ESTABLISHED in 2008, Sunrise Events, Inc. has been an integral part in the tremendous growth of triathlon in the country by staging world-class events all year long that local and international athletes can participate in.

It is something that the group, led by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Wilfred Steven Uytengsu, takes so much pride in, considering when it started it was not sure if it will be able to sustain it.

But by sticking to their vision and mission of staging world-class events, creating opportunities for athletes and people and providing a platform for sports tourism in the country, Mr. Uytengsu said Sunrise Events has been able to survive and is even poised for greater heights moving forward.

“It’s really amazing that now we are talking about 10 years. Just doing the first race, I thought it was just a one-and-done. I had the chance to race abroad multiple times and I took my experience there and said why not do it here. I was told it cannot be done. But I said why can’t it be done? This is the Philippines. We are capable of staging events like Ironman races if you pay attention to details and partnering with the right groups, which are like-minded and purposeful,” said Mr. Uytengsu during the press conference announcing the Century Tuna Ironman Philippines 2018 last week.

“We are happy to see the sport grow exponentially in the country. More people are into the sport now. More people are into healthy lifestyle. And it brings us so much joy to see these,” the Sunrise Events official added.

Nearly 10 years now, Mr. Uytengsu said Sunrise Events is set for bigger things ahead, including staging the first-ever full-distance Ironman in the country next year.

The event, happening at Subic Bay in Zambales, is a step up from the Ironman 70.3 events commonly staged here in the last decade and is indicative of how triathlon has come a long way in the Philippines, said Mr. Uytengsu.

“If you asked me when we were starting then if we would be here talking about this event (full Ironman) I would say you are crazy. But we are happy to be crazy, We are happy to have dreamt big. And we are excited about next year and looking forward to more years of great events,” said Mr. Uytengsu.

Meanwhile, Australian Tim Reed bagged his third straight IronMan 70.3 title in Cebu last weekend.

Clocking in at three hours, 54 minutes and seven seconds, the 32-year-old Reed topped the men’s pro title, coming ahead of Mauricio Mendez (3:56:46) of Mexico and Ryan Fisher (4:00:20) of Australia.

The women’s pro title, meanwhile, went to Amelia Watkinson of New Zealand who had a time of 4:29:17, ahead of Australians Jacquiline Thistleton and Kerry Morris who clocked at 4:35:53 and 4:39:11, respectively. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo