Philippines 70.3 is a special race for me after racing last year. The organisers put on one of the best events in the world, and any athlete who has been can testify to this. This year the race will move to Cebu for the first time. The same organisers are running the race and the reports from athletes suggest that the new location is fantastic, and the generosity of the organisers has continued. The overwhelming factor and sure to have an impact on the race is the heat and humidity.On paper the race looks pretty tame with a flat course, but those who have been to the Philippines will know the truth – it’s the heat that dominates.

 

Belinda Granger is back to defend her title against a field that includes; Caroline Steffen, Amanda Stevens, Michelle Wu, Bree Wee and Ali Fitch. Having won in 2011 and at the 5150 a couple of months ago, Granger has been called the Queen of Asia, and has shown time and time again that she has what it takes to win in hot and humid Asian conditions. Watch out for her to come over the top of others who may struggle

 

Steffen is the Asia Pacific Ironman Champion, the European Ironman Champion and most recently the ITU Long Course World Champion. Who could bet against Steffen to take a win for Philippines 70.3? The only concerns for her may be the heat and humidity, or fatigue from such a packed race schedule. However, she’s proven that theory wrong in the past.

 

Wu has had a few changes recently. She is now under a new coach, Darren Smith, and has  moved to Darwin, which will most certainly benefit her in these conditions. Wu has excelled in humid conditions: 2nd place in Singapore 70.3, a sprint finish in Bussleton for 5th and a win at Cairn 70.3. Wu is one that races hard until the very end. It will most certainly be a close finish, possibly another sprint!?

 

In 2011 Stevens lead Philippines 70.3 for the majority of the race until a sneaky Granger came past at the end of the run, leaving Stevens with 2nd place. She has been racing consistently this season and loves the heat. Some of her best results were raced in hot, humid conditions including a win at Cancun 70.3 and 3rd place at Ironman Conzumel for her Ironman debut. Most recently, Stevens placed 2nd at Ironman UK and set a new Ironman swim World Record at Frankfurt. She will most certainly exit the water first but will need to remain conservative on the bike to have a solid run.

 

Other competitors include Bree Wee, who hasn’t raced much this season, however she did place 2nd in Costa Rica 70.3 in March. Wee excels in heat and humidity and placed 3rd at Philippines 70.3 last year. A tough competitor but with such a stacked field, she will need to race hard to make the podium again.

 

Fitch will be looking to find some form coming into the Aussie season. Under coach Brett Sutton and with a solid career behind her, Fitch will be set to race on Sunday.

About The Author

Stef Hanson. Chief.

Chief and founder of WITSUP Serious about what I do, but don't take myself too seriously

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