Sunrise Events continued the year-long celebration of its tenth anniversary with the holding of the 2018 Regent Aguila IRONMAN 70.3 Asia Pacific Championship with close to 3,000 participants from 53 countries last August 5 in Cebu.
It has certainly come a long way from when it held its first IRONMAN 70.3 race in Camarines Sur in 2009 with 583 participants.
Sunrise Events has led a triathlon renaissance in the Philippines with IRONMAN races held in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao with the full cooperation between the private sector and the local as well as national government.
All this is possible because triathlon is not just competition it’s all about like-minded individuals with shared values of sportsmanship, camaraderie and community.
“Winning is obviously a very important part of the sport. But one important thing about triathlon is the community and the camaraderie. And of course with that comes sportsmanship,” said Sunrise Events Founder Wilfred Steven Uytengsu.
Winners Mauricio Mendez and Radka Kahlefeldt led the Meet the Champs press conference following the 2018 Regent Aguila IRONMAN 70.3 Asia Pacific Championship run where Uytengsu spoke about the close bond of friendship and values of the triathlon community.
“Tim Van Berkel suffered a flat. But we saw a great demonstration of sportsmanship with Tyler (Butterfield) and Braden (Currie) offering some support with the C02 cartridge at the pit spot to help,” said Uytengsu.
He noted that Van Berkel could have ended up beating both Butterfield and Currie which really did not seem to matter to either one.
“They gave away some of their supplies which means if they had a flat later on in the race they would not have supplies to deal with it. I just want to congratulate them for their sportsmanship and say that is a great part of the race. It reminds me that it’s not all about winning,” said Uytengsu.
Butterfield joined his first Sunrise Events race in the Regent Aguila Cebu race. He said he came to the Philippines because of Van Berkel who spoke highly of Sunrise Events races.
“It was actually Tim (Van Berkel). He said it was the best race you could do. I had to agree with that and I’ve been to a lot of races around the world. From the Olympics to Kona,” said Butterfield.
Sunrise Events continues to hold world class triathlon races which are supported by the localities where they are held with large crowds turning out to cheer on their favorites.
“To be honest. The crowd here are amazing. I love how they support the participants. You have to be careful but I love having the spectators around. I couldn’t ask for anything more. From the organizers taking care of us before the race. To the race itself. It was five stars. And I hope to be back here,” said Butterfield who joined a stellar cast of professionals who comprised the deepest, most star-studded cast of competitors to participate in a Sunrise Events race.
The participants came largely through word of mouth and favorable communication between the triathletes themselves who compete all over the world.
However, it’s not just the professional triathletes who belong to this community. Age groupers and new converts to the sport likewise feel this sense of belonging.
Uytengsu said he found it heartwarming to see the people who accepted the challenge of triathlon, come up to him and say their lives were changed. That they’re living a healthier lifestyle and they feel better about themselves. Sunrise Events is helping create a healthier nation as well.
Sunrise Events is already looking forward to its next decade of holding world class races as it continues its partnership with a community that shares the same value system of sportsmanship, camaraderie and cooperation even as they adopt a fit and healthy lifestyle.