Australian Sam Betten retained the men’s pro crown while Kiwi Amelia Watkinson reigned in the women’s side as they scored wire-to-wire triumphs in the 2016 Regent 5150 Triathlon on a hot and humid Sunday in Subic.
Betten tackled the challenging 1.5K swim, 40K bike, 10K run course in two hours, six minutes and 55 seconds to capture the coveted title for the second straight year with plenty to spare.
His compatriot, Mitch Robins, finished a far second with 2:21:27, his bid hurt by two flat tire mishaps in the bike leg, while Slovak Michal Bucek took third place in the local version of the world’s largest Olympic distance triathlon series with his 2:24:38 effort.
Watkinson checked in at 2:10:59 – just a few minutes after Betten – to run away with the women’s tiara, beating Aussies Michelle Duffield (2:22:03) and Dimity-Lee Duke (2:24:38).
Paul Jumamil topped the Filipino male elite category with 2:19:08 – the third best time across all divisions. August Benedicto crossed the finish line six seconds later to settle for second while Banjo Norte wound up No. 3 with 2:20:28. Maria Danielle Infantado (2:50:50) beat Amale Jopson (3:08:24) for the Filipino female elite crown.
“It’s tough to win any race and it’s even tougher to win it twice in a row so this is really very special,” said Betten after accomplishing his mission in the event produced and organized by Sunrise Events, Inc. in partnership with Regent Foods, the country’s leading snack manufacturing company.
The 28-year-old Betten came out of the waters at Acea Beach first and didn’t relinquish control all the way to the ride along the undulating and hot roads of Subic Bay and the finish at Remy Field.
Robins, who was touted to contend, fell behind as he had to fix a flat front tire not once but twice. “It’s a disaster but it happens,” he said.
Thailand-based Kiwi Watkinson maintained a blistering pace that left her two rivals gasping.
“I got my own space straight out of the gun, swam consistently and picked it up on the way home. I had a fast transition out on the bike and eased into it, making sure I kept the pace quite even,” she said.
 Australian triathlete Sam Betten negotiates the runway of the Subic Bay International Airport as he defends his 2015 men’s title during the 5150 triathlon held Sunday morning (June 05) at Subic Bay Freeport. (AMD/MPD-SBMA)
 Australian triathlete Sam Betten cools himself after crossing the finish line at the Remy Field during the 5150 triathlon held Sunday morning (June 05) at Subic Bay Freeport. (AMD/MPD-SBMA)
 Aussie triathlete Sam Betten flashes the No. 1 sign as he celebrates after crossing the finish line at the Remy Field during the 5150 triathlon held Sunday morning (June 05) at Subic Bay Freeport. (AMD/MPD-SBMA)