Cebu is the “crown jewel in Asia” when it comes to triathlons, a race organizer said Friday.

That is the reason why when Sun Life Financial Philippines and Sunrise Events decided to stage the first Sun Life 5150 Triathlon Cebu, they knew “this is where we should be,” said Princess Galura during Friday’s press conference for the event.

Galura, who is the General Manager of Sunrise Events, said the 5150 is the Ironman brand for the official Olympic distance of the triathlon. It covers 1.5-kilometer swim, 40-kilometer bike, and a 10-kilometer run.

Sun Life 5150 participants

All these segments will be done in host Naga City, said Galura. The City Government of Naga wanted all events within their boundaries so that they can have total control and jurisdiction in order to make sure participants are safe, she said. The event is also supported by the Cebu Provincial Government.

Princess Galura Sun Life 5150 Triathlon Cebu
SUN LIFE 5150 TRIATHLON CEBU. Sunrise Events General Manager Princess Galura talks about the inaugural Sun Life 5150 Triathlon Cebu to be held in Naga City on Sunday.

Galura said in Friday’s press briefing that there will be 300 participants on Sunday, including 7 professionals. The number also includes those who are joining the Go for Gold sprint distance.

She said the 5150 allows veterans to race and prepare for the longer Ironman event in Cebu later in the year. It also offers newbies who want to take up the sport an event to try things out.

Celebrities who will be joining the race include Sun Life ambassadors Piolo Pascual, his son Iñigo and fellow celebrities Paul Jake Castillo, who is a Cebuano, and Enchong Dee.

Handog Palangoy with Enchong Dee

Before the race, Dee will hold a swimming clinic called Sun Life Handog Palangoy on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Forty kids under the non-government organization Feed The Children will undergo the clinic led by Dee and other members of the Sun Life Tri Team.

“At Sun Life, we believe that preparation is key to a brighter future, especially with the many surprises that life may throw our way. This is perfectly exemplified in Handog Palangoy and Enchong’s cause,” said Sun Life Foundation Executive Director Kristine Millete.

There will also be a mangrove planting at 6 a.m. on the same day.

Sun Life Tri Team
SUN LIFE TRI TEAM. Members of the Sun Life Tri Team bannered by brand ambassador Piolo Pascual (center).

The 5150 triathlon is held as part of Sun Life Financial Philippines’ health and wellness efforts, said Sun Life Financial Philippines Institutional and Client Marketing Head Carla Chong. It seeks to encourage people to adopt a healthy lifestyle and undertake multi-sport training for fitness.

Sun Life health, wellness journey

Chong discussed Sun Life programs and products that cater to various needs of people, from wellness to investment to retirement, among others.

“At Sun Life, we aim to provide Filipinos different avenues to enrich their health and wellness journey, whether they are already deep into their fitness goals or are just discovering their passion for it,” said Sun Life Chief Marketing Officer Mylene Lopa.

Sun Life employees will also be joining the event, including Business Development Managers Herbert Juaneza and Hilario Malapad, Sales Training and Development Head Ged Custodia, and Training Manager Aslagan Cuyugan. All these employees are Ironman finishers and are competing in the individual category.

Max Limpag is a journalist, blogger, and developer based in Cebu. He started as a reporter covering Cebu City Hall in 1996. He has written on technology for various print and digital publications since...

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