With less than one month left, preparations for the Ironman 70.3 challenge are now almost complete at around 80 percent done, Puerto Princesa City Sports Officer Atty. Gregorio “Rocky” Austria said.
Austria explained that the remaining tasks that need to be done involve preparations by the organizer of the triathlon.
“Hindi pa natin masabing 100 percent complete. Siguro around 80 percent pa lang, makikita ninyo pag nagdatingan na yung mga staff ng Ironman dahil katatapos lang nila doon sa Subic,” Austria told reporters in an interview.
“Pag pumunta na sila dito, saka pa lang gagawa ng mga stage doon sa baywalk, aayusin na yung mga transition area. Imagine yung bike na ilalagay ay 1,200. Pagkakasyahin yan sa transition area diyan sa baywalk, at dito rin sa sports complex,” he added.
He also stated that the main concerns at the moment still is the quality of water at the Puerto Princesa City Baywalk where the 1.2-kilometer swim leg will be held.
“Patuloy din yung testing ng water quality doon sa baywalk. Noon pa man, tuwing ite-test ay pumapasa naman. Pero every time na umuulan lalo na pag malakas, yung mga dumi ay napupunta doon sa baywalk lalo na doon sa may area na mayroon pa ring informal settlers na maaring doon nagtatapon ng basura. Pero noong huling pina-test ay maayos naman. At sa darating na October 29 ay may another test na isu-submit with respect to the quality of water,” he explained.
The city dog pound is conducting regular patrols to catch stray dogs, while security is also being prepared.
“Kinakausap natin yung mga officials ng barangay na madadaanan, we keep telling them na kailangan talaga maging maayos at malinis,” he said.
Aside from the water quality, another apprehension he has is the possibility of a typhoon coming on the event day.
“Sana huwag mataon sa Ironman. Kasi ang laki na ng investment natin dyan e. although in the event naman na magkaroon ng ganyan, sabi nila kung ulan lang naman kahit na medyo malakas, kaya naman tinawag na ironman e, they should expect na mahirap talaga yung kanilang pagdadaanan,” he said.
“Pero huwag lang naman sana magkaroon ng advisory yung ating weather bureau at magsasabi na hindi pwede, ititigil talaga natin. Pero whatever expenses na naibigay natin, pwedeng magamit pa rin, maaring ma-delay for a day or two pero we hope na walang mangyari,” he added.
Meanwhile Austria also announced that around 1,300 triathletes have registered, breaching the targeted 1,200 participants.
He also explained that this was because there is a team category that will be composed of three athletes.
“As of the moment, ang nasa list namin is 1,300 na. Meron ditong local participants from Puerto Princesa at bilang suporta na rin ng city government ay pinagawaan natin sila ng uniform, nasa 25 sila,” he said.
He also said they expect participants to start arriving by the first week of November.
“Most of them will come early also as part of their preparation kasi iikot na yan sila to familiarize with the terrains,” he said.