The launching of the XTERRA Albay Off-Road Triathlon here February 8, to coincide with the opening of the month-long Cagsawa Festival, kicks off Albay’s 2015 tourism blitz and festival season
Famous triathletes from around the world are expected to join local sports buffs and tackle the world renown volcanic terrains of the province with the near-perfect cone Mayon Volcano in the background.
Now on its fourth year, the Cagsawa Festival is celebrated by Albay and the local government of Daraga to showcase the rich cultural and historical heritage centered on the 201 year-old world famous Cagsawa Ruins.
Albay Gov. Joey Salceda said the Cagsawa Festival 2015 will be doubly significant, with the launching of XTERRA Triathlon, which the province hosts in the next three years.
Thousands of visitors are expected to witness the event and add to the festive mood.
Organizers said XTERRA Albay will bring to the province popular triathletes such as current female pro champion Renata Bucher, veteran Ben Allen, Bradley Weiss, Joseph Miller, Charlie Epperson, Fabrizio Bartoli, Mauricio Mendez, Jacqui Slack, Carina Wagle, Daz Parker, Mieko Carey, Dimity Lee Duke, and Flora Duffy.
XTERRA Triathlon Albay via pinoyfitness.com
Senator Pia Cayetano, herself a triathlete pro, has also confirmed her participation along with local celebrities Ryan Agoncillo, Matteo Guideceli and Christine Torres among others.
The XTERRA routes will bring contestants to Albay’s most scenic places. The Swim course takes off and ends at the Lidong Mayon Riviera in Legazpi City, known for its black sand and deep but calm waters.
The Bicycle course, on the other hand, follows a wide open trail, a single loop point to point, over roads, sands, grasslands and rocky paths at the foot of Mayon volcano, in Legazpi City.
The Run course takes participants through the famous Mayon ATV Tour routes, over rocky and sandy terrains, grasslands and riverbeds.
Participants will race the route through the Mayon ATV Tour area for the Legazpi run; the rocky, sandy terrain, grasslands and riverbeds around majestic Mayon.
The finish line is set at the historic Cagsawa Ruins grounds, in Daraga town. Athlete registration, event expo, race briefing, a press conference, Governor’s Night and Welcome dinner are set at the Albay Astrodome here in Legazpi City.
XTERRA Albay is expected to bring in some 3,000 guests, kins and friends of the participants, and tourists to the province. It serves as the qualifying event for the 2015 XTERRA World Championships in Maui, Hawaii in November.
The Cagsawa Ruins is a historic reminder of the violent and massive Mayon Volcano eruption 201 years ago which buried under lahar an entire community and over 1,000 of its residents. What remains of it above ground is the top portion of the baroque Cagsawa Church belfry.
Arrangements for the staging of XTERRA Albay were completed last year by Governor Salceda and Wilfed Uytengsu, Jr., CEO of Alaska Milk Corporation and XTERRA franchise holder for the Philippines. (PNA) CTB/ Johnny C. Nunez/rsm