Ilocos Norte to boost ‘sports tourism’ potential, to host bigger triathlon event

Ultimately highlighting the province’s famous tourist sites, the ‘Tri Ilocos Norte,’ is once again set to hit the roads on March 19, 2016 as it is expected to bring a bigger boost to the ‘sports tourism’ potential of Ilocos Norte.

Now on its fourth edition, Tri Ilocos Norte is a triathlon competition jointly organized by the TriSports Solutions Inc. (TSI), Tri North (an Ilocos Norte-based triathlon club) and the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN).

TSI Head and Race Director Mikey Chua noted that the event will continuously feature what makes Ilocos Norte as one of the best venues in the country for a triathlon event.

During a press conference held last week, Chua noted “that the roads and the serene beaches of the province are ideal for this kind of activities” adding that the breathtaking tourism sites makes Tri Ilocos Norte standout with the other triathlon events held across the country.

Governor Imee R. Marcos who envisions the province as a “sports and wellness hub by 2020” continues to support major sports events, not only due to their potential to strengthen Ilocos Norte’s tourism industry but also because more Ilocanos are now becoming health conscious.

The Tri Ilocos Norte event features individual sprint (750-meter swim – 20-kilometer bike – 5-kilometer run), individual 51.5km (1.5km-40km-10km), individual 113km (2km- 90km- 21km) and 51.5km and 113km relay.

The event is also comprised of ten categories with the age group ranges from 12 years old up to 50 and above, noted Chua.

This year, the event sees improvements as it aims to offer new sites and racecourse to the participants most importantly to the returning competitors.

Ilocos Norte Sports Consultant Faivo Bartolome said that the course for this year will end and start at Currimao covering also some areas in Paoay and Laoag City.

The participants will pass through the world-renowned Paoay Church, the mystical Paoay Lake and the tranquil beaches and coral formations of Currimao, Bartolome revealed.

Describing the course for this race’s edition as promising, Bartolome added that the racers are up for an exhilarating experience foreshadowing the physical distress that somehow comes with the competition.

Meanwhile, one of the famous triathletes confirmed to add excitement to the race is Southeast Asian (SEA) Games gold medalist triathlete Claire Adorna.

“It’s good for an athlete like [Adorna] who competed internationally to join us during the Tri Ilocos Norte as she will see the potential of Ilocos Norte as venue for triathlon events and for sure, she will inspire a lot of people,” beamed Chua.

He added that a Filipino elite triathlete and a two-time Ironman 70.3 Champion August Benedicto also confirmed his attendance.

Chua ensured that the race will follow international triathlon safety standards, adding that the the coordination of TSI, Tri North and the provincial government is a main factor for the success of the event this year and during its past editions.

Bartolome and Chua, however, encouraged more Ilocanos to participate in the race and embrace triathlon as a means to improve one’s well-being and health.

“Aside from the promotion of sports tourism, one of the reasons why we have always brought the event here in Ilocos Norte is to expose more Ilocanos to the sport and help them to create an active lifestyle,” Bartolome noted. –John Michael Mugas, PGIN-CMO