Filipino triathletes at the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii

Since I had signed up for my fourth iron distance a couple of weeks ago, I started to immerse myself once more in the history of Philippine triathlon, and in particular Filipino triathletes in Hawaii. I basically went through all results that I was able to find to conduct a first overview.

For the first years, it is not easy to find out more information about triathletes that represented the Philippines. In fact, the very first indication for a Filipino triathlete in Hawaii might be this document. It is possible that John O. Chan was the very first triathlete representing the Philippines who finished the Ironman Hawaii in 15:00:55 back in 1992 – more than 30 years ago.

Afterwards, it seems that there were no Philippine triathletes again until 2008. However, there might be many Filipino athletes who represented other countries. A very notable result would be, of course, the appearance of Arland Macasieb in 1998 who finished the race in 12:30:15. According to the lists I have found, only his home New Jersey was indicated but most likely, he was representing the Philippines in 1998.

John Rueth & Arland Macasieb

With triathlon legend Arland Macasieb at a local race in Jagna (Bohol) in May 2013

Philippine „invasion“ at the Ironman Hawaii in 2011

After many years without obvious Philippine representation in Hawaii, it was „Filipina Ironwoman“ Ani Karina Sarabia de Leon Brown who raced at the Ironman World Championships 2008, after qualifying as first finisher in her age group (30-34) at Ironman Malaysia in Langkawi 2008. Then, there were 10 (!) finishers in 2011. Amongst them were Noy Jopson from Cebu City setting a new record with 10:32:35, followed by Benjamin Rana Jr. with 10:53:46 as well as Wilfred Uytengsu who had brought the Ironman brand to the Philippines (source:

With triathlon legend Noy Jopson in Cebu City, October 2013

With triathlon legend Noy Jopson in Cebu City, October 2013

It is very likely that Uytengsu’s Sunrise Events, Inc. which has organized Ironman-branded races in the Philippines since 2009 contributed a lot to the fact that we saw many more Filipino triathletes in the past 10 years. In fact, since 2011, there was at least one athlete representing the Philippines at the yearly event.

Fastest Filipino triathletes at Ironman Hawaii

As of November 2022, the following Filipino triathletes were the fastest to date at the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii:

Fastest Filipina (female) triathletes in Hawaii

Maria Hodges10:49:162017
Maria Hodges10:58:102018
Alessandra Gonzales11:33:082011
Amanda Carpo11:43:472011
Alessandra Castaneda11:46:472023
Ines Santiago11:47:022022
Ani de Leon Brown11:53:442017
Ani de Leon12:07:182008
Chloe Ong12:17:322023
Bernadette Tan12:24:102018
Ani de Leon Brown12:24:102018
Bernadette Tan12:30:002019
Mary Jane Baluyot12:45:282011
Fiona Ottiger12:50:252011
Jennifer Uy13:06:542023
Lezette Albarote13:07:532018
Celma Hitalia13:28:592018

Fastest Filipino (male) triathletes in Hawaii

Felipe Sajulga III09:45:422018
Felipe Sajulga III09:57:512017
Mervin Santiago10:10:362022
Felipe Sajulga III10:15:022019
Luigi Victor Robles10:30:212022
Noy Jopson10:32:352011
Jet Ramos10:35:452022
Leigh Gunn10:39:062022
Benjamin Rana Jr.10:53:462011
Rara Eigen11:00:432022
Jaynald Canaria11:11:322018
Paolo Leano11:13:092022
Ronald Molit11:19:402022
Ferdinand Catabian II11:22:512011
Renel Brecenio11:24:032022
Rene Ricardo Tayag11:31:332011
Peter Ralph Gonzales11:33:082011
Noriel Simsuangco11:39:202018

Further notable results are Linus Pagusara’s 11:01:06 and Leigh Gunn’s 11:22:09 at Ironman World Championships St. George that was held in May 2022 as substitute for the Ironman Hawaii 2021.

It is kinda funny but just after completion of the first version of this article, I have read about the rumours that Ironman decided to move the World Championships to Nice for the males’s race in 2023. This would mean that only the women will be able to race in Kona 2023.

The rumours were actually confirmed on December 1, 2022. The World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) who organizes the IRONMAN events officially announced that the men’s race will not take place in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, in 2023 and return instead in 2024.

Please let me know, in case I missed any important results or if I got any details wrong – maraming salamat po!