Ironman CEO impressed w/ huge growth of sport

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For IronMan CEO Andrew Messick, the surge in number of triathletes in the country could be credited to the excellent organization of the Cobra Energy Drink IronMan 70.3 Philippines by Sunrise Events Inc. (SEI).

Messick during yesterday’s Meet the Pros presscon at the Marquee of Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa said he is not surprised by the growth achieved by the Cobra IronMan 70.3 Philippines.

“The efficiency, the care, the attention to details all made the event extraordinary,” said Messick. “You are training a generation of Filipino triathletes. Five years ago, there were just 300 Filipino triathletes, now there is in excess of 4,000,” added Messick, who will be joining tomorrow’s race.

Messick also said Cebu is an incredible venue for an international event like this. It is also a best place for a Filipino triathlete to race against foreign bets.

SEI CEO and president Wilfred Steven Uytengsu, in fact, hinted of making Cebu the home of IronMan 70.3 Philippines.

“When we first started this, the goal was to find a place which has the infrastructure to host a big number of people. Second was to work with both public and private officials. The best partnership lasts for a long time. And year after year we have experienced that here, so we will stay in Cebu,” said Uytengsu, who was born in Cebu.

Uytengsu also considered making the race a full-distance IronMan. The current IronMan Philippines is only a half IronMan event.

“The motto of the IronMan is ‘anything is possible.’ We will do that if we already have enough Filipino triathletes and if we can find the infrastructure. Having a full IronMan is a quantum leap in terms of organization. I am not saying no, I am saying not now. Anything is possible,” Uytengsu said.

Meanwhile, the pros marvelled at the real medal and trophies unveiled by world-renowned Cebuano designer Kenneth Cobonpue.

“I hope the design is worth your efforts on Sunday. Please accept this as a personal gift from me and the Cebuanos,” Cobonpue said.

Also, attending the presscon were Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza and Cebu Provincial administrator Mark Tolentino, who represented Cebu Gov. Hilario “Junjun” Davide III.

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