CEBU CITY, Philippines – More than a hundred participants of the Cobra Energy Drink Ironman 70.3 and the Alaska Ironkids woke up early this morning to take part in the 4th Alaska Run Out and Breakfast that kicked off the festivities leading to the Cobra Energy Ironman 70.3 Philippines this Sunday, August 6, here in Cebu.

The Cobra Ironman 70.3 participants was led by last year’s men’s champion Tim Reed of Australia. He was accompanied by other pros—Tim Van Berkel, Sam Betten and Dimity Lee Duke, among others. Also present was last year’s Filipino elite champion August Benedicto while the Alaska Ironkids participants were led by the Borlain sisters Tara and Cheska and the kids from the Omega Pro Triathlon Team.

The participants started from the lobby of the Shangri-La Mactan Resort and Spa and run one kilometer to the Mactan Elementary School which is a partner school for the Gatas for Breakfast program of the Alaska Milk Corporation.

This is the fourth time that the Gatas for Breakfast program was incorporated as one of the side events for the Cobra Ironman, according to Yam Maramba, Alaska Milk Corporation activation manager.

The participants were welcomed by about 500 students from Grades 4 to 6 who all wore red shirts and donned white caps. They gamely joined the dance exercise along with the race participants to the Alaska Gatas for Breakfast jingle. The school also prepared a short program for the participants before they joined the pros in the milk toast and drank Alaska together.

Prior to the milk toast, Alaska Milk Corporation CEO Wilfred Steven Uytengsu spoke to the students and encouraged them to drink milk for breakfast.

“Study hard and hope to see you someday in the race,” Uytengsu announced to the students.

The Alaska Run Out and Breakfast has been held at the Mactan Elementary School thrice already and once at the Punta Engaño Elementary School.

“The Alaska Gatas for Breakfast is an advocacy tied up with the Department of Education to reach more kids especially the underprivileged via the public schools so they can know more about proper nutrition and the benefits of drinking milk for breakfast,” explained Maramba.

For this year, the Gatas for Breakfast program has partnered with 390 schools nationwide wherein Alaska will be holding activities to promote proper nutrition and give out Alaska milk to students.