DAVAO CITY -- With typical mexican flair, Mexican triathlete and Exterra 2016 champ Mauricio Mendez beat favored Australians in the male pros category to win Sunday`s Alveo Ironman 70.3 held here. Mendez completed the race in 3:50:32 and bested 1,800 others. Mendez was among the five world triathlon champions among over a thousand local and foreign triathletes who competed in the event hosted for the first time in Davao City.

The race kicked off at 6:10 a.m. with the 1.9-kilometer swim course at the Azuela Cove followed by a 90-kilometer bike from Azuela in Davao City to Robinsons Place Mall in Tagum City and ending in a 21-kilometer run in Davao City back to the start. Mendez used his strength in running deal with the tropical heat. He holds several big Xterra wins, including being the Xterra World Champion and 8 podiums in 2016.

“I’m just grateful to Dabawenyos cheering for me and I cannot describe the feeling. They are very nice, warm and lovely people. I’d like to come back many times as possible here in Davao and the Philippines,” Mendez said in an interview.

Timothy James Reed of Australia was second-place in the male pros category. Reed said he enjoyed the race course and the refreshing wind. "I’m just seeing the people, the crowd cheering for me, which add to the pleasure and this is something I really enjoyed," Reed said.

"Triathlon is a lifestyle and you really have to enjoy it and yes go after and chase your dreams," Mendez said. Reed said if there’s one thing aspirants should maintain is consistency -- just be patient and keep it fun. Other winners for the male pros category were Tim Van Berkel, Craig Alexander, Bradly Weiss, Kyle Buckingham, Samuel Melle Bettan, Eric Watson, Ben Allen, and Brent Mcmahon.

The other 1,800 participants came from Australia, Canada, Bahrain, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan Vietnam and Thailand, bringing their family and friends to swell the crowd of spectators of the heralded event, the first of a series planned in Davao City. ( with reports from Lillian Mellejor PNA) Photo: trimexico