Ironman Subic Bay – Luzon, Philippines
The inaugural Ironman Philippines is the hardest long course triathlon race in Asia for 2018. The finish times back it up. Winner Nick Baldwin of Seychelles won in 8:50:13, a good 40-50 minutes slower compared to a finish time in a relatively fast Ironman course. Translate that to the average age grouper, and the course difficulty will result in 2-3 hours slower times.
What made this race the hardest in the long course category is the estimated 2000m of total climb in the 2-lap bike leg. Leading to the the SCTEX portion of the course, riders will have to share the road with vehicles inside SBMA and TIPO highway. The first test is the long climb in TIPO highway before approaching the freeway. Once in freeway, riders will enjoy a closed 2 lane course, no technical turns and mostly straight roads. The difficult part is the heat, wind and the long climbs.
The run course is a simple 2 loop out and back course, with only the climb at airport road providing the hardest part. What will test the mettle of the athlete is just the searing heat, around 40 degrees, and the humidity brought about by rain beforehand (heat rising from ground). The organizer did a great job in placing the hydration and comfort station at 1-1.5km apart. Those “Buhos” or dipper showers provided in every stations are a major relief.