Tri Ilocos Norte “Tinman” to boost sports tourism

Around 185 triathletes took part in the fifth Tri-Ilocos Norte last March 18, organized by TriSports Solutions Inc.(TSI), Tri North (an Ilocos Norte-based triathlon club) and the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN).

The triathlon was first held in 2013, promote the province of “sports tourism” to the rest of the country and even to foreign athletes.

This year it was dubbed “Tinman”, which according to Mikey Chua, TSI head and race director, is their own version of the “half-ironman.”.

“TIN stands for Tri Ilocos Norte and later napagalaman naming na ang TIN pala is more resilient underwater than iron, parang Ilocos Norte lang, resilient province.” Chua added.

According to Chua, the race course this year was mostly modified and improved in terms of safety through the assistance of the PGIN.

He pointed out the participation of young Ilocanos through the Sirib Ilokano Kabataan Association, helped and guided participants throughout the course.

“Nagpapasalamat talaga kaming mga organizers dahil grabe ang suporta ng mga tao dito sa Ilocos Norte at sa suportang binibigay ni Gov. Imee Marcos para sa mga ganitong event,” Chua added.

The event featured individual sprint, the 750-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike and 5-kilometer run, individual/relay standard course of 51.5km (1.5km swim, 40km bike and 10km run), and individual/relay “half-ironman” or 70.3 miles (1.9km swim- 90km bike and 21km run).

Also included were age group ranged from 12 years old up to 50 and above.

The first stage was the swimming course at the beach front of Playa Tropical Resort in Currimao, followed by the biking route stretching through Currimao, Paoay and Laoag City via the Currimao-Paoay-Suba-Balacad Road and going back to Playa Tropical Resort.

The third and the last stage was the running route starting at Playa Tropical Resort to the Pangil Rock formation and again finishing at Playa Tropical.

Jazz Valdez emerged as the overall champion of the 113-kilometer race.

Meanwhile, Jonathan Arellano from La Union and Lou Ann Ramos from Baguio ruled the 51.50-kilometer category while Jeth Ramos and his 15-year-old son Joshua Ramos, both from Baguio, were the overall champions in the sprint division.

Chua also said that both new and returning participants appreciated Ilocos Norte’s natural landmarks which help  promote a pollution free environment.

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.

Organizers followed international triathlon safety standards, adding that the smooth coordination among TSI, Tri North and the PGIN was strong factor in ensuring success of the event.- (Glenn T. Batuyong PGIN-CMO)