Friday, April 27, 2012

PBSP eyes record field in Olango open water swim

PBSP eyes record field in Olango open water swim
By Mars Alison
Cebu Daily News
April 27, 2012

This year’s 5th Olango Challenge slated on May 19 at the Tambuli East in Maribago, Lapu-Lapu City is expected to draw a record number of participants with organizers getting inquiries about the open-water swimming marathon as early as January.

The Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) in cooperation with the Philippine Aquatic Sports Association (PASA) said they are expecting 80 participants this year.

However, entries might swell especially that triathletes are expected to use the event to prepare for the upcoming 70.3 Ironman Philippines this August.

With this, organizers said they will be accepting a maximum of 150 entries, as the number is manageable in terms of logistics and venue.

What is considered as the Philippine’s premiere open-water swimming marathon is also a fund-raising project of the PBSP for the residents of Olango Island.

In yesterday’s press conference at the Casino Espanol, PBSP chairman Antonio Aboitiz said the funds that will be raised this year will be used to build a third two-classroom building in the Tungason Elementary School.

Last year, the event raised P1.6 million which was also used to build classrooms and livelihood projects for the residents of the island. The funds came mostly from the pledges made by the participants.

Making the first pledge this year is Aboitiz himself who is betting that he will finish the race faster than his time last year of one hour and 55 minutes.

The course this year will be the same as last year which resembles a box in front of the Tambuli resort and will stretch to as far as the Crimson Resort.

Aboitiz said that the area is ideal for the race because there are no ports and there are no other resorts in between Tambuli and Crimson so there will be no traffic during race time.

One circuit of the course is equivalent to two kilometers.

Categories to be contested will still be 6K and 2K competitive and 6K and 2K fun with close to P85,000 in prize money to be given away.

PASA’s Alexander Reyes said it is a must for participants to join the orientation to be held before the swim, otherwise they will not be allowed to compete.

A swimmer must also be at least 14 years old to be able to compete.