Former 70.3 champ leads Sun Life 5150 Bohol chase

Eric van der Linden

Former IRONMAN 70.3 champion Eric van der Linden is set to face a formidable challenge from a bumper crop of young triathletes and veteran campaigners in the Sun Life 5150 Bohol unfolding Sunday (July 14) on Panglao Island.

Known for his resilience and skill, van der Linden defied challenging conditions to clinch the title at the IRONMAN 70.3 Subic last year. However, the 50-year-old Olympian from Schagen, Holland will be taking on a shorter yet equally demanding race this time. The 5150 Bohol features a 1.5 km swim, a 40 km bike ride, and a 10 km run, serving as an essential part of his preparation for longer and more rigorous endurance races in the future.

In addition to his impressive victory at Subic, van der Linden showcased his prowess by winning his age group at the IM 70.3 Lapu-Lapu in April and securing 15th overall. He also dominated the 50-54 age category at the IM 70.3 Westfriesland in his home country last month.

The upcoming 5150 Bohol will see van der Linden competing against 44 other international participants and hundreds of local racers. The event is considered an excellent opportunity for both novice and seasoned triathletes to build a solid base and enhance their performance.

With van der Linden’s experience and the crack field’s determination, the battle for top honors in the overall championship and across various age categories promises to be a thrilling one, with Panglao Island expected to be filled with the buzz of excitement and the spirit of competition.

Athletes from Australia, Switzerland, Germany, France, Great Britain, Greece, India, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Malaysia, Norway, New Zealand, Russian Federation, Singapore, Taiwan and the US, along with close to 500 local racers, will be out to foil van der Linden’s drive for the top plum in the event organized by The IRONMAN Group.

The event will also feature the 5150 relay competition, with the Sun Life Tri-Team of Juan Miguel Guidote (swim) and Sun Life celebrity ambassadors Piolo Pascual (bike) and Matteo Guidicelli (run) all geared up to defend their crown in the 13-team all-male category.

Six teams will slug it out for the all-female title, while 12 others will dispute the mixed championship.

Adding to the excitement is the Go for Gold Sunrise Sprint (S2), consisting of a 750-meter swim, 20 km bike and 5 km run, designed for athletes looking to build a strong base or seeking to enhance their performance.

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The event, backed by Sun Life, Go for Gold, the Bellevue Resort, the Province of Bohol, Municipalities of Dauis and Panglao, Santé, Active, Manila Bulletin, and Tempo, promises to be a thrilling competition with a mix of experienced athletes and enthusiastic newcomers, set against the beautiful backdrop of Panglao Island.


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