Friday, March 1, 2024

“Exotic” Alcala and Choo share the spotlight at the first IRONMAN in Puerto Princesa.


“Exotic” Alcala and Choo share the spotlight at the first IRONMAN in Puerto Princesa.

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Ling Choo at the Finish Line

John Dedeus “Exotic” Alcala from Dipolog City- Zamboanga Del Norte and part of  the Tri SND Barracuda stepped up big time to win and get the title as the overall winner of the male category while Ling Er Choo graciously dominated her way to victory in the female category at the IRONMAN 70.3 Puerto Princesa.

With over 1,200 triathletes from 26 countries, this is the first foray into what has been billed as a City in a Forest so rich in natural wonders and widely regarded as the “Gateway to Paradise.”

Alcala finished the race within four hours, thirty two minutes, and 21 seconds, beating out other male triathletes in the final race of the year featuring a 1.9km swim, a 90km bike, and a 21km run event.

“Puerto Princesa is beautiful, the people here make a difference. They kept my spirits up the entire race. The people are one of the reasons why I wasn’t feeling fatigued at all. Thank you to everyone that supported me”. Alcala said.

John Dedeus “Exotic” Alcala at the finish line

Alcala who came third overall in the IRONMAN 70.3 Cebu last August, made a comeback on the run section of the race where he swiftly recorded 1:29:11 which became the key factor to his win in this race.

The overall male category was a close one, Mervin Santiago, who finished second in the overall male category clocked at 4 hours 38 mins and 24 secs and with the third place, Jailani Lamama clocked 4 hours 39 mins ang 47 secs to finish the race.

In the female category, Choo, who also competed and won the fastest overall female title in the recent IRONMAN Langkawi Malaysia finished the IM PPS 70.3 within 4 hours 57 minutes and 46 seconds.

“It was hot, that was a challenge. The volunteers and everyone was so helpful they got me to the finish line. I’m so thankful” Choo said.

Additionally, Leyann Ramo from Tubod Lanao Del Norte came in second to finish the race at 5 hours 18 mins and 54 secs and Mieko Carey finished 3rd in the overall women’s category finishing the race at 5 hours 19 mins and 54 secs.

The 1.9km (1.2-mile) swim course started off at the Puerto Princesa Bay Walk Park with the field next tackling a challenging 90km (56-mile) three-loop ride from the southern part of Puerto Princesa to the Iwahig Bridge.

Awarding Ceremony of the overall winners. John Dedeus “Exotic” Alcala, Councilor Judith “Raine” Bayron, and Ling Er Choo (From Left to Right)

The closing 21.1km (13.1-mile) run will be held along the bay to the city center all the way to the finish line at the Ramon Mitra Jr. Sports Complex, according to the organizing The IRONMAN Group/Sunrise Events, Inc.