Japanese consul joins Ironman 70.3 marathon to foster PH-Japan friendship

Published March 27, 2018, 11:27 AM

by AJ Siytangco


By Antonio Colina IV

DAVAO CITY – Japanese Consul Tomoko Dodo, joined the Ironman 70.3 triathlon in Davao City, consisting of 1.9-kilometer swim, 90-km. bike 21.1-km. run, to foster Philippines-Japan friendship for the last time on Sunday, five days before retiring as a diplomat.

Describing herself a “senior,” Dodo said she ran along with younger friends urologist Dr. Herman Sorongon and restaurant chain owner Eduardo Leuenberger. They sported shirts designed with orchids and sakura, the Philippines and Japan’s highest peaks – Mt. Apo and Mt. Fuji – and the flags of the two countries flapping over blue sea connecting the two nations.


“Our team is unique in every sense, mixed sexes, various ages, and two nationalities. We did this not only for our personal gain but more for promoting Davao in international arenas as well as further fostering Philippines-Japan friendship,” she said.

Dodo said she considers herself blessed to have her term end in time for the city’s month-long 81st Araw ng Davao celebrations. She serves in Davao for three years.

“What a fantastic way to culminate my three-year term and my wonderful time spent in your fabulous Davao,” she said, admitting that running under the sun’s scorching heat was quite challenging but manageable, this being her first time in the long distance serious international race.

Clocking 7 hours and 10 minutes, Dodo said she keeps a very active lifestyle to keep herself in the pink of health.

Back in Japan, she spent up to 10 hours skiing down the snow-covered slopes. In Davao, she dabbles her time in zumba, running and yoga.

“On ski slopes, I become an 8-year old girl. Exercise is the best medicine. I don’t spend hours nor dollars on makeups and supplements,” she said. “I’m a senior. But the thing is I feel, think and act as if I were in 20s.”

She is not a newbie to running. Dodo joined in the Mt. Apo Apo rehabilitation run where she placed in women’s 5-km. and 5-km. fund-raising run of the Tebow Cure Hospital, placing 9th last year.

The Ironman attracted over 1,800 athletes from all over the world.

The 22-year old Mexican runner Mauricio Mendez finished first, followed by Australians Timothy James and Tim Vam Berkel in second and third places, respectively.

Finishers received a medal called “Duyan ng mga Magigiting” (Cradle of the Brave) designed by Dabawenyo artist Kublai Millan.

The race, organized by Sunrise Events, began with a one-loop swim at the Azuela Cove where they will go back for their first transition; then exit onto the main highway to start the 90-km bike course; fast, single loop bike course heads all the way to the turnaround point at Tagum City; then they head back to Azuela Cove for the second transition; exit to J.P. Laurel Avenue toward the commercial district of Davao to complete the two-loop 21.1km run.