It was a historic day for the Philippines as it hosted its very first full distance Ironman event with Century Tuna as title sponsor last June 3, 2018. Nick Baldwin became not only the Philippines first full Ironman Champion but also his home country, Seychelles first ever Ironman Champion. Australia’s Liz Blatchford topped the Women’s category.
Century Tuna Ironman Philippines
The first ever Century Tuna Ironman Philippines was a historic day last June 3, 2018 and it culminated the long hard training road for all participants earning the Ironman title for the first time on Philippine soil. With a 3.8 kilometer swim at ACEA, Subic, a 180 kilometer bike leg in the rain and in the heat and a hot and humid 42 kilometer run leg, it was a tough course for the triathletes.
The country’s inaugural full distance Ironman saw close to 1,300 participants with 50 countries, including the Philippines, represented. A total of 805 Pinoys were among the pack, a strong indication of triathlon’s increasing popularity and the country becoming a premier race destination.
“Filipinos earning an Ironman badge on home soil is making history. We hope the triumph of our Ironmen and Ironwomen today inspires our countrymen to embrace fitness and live healthier lifestyles—our goal as an organization from the very start,” said Greg Banzon, EVP and COO of Century Pacific Food, Inc.
After all the swim, bike and run action Nick Baldwin of Seychelles made several tick marks in history. After being challenged in the run leg by favorite and legendary Cameron Brown from New Zealand, he pulled away in the run leg to emerged as the first-ever Philippines Full Ironman distance Champion with a time of 08:50:30. He also becomes the first ever Seychelles triathlete to win an Ironman event, which is also now his first major win.
New Zealand’s Cameron Brown (08:56:49) and Simon Cochrane (08:58:58), placed second and third respectively, in the men’s Pro division.
Australia’s Liz Blatchford returned to the Ironman event after giving birth to her daughter last year, to win the Women’s Pro with a time of 09:22:22. Fellow Aussie Dimity Lee Duke (09:40:45) came in second, followed by New Zealand’s Simone Maier (09:47:39).
Filipino August Benedicto ruled the Asian Elite Division clocking in at 09:48:46. Pinoys Benjamin Rana (10:13:01) and John Philip Duenas (10:27:34) who came in second and third respectively share Benedicto’s pride of being top Ironmen in their own country.
Baldwin and Blatchford got their share of the USD 25,000 total purse prize for winning their respective categories. Also for the first time, the race served as a qualifier for the 2018 Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii, USA with 30 slots up for grabs. The following have earned the 30 slots for Kona.
The Century Tuna IRONMAN Philippines 2018 is produced and organized by Sunrise Events, Inc. and made possible through the support of a number of sponsors and partners including: Alaska, the Department of Tourism, the Tourism Promotions Board, AAI, SBMA, Acea Subic Bay, NLEX and SCTEX, HOKA One One, Gatorade, Aquafina, TYR, Stork, David’s Salon, GU, Intercare, Prudential Guarantee, Media partners: The Philippine Star Hyper HD on Cignal, AsiaTRI.com and FinisherFix, Marketing partners: AlcoPlus, Cetaphil, Devant, Fern-C, Ford, PLDT SMART Communications, Regent Foods, Sanicare, and Timex.