GROUP WINS. Athletes from the municipality of Sultan Naga Dimaporo (SND), Lanao del Norte province, receive the award for winning the team event of the Alveo Ironman 70.3-mile triathlon race in Davao City on Sunday (March 26, 2023). The athletes belong to the SND Tri Barracuda team. (Photo courtesy of Mohammad Hamid Bato/SND MIO)

DAVAO CITY – The team from Sultan Naga Dimaporo (SND), a town in Lanao del Norte province, emerged victorious in the team event of the Alveo Ironman 70.3-mile triathlon race held here on Sunday.

Satar Salem, a member of the Tri SND Barracuda Team, said that although he did not place in the top three, the team won the "Tribu Maisugon" for their overall achievement, earning a PHP550,000 cash prize.

"My time dropped by 12 minutes because after the bike race transition, I was ready to run (for the marathon phase), but I forgot my race belt, so I had to go back one kilometer to get it," Salem said in a Facebook post on Monday.

Salem placed 4th in the Men's (M) 25-29 category, but his teammates dominated with Jailani Lamama taking first place, Abdul Rahman Toroganan in second place and 18th place in the overall Top Age Men Category, and Mohammad Hanin Maruhom in third place.

In the M18-24 category, Tri SND Barracuda's Kenneth Bonda finished first place and 11th in the overall Top Age Men Category, while teammate Jacob Rodriguez placed third.

Meanwhile, two groups from the Tri SND Barracuda also claimed the top two spots in the XRelay category.

The first group, which placed first in the XRelay and third place in the overall Relay Teams category, was led by SND's Vice Mayor and biker Ulwan Dimaporo, runner Marlon Pabillaran, and swimmer Kiara Ramielle Eloy.

The second Barracuda group placed second in XRelay and sixth overall, composed of swimmer Necie Grace Bullecer, biker Al Fritz Gascon and runner Ramil Neri.

Probe on Ironman participant's death

Meanwhile, the city government is currently investigating the circumstances that led to the death of a 49-year-old swimming coach who participated in the Ironman 70.3 swimming leg of the event on Sunday.

The deceased, a Muslim, will be buried according to Islamic rites on Monday.

“Together with the Ironman 70.3 organizers, we made sure to help the family of the deceased first and foremost. The city also extended assistance for the burial scheduled today,” said City Sports Development Division head Mikey Aportadera in an interview.

He emphasized that in the world of extreme sports, fatalities and injuries are unavoidable. However, he said the city aims to prevent such incidents and investigate the matter to gain clarity on what happened.

He added that there were numerous safety measures in place during the race and the incident may have been the result of circumstances beyond the security and safety cluster’s capacity.

Medical responders were able to resuscitate the swimmer and rushed him to the hospital, where he eventually succumbed to what was reported by a family member as a heart attack. (PNA)