A security cordon will be enforced for tomorrow's Cobra Ironman 70.3 Philippines triathlon event which is participated in by more than 1,700 athletes from 31 countries around the world.
Edwin Ermac, Traffic Enforcement Agency of Mandaue (Team) chief, said spectators can watch the Ironman participants from any building near the race route but they will be barred from crossing it during the duration of the race.
Thousands of workers employed in Lapu-Lapu City's economic zone area (PEZA) were advised to go home early tonight to avoid being stranded once the race kicks off at 6:15 a.m tomorrow.
The road heading to the PEZA 1 in barangay Pusok, Lapu-Lapu City were among those that will be closed to vehicular and pedestrian traffic from 5 a.m until 3 p.m tomorrow for the triathlon which kicks off with a 1.9 km swim.
The swim starts at the Shangri-la Resort and Spa Mactan and will cover the Hilutungan channel.
This is followed by a 90-km bike course from the resort covering select routes in the cities of Mandaue, Cebu and Talisay City.
After passing through the South Road Properties (SRP) tunnel, the Ironman participants then return to Lapu-Lapu City for a 21-kilometer run there.
A heightened alert status is raised over the event venues while 263 police personnel will be deployed all over the routes and venues of the event, said Senior Supt. Rey Lyndon Lawas, Lapu-Lapu City police chief.
Lawas said 30 Air Force personnel will be deployed in the route while 22 members of the Naval Forces Central (Navforcen) will be added to secure the swimming venue.
“We are ready to host this major event. The barangays are also ready. They came up with their own cheer groups to welcome the athletes who will pass in their respective area,” Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza said.
Five barangays like Punta Engaño, Mactan, Buaya, Ibo and Pusok had formed their respective cheer dance groups composed of high school students.
The eastern side of ML Quezon Avenue in Lapu-Lapu City will be closed to traffic starting at 9 a.m. on Sunday until 3 a.m. on Monday.
Lawas said the city government will hold a race dance or a street party at 2 p.m to welcome the athletes.
Sound systems and stages will be put up in the 1 kilometer stretch of the road, along with booths for food and drinks.
“We will also be providing security to the street party’, he said.
Radaza believed that the event will boost the tourism and economic activities in the city.
In Cebu City Sylvan Jakosalem, Cebu City Traffic Operations Management (Citom) chairman Sylvan Jakosalem said they will be fielding 240 enforcers to man traffic.
In Lapu-Lapu City, 570 Reserve Officers Training Corp. (ROTC) cadets of Lapu-Lapu City College will join 25,000 elementary pupils and high school students in the security cordon for the race. Traffic enforcers are also stationed at the Marcelo Fernan bridge to regulate vehicular flow. /Jhunnex Napallacan, Fe Marie Dumaboc and Norman V. Mendoza, Correspondents