destination.