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Bozzone, Bentley Capture Ironman 70.3 Philippines

PILI, Camarines Sur - New Zealand's Terenzo Bozzone and Lisa Bentley of Canada confirmed they are among the world's speediest and toughest multisport athletes by handily clinching the maiden edition of Ironman 70.3 Philippines held at the renowned Camarines Sur Watersports Complex (CWC) here, Sunday, August 23.

This is the very first time a triathlon of international calibre has ever been staged in the country, thus a historical episode in national sports, hosted by Governor LRay Villafuerte and the province government of Cam. Sur.

Predictably, Bozzone and other triathlon titans Chris "Macca" McCormack, Cameron Brown, Timothy Marr, Pete Jacobs and counterparts Gina Kehr, Charlotte Paul and broke away from the field of 583 triathetes from 23 countries and were among the frontrunners most of the way virtually from the starting gun.

Only at the homestretch were Bozzone and Macca able to tear away at sprint-speed running shoulder to shoulder approaching the perimeter of Lago del Rey with Brown hot on their heals, where Terenzo's younger age paid off, gradually moving ahead until he broke the tape 53 seconds beyond Macca.

Terenzo came out of the water after the second loop at the cable lake trailing swimming leg leader Pete Jacobs, finished first after the 90-kilometer run and maintained his position in the lead pack for best total time of 3 hours, 51 minutes and 25 seconds.

Macca who came in third of the swimming leg, placed second at both the biking and running legs for a cumulative time of 3:52:18 and Cameron Brown clocked third best time just thirteen seconds behind Macca at 3:52:31.

Pete Jacobs came in solo to land fourth place with 3:56:51, the last player to finish the course in less than four hours followed by Timothy, also running solo, with cumulative 4:02:52, then another solo runner Daiki Masuda of Japan, sixth at 4:17:06.

Behind Masuda was female pro frontrunner Canadian Lisa Bentley, eleven-time world champion and a running ace, who came from behind from tenth in the swimming leg and eighth after the bike run to end up with best category time of 4:24:29, overhauling frontrunners Gina Kehr who placed second with 4:26:11 and Bree Wee who lost some steam at the running leg and clocked 4:45:31.

The triathletes found the course quite different and a bit tough compared to other courses they have run, especially with the blistering heat and the humidity as thick as soup.  But Bozzone and Bentley agree these only made the race more challenging and they would very much like to compete here again and improve their times, given the chance.

"The run was truly a test of survival", Bentley, a veteran of countless triathlons admitted, "It was like running inside an oven.  I have never run in such conditions, I almost quit several times."