[dropcap letter="H"]ere are some of 8 sports races you may consider to try-out, join, watch, or bet on this year:
Last year was a happy year for Philippine dragon boat community when the team from Philippine Dragon Boat Federation (PDBF) won two silver and two bronze medals in the prestigious and the biggest World Nations Dragon Boat Championship, the 11th International Dragon Boat Federation (IDBF) Dragon Boat World Championship in Szeged, Hungary.
The highlight of that race was when the Philippine women delegation, first time to compete in this race, took the bronze medals in 500-meter small boat race. This year’s initial local highlights at the dragon boat race include the 1st leg of the annual Cobra Energy Drink Dragon Boat Regatta at the Manila Bay, the 8th Boracay International Dragon Boat Festival, and the 3rd PDBF International Dragon Boat Festival to be held in Davao.
For this year's event schedules and updates, check this site.
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Running—in the form of fun runs, friendly races, or marathons for a cause—has become the country’s most popular activity. But if you’re a hardcore runner, who enjoys the challenge of longer distances, here are some races you can check out:
|February 2||Sagada Marathon 2014|
|February 8||2014 PILIPINAS AKYATHLON: Philippine International SKYRACE (Benguet)|
|February 16||Quezon City International Marathon|
|February 23||Laguna to Batangas 50k Ultra Marathon|
|March 15-16||100 Islands 100K Ultra International Marathon|
For the rest of the year, you can check out MarathonPhilippines.com, PinoyFitness.com, and Takbo.ph.
Biking or cycling is also becoming a popular sport and mode of transportation in the country. In fact, some main roads in Metro Manila particularly in Quezon City, Makati City and Marikina City now have bike lanes.
We're home to biking pros, too. Philippine’s London Olympian Daniel Caluag took the gold medal while his brother Christopher took silver medal in the BMX race in recently concluded 2013 Southeast Asian Games.
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This sport, made more popular by movies like The Fast and the Furious series, gain a lot of Pinoy fans from all ages. And just late last year, FIA (Federation Internationale de l'Automobile) released the 2014 Formula 1 Season calendar that will kick-off from March 14 to 16 in Melbourne, Australia, and then on from March 28 to 30 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and on September 21 in Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore on September 21. Locally, we have a drag racing scene and this year, the country will host the Asian V8 Championship.
Circuit Showdown Race Schedule:
|1st leg||March 1||Batangas Racing Circuit|
|2nd leg||April 5-6||Clark International Speedway (w/ Asian V8 Championship)|
|3rd leg||May 3-4||Batangas Racing Circuit (w/ Asian V8 Championship)|
|4th leg||June 7-8||Batangas Racing Circuit (w/ Asian V8 Championship)|
|5th leg||July 5||Clark International Speedway|
|6th leg||August 2||Batangas Racing Circuit|
Philippine Drag Racing Championship Schedule:
(Note: Nx – Northern Series; Sx – Southern Series)
|N1||January 28||Clark International Speedway, Pampanga|
|S1||February 18||Batangas Racing Circuit|
|N2||March 10||Clark International Speedway, Pampanga|
|S2||March 31||Batangas Racing Circuit|
|S3||April 21||Batangas Racing Circuit|
|N3||May 5||Clark International Speedway, Pampanga|
|S4||June 5||Batangas Racing Circuit|
|N4||June 30||Clark International Speedway|
For updates, go to CircuitShowdown.com, BatangasRacingCircuit.org, TimeAttackManila.com, Autoindustriya.com or check out HPRacing on Facebook.
Horse racing, considered as the sport of kings, also has avid Pinoy followers. But this (betting) sport deserves to be in this list not only because 2014 is the Year of the Horse but also because horse racing has long been part of our history (according to Wikipedia, the earliest record of horse racing in the Philippines was in 1867). We also have the newest (it opened last year) and the country’s third world-class horse racing facility, The Metro Turf in Malvar, Batangas.
Other race tracks are the San Lazaro Leisure Park (SLLP) in Carmona, Cavite and the Saddle & Clubs Leisure Park (Santa Ana Park) Race Track in Sabang, Naic, Cavite.
Two most anticipated races are the Philracom Triple Crown Series and the Presidential Gold Cup. Here’s a sample of Presidential Gold Cup video last year:
For more info on horse racing events check out PhilRaCom.gove.ph.
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Motorcycles are a popular mode of transportation in the country because it’s handier on the road, in terms of traffic and because a lot of dealers offer cheaper installment plans. It has become a popular sport in the country too.
Some manufacturers and motorcycle magazines organize races in the country. And although there are few racetracks in the country (there's one in Subic and one in Batangas) there are also small tracks (usually in mall parking lots and parks) made for small leagues. Two of the more prestigious events are the IRGP 7 and the 2013 Asia Motocross Supercross Championship last November:
The concept of multi-sports race is very daunting—imagine a kilometer swim, then a 90-km bike race, and then a 20-km run! That’s why triathletes deserve high respect in the field of endurance sports. The most anticipated events are the Ironman Philippines and the Xterra off-road. Here are the initial schedules of events:
|February 9||Alaska IronKids Aquathlon (The Village Sports Club)|
|February 22||Challenge Philippines 2014 (Subic)|
|March 15||XTERRA Off-road Triathlon (Cebu)|
|August 3||Cobra Ironman 70.3 Philippines (Cebu)|
Check out Triathlon.org.ph and SwimBikeRun.ph for updates.
The National Association of Filipino Off-Roaders (NASFOR), which is the umbrella organization of 4-wheeling and off-road clubs in the country, is the entity that brings extreme off-roading competitions around the country.
Last year’s highlight was the annual Tough Truck Challenge. If you’re an off-road enthusiast who wants to watch how the challengers race through the hardcore course with the heat, the mud, dust, dirt, pits, cliffs, and more mud vying for best time, here’s the schedule:
Tentative Nasfor Maxxis Schedule 2014
|January 25-26||Cebu City|
|March 8-9||Coronadal City|
|March 23-24||Davao City|
|April||Laoag City, Ilocos Norte|
|May 24-25||Naga City, Camarines Sur|
|June 28-29||Tacloban City, Leyte|
|July||Dipolog City, Zamboanga Del Norte|
|August 2-3||Davao City|
|August 16-17||Tuguegarao City, Cagayan|
|November 29-30||Angeles City, Pampanga|
|December 6-7||Tough Truck Challenge 14|
Go to their Facebook page for more info.
What races do you join or follow? Let's talk about them in the Comments Section.