Pooley placed third at last year’s middle distance race behind Aussie duo Melissa Hauschildt and Annabel Luxford, neither of whom are expected to race this year. Her main rivals this year will include local favourite Monica Torres and American athlete Kelly Williamson, who won Ironman Texas last year.

Away we go! Adventures await w/ d3rick. @roadid @memorialhermann #ChallengePhilippines http://t.co/7mTFqV99MJ

— Kelly H Williamson (@khwilliamson) February 16, 2015

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The men’s race is likely to be dominated by two-time Ironman World Champion Chris ‘Macca’ McCormack, Italian former pro cyclist Domenico Passuello, Challenge Atlantic City winner Fredrik Croneborg of Sweden and inaugural Challenge Philippines second placer Michael Murphy of Australia.

This will be the second year that Challenge Philippines has run, and nearly 700 athletes are expected to take part in what is touted as one of the toughest half distance races in Asia. For more info head to www.challengephilippines.com.ph.

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