Philippines Ironman Triathlon Events: History, Locations, Registration Details, and More

Ironman Triathlon Events have become increasingly popular in the recent years. Its popularity has even reached the Philippines, where aspiring triathletes have been wanting to participate in a local Ironman event. Finally, in 2018, the Philippines hosted its first full Ironman triathlon. 

The First Full Ironman Triathlon Event in the Philippines

Filipino triathletes aiming to become Ironman finishers in the country were able to participate in the Ironman triathlon event held last June 3, 2018 in Subic Bay, Zambales. The Century Tuna Ironman Philippines was the first full-distance Ironman race staged in the country. In a statement, Ironman Asia Pacific managing director Geoff Meyer, said, “The enthusiasm around Ironman races in the Philippines is tremendous, from both spectators and participants.” 

The ‘special edition’ Ironman in the Philippines come 10 years after the country’s first Ironman-branded race – the Ironman 70.3, which is half the distance of the full Ironman triathlon – was held back in August 2009 in Camarines Sur. 

The 2018 race drew huge interest from Filipinos and international participants, since winners in each age-group category were given the chance to compete in the Ironman World Championships held Kailua-Kona. 

Ironman Philippines in Zambales, Philippines is one of the few sanctioned Ironman events in Asia, apart from Ironman Gurye in Gurye, South Korea; Ironman Taiwan in Penghu, Taiwan; Ironman Malaysia in Langkawi, Malaysia; and Ironman Kazakhstan in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan. 

The Location: How to Get There and Where to Stay

Surrounded by mountains and endowed with a deep natural harbor, Subic Bay was once a US Naval Base. It is now governed by Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), a government-controlled corporation, and is one of the top tourist spots in the Philippines. Subic Bay is now a premier holiday destination for visitors from all over the world who come for its beautiful beaches, first-class amenities, and friendly service.

Subic Bay is a 4 to 5-hour drive from the main airport gateway, Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila. Once you get out of Metro Manila, it will be a smooth 3-hour drive into NLEX and SCTEX freeways. While NAIA offers the most flights, there is an alternative and more convenient landing spot just 80km north of Manila, and that is the Clark International Airport. Though it only offers limited international flights, there are options for those coming from China, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Singapore, and even from Europe and the United States. The drive from Clark International Airport to Subic is only 1 to 1.5 hours, and you could avoid the dreaded Manila Traffic. There are also direct flights from Subic’s own airport; however, there are only limited flights from Shenzhen, China, Malaysia, and Hongkong. 

In terms of accommodations, the tourist infrastructure in Subic Bay is capable of handling over 1,500, including their family, friends, and supporters. There are several hotel partners via Sunrise and numerous hotels accredited by the organizer. 

Registration, Cancelation and Withdrawal, Tiers, and More

Registration. Registration in the Ironman Triathlon Event in the Philippines includes:

  • IRONMAN Finisher Medal 
  • Finisher Tech Shirt
  • Sling Bag
  • Luggage Tag
  • Timed Race Results
  • Age Group Awards
  • On-Course Nutrition
  • Finisher Certificate
  • Celebration Day/Awards Banquet
  • Post-Race Food
  • Post-Race Massage
  • And an experience you’ll never forget!

Cancellation and Withdrawal Policy. All registrations are non-refundable after the specified cancellation dates. Registrations are non-transferrable. Athletes confirmed in the race who wish to withdraw, must do so in writing to the race office via email to [email protected]. 

Refund policy for athletes who are registered from postponed 2020 IRONMAN Philippines or other postponed races in 2020:

  • No transfers, refunds or deferrals for athletes who have moved to the new event date from the original event date.
  • No transfers, refunds or deferrals for athletes who have transferred in from other postponed races in 2020

Refund policy for new athletes who registered in the 2021 IRONMAN Philippines from 20 November 2020 general entry:

  • Any requests received before 5pm – 31 January 2021 will be eligible for a 50% refund of event entry fee paid.
  • Any requests received before 5pm – 28 March 2021 will be eligible for a 25% refund of event entry fee paid.
  • Any requests received after 5pm – 28 March 2021 will not be eligible for a refund under any circumstances
  • Package registration is non-refundable and non-transferable
  • Any additional purchases including but not limited to; ACTIVE Fees and FinisherPix Fees paid at the time of entry are non-refundable at any time.
General Entry
Tier 1SOLD OUT$650 + 9.25% Active Fee = $710.13 USD
Tier 2SOLD OUT$700 + 9.25% Active Fee = $764.75 USD
Tier 3$750 + 9.25% Active Fee = $819.38 USD
Tier 4$800 + 9.25% Active Fee = $874 USD
  • Prices will be in USD and including 9.25% Active Fee
  • All participants must be minimum age 18 years as at Race Day.
  • Please ensure you read the terms and conditions and cancellations and withdrawal policy before registering.
  • Athlete safety is the utmost priority. We want to ensure everyone who participates in IRONMAN Philippines next year is fully prepared to undertake the challenge of an IRONMAN Triathlon event. As such, and in order to participate, you will have to complete or have completed an IRONMAN 70.3 or IRONMAN event within the time period of January 2018 to March 2020.

The Course

Participating in Ironman Philippines gives you the chance to becoming an Ironman, while allowing you to enjoy beautiful sceneries along the way. Ironman Philippines involves a 3.8km swim, 180km bike ride, and a 42.2km run. 

To give you an overview of the course, here are descriptions and maps from the official Ironman page:

3.8km Swim

The swim starts at the Subic Bay Boardwalk beach fronting the Waterfront Road. Participants will do a two loop anti-clockwise format which begins with a straight 750 meters, followed by a left turn for 400 meters, then a final 750 meters left turn bringing them to the beach area. Upon exiting the swim course, participants will proceed to the start line and complete the second loop. After completion of the second loop, participants will exit and head to the transition area, to begin the bike course.

Swim course map IM Philippines

180km Bike

From the Subic Bay Boardwalk, participants will exit the Waterfront Road making a turn at Sampson Road heading to Rizal Highway then left heading towards the Tipo Gate. The course will take the participants up and down the hills of Tipo Road before entering the downhill part of Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway or SCTEX. The long flat roads of SCTEX will be a fast and smooth ride along the country’s longest expressway showcasing the lush fields and mountainous landscape of the area.

The 180 km 2-loop course will make its first turn around at KM 52 then head back just before the Tipo Gate. A second turn will be at KM 91, participants then head back out for the final turnaround at KM 130. Participants will then head to Tipo Gate at KM 170, then ride towards the Subic Bay Convention Center or SBECC and enter Transition 2.

Bike course map IM Philippines

42.2km Run

The three-loop run course will start at the Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center or SBECC, participants will exit to a series of turns leading them alongside Maritan Highway, turning right to Causeway and exiting to Argonaut. Participants will head out to the Subic Bay Airport, and make its first turnaround just before the San Bernardino Road at KM 8.7. Participants will run towards the Malawaan Park for the second turnaround at KM 14.9. They will head back to the third turnaround at KM 21.1m. Participants then head to Malawaan Park which is the fourth turnaround at KM 27.3. Participants will make the final loop heading out for the fifth turnaround at KM 33.5. After completing the final turnaround, participants will head back to Malawaan Park exiting at Causeway then run towards the finish line at SBECC.

Run course map IM Philippines

Ironman 70.3 Philippines

Aside from the full Ironman Triathlon Event held in Subic Bay, there are also other Ironman events in the country. 

Ironman 70.3 Philippines (also known as a Half Ironman) is held in three places in the country including Subic Bay, Cebu, and Davao. The event, which usually draws hundreds of triathletes from different cities and countries, challenges participants in a 1.9-kilometer swim, 90km bike, and 21km course. 

The Course: Ironman 70.3 Cebu

Ironman 70.3 Cebu passes many resorts and hotels, while taking in the natural beauty if the island. Aside from its historical attractions, Cebu is the traveler’s fantasy of a tropical island – balmy weather, pristine beaches, and crystalline waters. 

Ironman 70.3 Course

To give you an overview of the Ironman 70.3 Cebu, here maps from the official Ironman page:

Run course for IM703 Cebu

Philippines Ironman Triathlon Events

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Ironman Triathlon Events in the Philippines have sadly been postponed. Here’s an official statement from Ironman (as of 10 July 2020, 8am):

“With the health and safety of our community being an utmost priority, and in alignment with the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Century Tuna IRONMAN Philippines Presented by Big Boss Cement triathlon which had been postponed to October 25, can no longer take place in 2020, and will return on June 6, 2021. All registered athletes of the Century Tuna IRONMAN Philippines Presented by Big Boss Cement triathlon will be receiving an email with further information. If you have additional questions, please contact [email protected].  

In what has been a continually evolving and challenging time globally, we recognize that the postponement may come as a disappointment but look forward to providing athletes with an exceptional race experience in the future.” 

The Bottom Line

If you’re interested in joining Ironman Triathlon Events in the Philippines, there’s still time for you to register!

Visit https://www.ironman.com/im-philippines for more details.

Good luck! 

Sources:

www.ironman.com/im-philippines

cnnphilippines.com/sports/2017/06/28/Philippines-full-Ironman-triathlon-Subic-Bay-June-3-2018.html

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