Benedicto, Santiago rule Ironman 70.3

·2 min read

DECORATED Filipino triathlete August Benedicto is back on top after bagging the men’s overall crown in the Megaworld Ironman 70.3 Philippines on Sunday, August 7, 2022, at the Mactan Newtown in Lapu-Lapu City.

Even though he had a three-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 38-year-Benedicto once again reigned supreme in Cebu after finishing the race with a time of 4:29:16.

“First of all, I want to thank God for giving me strength. I also thank the Cebuanos for always giving us triathletes a warm welcome. On the road, your cheers always give us that extra energy even though we are already tired,” said Benedicto after the race.

The last time Benedicto competed in an Ironman competition in Cebu was in 2019, where he finished second place in the men’s Filipino Elite category.

“I’m very happy about the new bridge and I feel safe riding on the road,” said Benedicto of the new bike route through the new CCLEX Bridge connecting Cordova to Cebu City. “I enjoyed the race and I’m very happy with my win and time.”

Before his victory yesterday, Benedicto already had four Filipino Elite titles in Ironman 70.3 Cebu—in 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Aussie Mark Jansen clocked in 4:36:05 for second place, while JD Alcala crossed the finish line with a time of 4:37:54 for third place.

Benedicto had a slow start and was the 38th to finish the swim leg of the race. Benedicto had a strong performance in the bike leg and surged to fourth place behind leaders Satar Salem, Jonathan Pagaura and Jansen.

It was in the run part that Benedicto made up for the slow start and overtook leader Salem in the first 12 kilometers. Benedicto never looked back and finished the race strong.

On the other hand, Ines Santiago won the women’s overall title after finishing the race with a time of 5:23:14.

Santiago just recently won the Century Tuna Ironman full triathlon in Subic last March.

The 40-year-old Santiago paced herself well in the race and kept it close before a strong push in the run leg. She was trailing behind Hong Kong’s Wang Ruby Cheng and Leyan Ramo before taking the lead midway in the run for a wide finish.

Ramo was nine minutes behind Santiago with a time of 5:32:00. Cebuana Cianyl Jam Gonzalez clocked in at 5:36:09 for third place.

Meanwhile, Spectrum Nephro Mayo bagged the first place honors in the Relay competition with a time of 4:11:40. Go4Less 1 finished second place with a time of 4:14:02, while Spectrum Mayo Kidney Care grabbed third place with a time of 4:18:07.