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The Cebuano sporting community braces for another historic event with the staging of the country’s first off-road triathlon, the Xterra Philippines Triathlon Championships on March 6 in Amara, Liloan.

The total distance may not be as long as that of the Cobra Ironman Philippines, but the challenge of doing this three-in-one sport on an off-road terrain in something that only the most prepared and daring ones can do.

“A couple of years ago, we thought of doing a world-class sporting event in the country. That’s when the Camsur Ironman took place. Then last year, we got the Xterra franchise. With this, we can take advantage of what we have (natural rugged terrains and the beautiful beaches),” said Alaska Milk Corporation president Wilfred Uytengsu, who got the Xterra franchise through Sunrise Event, Inc., during the event’s launching at Crimson Hotel in Mactan Island yesterday.

The race features 1.5-kilometer swim near the century-old Liloan lighthouse, a 32km bike with a breath-taking view of the Camotes seas and a 10km run. Amara was chosen for this event after seeing that the said subdivision will be safe for the participants that include some of the world class off-road triathletes.

Those who have already sent feelers to join the event include Xterra 2010 world champion Shonny Vanlandingham, 2009 and 2010 Guam champion Sam Gardner and 2009 Germany top finisher Rena Bucher.

To equally recognize the Pinoy triathletes’ strength, there will be champion among the Pinoys just like the Ironman plus different age-groups and a relay event. Registration is already going via www.xterraphil.com and will be closed a week before the race proper since they still have to prepare the timing chips.

Liloan Mayor Duke Frasco hopes that this event will become an annual partnership with Uytengsu’s group.