The much-awaited ‘Tri Ilocos Nort3,’ a triathlon series promoting ‘sportourism’ in Ilocos Norte as its racecourses highlighted many of the province’s famous tourist landmarks during the event held last March 28.
Now in its third year, the triathlon, participated in by foreign, national and local racers, was organized by TriSports Solutions Inc., Tri North (an Ilocos Norte-based triathlon club) and the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte.
It may be noted that Gov. Imee R. Marcos during her State of the Province Address (SOPA) last year envisioned Ilocos Norte to be a “sports and wellness hub in the province by 2020.”
According to TSI Head and Race director Mikey Chua, this year’s triathlon “has been bigger and better” as racers numbered to 245—a 200% increase in participants.
The race started at Sitio Remedios village resort in Currimao, Ilocos Norte. “Despite the tough course of the race, the stunning route excites and motivates the triathletes,” said resort owner Dr. Joven Cuanang.
Combining the sporting challenge with well-known tourist spots, Ilocos Norte’s calm beaches, serene landscapes and historical landmarks including the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Paoay Church and the rock formations in the coastal barangay of Pangil, Currimao had fueled the racers’ adrenalin to the finish line .
“This triathlon series kicked-off the summer season in the North, thanks for the full support by the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte,” Chua said during an interview.
A favorite venue for MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing, and Exhibitions), Ilocos Norte has already hosted a number of major sports events, including the International Paoay Regatta which involved various international boat clubs from India, Pakistan, Singapore and United Kingdom among others last 2013.
Chua also explained that Ilocos Norte is indeed a good venue for triathlon events because the environment is pollution-free and the wide national highways enable participants to race freely with less traffic woes.
“We can’t find other good places for the event other than Ilocos Norte,” said Chua.
On the other hand, Governor Marcos vowed to continue supporting major sports events, not only for promoting the tourism industry of the province but also for the fact that more Ilocanos are fast becoming health conscious.
One of the prominent competitors during the March 28 race was Senator Pia Cayetano, a veteran lady triathlete.
Making her third comeback this year was Isabella Kapunan who was the first female finisher in the Sprint division, ages 12-15. “My triathlon experience in the province has been so far the best because of the magnificent tourist sites I saw along the way,” she said
Ryan Reed and Alessandra Reed, a couple from Australia who joined the race, expressed amazement to the undulating roads in the province that are very accessible and ideal for triathlon events.
Meanwhile, dominating the race in the category of 133-kilometer distance for 25-29 ages group was Australian national Michael Murphy who clocked in at 04:15:10. Also, Neil Nazarro competing in the sprint distance in the 12-15 ages group finished at 01:22:40.