Indonesia is set to host its first ever ironman event this weekend, with Bintan Island hosting the MetaMan Triathlon on Saturday.
As many as 250 athletes from countries including Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the Czech Republic will vie for the $60,000 prize against Southeast Asia’s best.
Bintan, a world-famous resort island in Riau Islands province, has been hosting international triathlon events since 2005, but this is the first iron-distance championship in Indonesia.
“We are very pleased that the organizers are bringing this event to the island of Bintan,” local district chief Ansar Ahmad said in a statement on Thursday. “With 250 male and female athletes signing up from as far away as Australia, New Zealand and Europe, the MetaMan Triathlon confirms the great appeal our island destination holds among endurance athletes and holiday-makers alike.”
Ironman triathlons consist of a 3.8-kilometer swim, a 180.25-km bike ride and a marathon (42.2 km) run, raced in that order and without a break. Besides the full ironman race, there will also be a “MetaMan Half,” in which the distances are halved. Men and women will compete in both sets of distances.
The MetaMan is jointly organized by Singapore-based sports management company MetaSport and Nirwana Garden, the resort hosting the event.
“We are excited to bring MetaMan to Bintan. We believe there is no better location in Southeast Asia for such an event,” said Nathalie Marquet, managing director of MetaSport. “We trust that the event has all the elements to grow fast and compete with some of the world’s most renowned iron-distance races in the years to come.”
Athletes taking part include Australian Aaron Farlow, who won the Challenge Copenhagen in August and the 2011 Ironman UK champion and Czech Republic great Petr Vabrousek, who has completed 108 Ironman distance races, winning 20 of them. In the women’s event, Belinda Granger, 42, who has won 12 iron-distance championships, will be the one to beat.