Category Archives: Triathlon

Jacs shifts gears from 42K to the 70.3 Ironman

Jacs with his mentor and best friend, Dr. Vicente Verallo

Meyrick Jacalan is one of my closest friends. He’s also one of the most fanatical people I know about sports. At the past Cebu City Marathons, “Jacs” was the leader of the organizing Cebu Executive Runners Club (CERC). Also, as the entrepreneur behind ASAP Advertising, he created the concepts and designs for the Cebu Marathon.

Jacs has finished three 42K races. His first was when our 14-man Cebu group flew to Hong Kong in 2008; he timed a very respectable 4 hours, 51 minutes. Next, he joined the Singapore Marathon. We were together with Team CERC. Despite cramps, he did another sub-5, clocking 4:58. And, finally, at the 2009 Amsterdam Marathon, he did a sub-Oprah (besting Ms. Winfrey’s 4:29 clocking at the NYC Marathon). Jacs finished in 4:21.

What’s most amazing was this: months leading to Amsterdam, Jacs was injured. His painful Plantar Fasciitis injury (which later became Bone Spur) led him to stop many 30K practice runs. Once, running from Capitol to Cordova in Mactan, I saw him walk and grimace in excruciating foot pain. Never a quitter, Jacs considered backing out of Amsterdam—yet he persevered. He did a PR in that ’09 European 42K.

After the marathon in The Netherlands, all-smiles are Dr. Albert Santos, Nica Ong, Jane-Jane Ong, Andrew Ong, Jacs, Perl and Dr. Vic

Next month, Mr. Jacalan will embark on another target: to finish his first Half-Ironman Triathlon in Camarines Sur.

“I was advised to rest and ‘totally’ stop running after Amsterdam to allow my injury to heal,” he said. “I needed something to do to remain active for fitness so I went back to mountain biking and eventually decided to take up swimming, too.”

This was in 2010. A biker prior to becoming a runner, the most challenging discipline was the one that involved the water.

“My limiter is swimming,” Jacs said. “All I knew about it was very basic. My limited background meant I had to learn it from scratch. Running was also tricky since I have to balance it properly so as not to aggravate my foot injury.”

On swimming, Jacs says it’s not a natural sport like running. “The techniques involved are complex and challenging. Without question, swimming can be a life-or-death activity. It’s not difficult to learn but it takes perseverance and determination to endure the countless and thousands and more meters in the pool. For me, the path to swimming starts with learning to relax and be comfortable in the water. Everything else will follow.”

His training schedule for the August 14 Ironman include swimming thrice weekly. He does one short bike ride on weekdays and a long one on Sundays. Running? Two or three times a week.

“I hardly go out during the evenings, especially not on weekends; and as much as possible, business trips are limited to 2 to 3 days only,” he said. “If I do two workouts in a day, I make sure to take a 15-minute power nap noontime. I sleep early. Training and work schedule is pretty much manageable.”

His advice to all the married men who aspire to be triathletes: Ask your wives first for overwhelming support and understanding before jumping into the pool! (It’s good that Perl Jacalan, herself a half-marathoner, understands that her husband is a sports-obsessed person.)

At the Singapore Marathon where Perl finished her first 21K

Having completed three marathons and now just 25 days away from his first-ever 70.3 triathlon (1.9K swim, 90K bike ride and 21K run), how does Jacs compare both sports?

For Triathlon/Ironman training. . .

“It takes more training hours per week compared to training for a marathon as you have to undertake 3 disciplines altogether;

“Probability of accident/crash is much higher with the bike training;

“Overtraining is hard to detect. When your leg muscles are fatigued from running or biking, you can switch to swimming, or the other way around. Unlike training for a marathon, you can easily sense overtraining as your leg muscles and bodily aches will tell you to stop and recover.”

Comparing the two, Jacs says that marathon training is more difficult. “It’s more rigorous and taxing to the body,” he says. “Plus, there’s no variety… you keep using your legs, pounding your body on the asphalt 5 to 6 days a week. That’s tough!”

Since this is his first Half-Ironman, expectations are realistic. “I am a newbie to the sport,” said Jacs, “although I have ran 3 marathons and I have a background in mountain biking; doing all 3 disciplines (swim/bike/run) at one time is an entirely different game. My goal for now is just to finish before cut-off time.”

As to the popularity of triathlon in Cebu today, “you’ll be surprised” at how many are Tri’ing the Tri, says Jacs. This 2011 edition in CamSur, about 50 from Cebu will join. “Different teams are now being formed,” he says. “Team Reborn started with just 5 members, now they are 20. A revival of a popular Cebuano triathlon team years ago, the TRI-Loccos is now gaining new members. Former triathletes are on the comeback. An XTerra brand of Triathlon was just held here in Cebu.

“With Sugbu-Tri coming up various Triathlon races around the provinces, another big one in Lapu-Lapu City soon this year and with the neighboring Islands like Bohol hosting a Full (ironman) distance, races in Dumaguete, Davao,…. with Cebuanos flying all over the country as far as Matabungkay in Batangas, I would say, the sport is now enjoying a resurgence of popularity.”

Finally, asked about his parting words and motivation for enduring the pain of all the training, Meyrick Jacalan answers: “Every time I suffer, I am a better man because of it. That’s from the ultimate athlete himself, Lance Armstrong. And yes, every time I am in pain, I think of this line.”

With the Jacalans after climbing The Peak in Hong Kong

John, Jacs, Vic and Serge Amora

Xterra and Davis Cup: Marching towards March

By now, you’ve heard that the Davis Cup tennis event will be held in Cebu. The Davis Cup is one of sport’s longest-running tournaments. It started in 1900. It encompasses 137 nations joining.

Here in Cebu, from March 4 to 6, we will host the DC tie between the Philippines and Japan. The venue, befitting this world-class battle, is a world-class facility: the Plantation Bay Resort and Spa in Lapu-Lapu City.

There will be five matches during this first weekend of March. On Friday (March 4), it’s the first two singles matches. Cecil Mamiit and Treat Huey will separately clash with Japan’s Nos. 1 and 2. Most-likely, the Japanese will be led by Tatsuma Ito, Go Soeda, Takao Suzuki and Toshihide Matsui. On Saturday, it’s the lone doubles match. On Sunday, it’s the reverse singles: the final two matches. All games will be best-of-five sets.

For tennis and for Cebu, this is gigantic. Tennis players will surely troop to Plantation Bay to gaze, to clap, to sing, “Pinoy Ako, Pinoy,” and to yell, “GO, PILIPINAS!” Non-tennis fans? Why, it will be the same: the boisterous atmosphere, the momentous occasion, the PHL flags hoisted fronting the JPN flags–this is an encounter never to be missed. That’s tennis. That’s Davis Cup.

Well, here’s even more significant news for Cebuanos. On this same first-weekend-of-March, this won’t be the only international-brand event.

XTERRA. The “X” stands for the cousin of the “X-Games.” Because when we think of “X” and “X-Games,” we think of this word: XTREME. We also think of these: adventure, risk, thrill. That’s Xterra. By definition, Xterra is “the world’s leading off-road triathlon series… with 60 races around the world.”

It’s triathlon. But, with mud, with off-road paths, with rocky terrain–all mixed as part of the ingredients for a wild and wet triathlon. Xterra is brought to the Philippines by Fred Uytengsu. We all know Mr. Uytengsu: he’s the businessman/sportsman owner of the Alaska Aces PBA team. He also brought to our nation (and Camarines Sur) the Ironman 70.3.

XTERRA Philippines website

For the first time in the Philippines, he’s taking Xterra to our shores. Not in Manila; but right here in Cebu. On March 6, 2011. Yes, I repeat: the same weekend as the Davis Cup. No doubt, this will be the grandest morning in sports for Cebu. Possibly, ever. Two international brands. Two world-caliber events. Both on the same 3-6-11.

XTERRA Philippines will be held in Liloan. The start/finish area will be at Amara, the premier subdivision owned by the Ayalas (Cebu Holdings, Inc.). The swim is 1.5K, followed by a 35K mountain-bike around the rough off-roads of Liloan. Then, a 10K run–using trail running shoes–in an out-and-back course. All to start and finish in Amara. Liloan Mayor Duke Frasco–a runner whom I’ve seen join several of our Cebu 10Ks–is embracing this event fully. Same with Gov. Gwen Garcia, the mother-in-law of Duke, who is set to formally announce this contest soon. Danao City sports chief Boying Rodriguez, an institution in cycling and triathlon in our island, is one of the lead organizers.

Conflict? Will “DC” and “X” be in direct combat? No and Yes. First, the venues. They’re separate. Tennis is in Lapu-Lapu City while Triathlon is in Liloan.

The crowd? Again, no clash. The brand-new tennis clay-court built by Plantation Bay will have bleachers to seat 1,500 spectators. Xterra? From what I learned, only 200 participants are expected to join. That’s because the entry fees are expensive. Possibly, the fees are $150/person or $180/relay team. (Yes, relay teams — separate swimmer, biker, runner — are welcome.)

The only minor “tug-of-war” between these two? For us, the media. Who’ll grab the headlines? Will there be enough manpower to cover both? Imagine the odds of two mega-sporting-brands happening on exactly the same year, same month, same weekend?

Well, it is. And it’s great for Sugbu. Are you and I not lucky to be living here? For, as Jay Aldeguer and his Islands Souvenirs would proclaim…  I (heart) CEBU.

Eugene Sanchez: My Ironman 70.3 experience

Last year, after featuring Noy Jopson (the top Filipino in the 2009 Ironman in Camsur) and, the past month, writing about Annie Neric (Cebu’s lone “Ironman woman”) and Dr. Raymund Reel Bontol, now it’s another top triathlete.

Eugene Sanchez, 37, is not your neophyte swim-bike-run athlete. He started 14 years ago when, he said, “Noy Jopson organized one in Plantation Bay… I only had one month of training and barely finished… but fell in love with the sport.”

He did not stop. Eugene finished two Half-Ironman events and plenty more which included the Sandugo Triathlon (Tagbilaran), Sunrise triathlon (Alegre Beach Resort), Fiesta Series triathlon, Everyman’s triathlon series, Manong Amon Tri, 3-15-3 series. Today, he is a member of the Sugbu Triathlon, a community of multi-sport athletes from (of course) Cebu. Here’s “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!” the first-hand account story of Eugene.

“Last August 22, I raced the 2nd edition of the Philippine Ironman at Camarines Sur, finishing 90th over 497 athletes and 23rd in my age group. It took me six months of training to prepare myself for this very challenging distance.

“The road to doing the half IM distance again proved challenging. Sacrifices had to be made; Willpower, strengthened; Muscles, hardened. The sport of triathlon is never easy. For if it was, then it would be as popular as the running boom in Cebu. Some can swim, others can bike and plenty can run but only a few can swim, bike and run. Still, triathlon can be for everyone and anyone regardless of age – as long as you are willing to sacrifice… a lot.

“Sunday becomes a 100-K bike ride with a 10K run at noon. Noon breaks on weekdays are reserved for long swims. No more Friday night-outs for me, had to wake up at 5 a.m. on Saturdays for my two-hour run, then a cool-off swim. I even missed my high school reunion because I had to wake up early that Sunday morning for my long bike ride, alone. Yes I did a lot of sacrifices but I never regretted it. In fact, it was the best decision I made on my birthday – registering for the Philippine Ironman. I could not fail… I will finish what I started and will push my body until I will cross the finish line.

“Now to the race: The swim start was difficult with hundreds of athletes trying to get their own space. Just imagine being thrown in a washing machine–that’s how I felt for the first 200 meters. As always, I start my swim with a prayer; this helps calm my nerves and eventually catch my long stroke and rhythm. The two-km. swim took me 36:54 minutes – happy to be done with the part I dread most.

“The bike was an easy part for me, having numerous road races under my belt. The course was relatively flat which took me 2 hours and 26 minutes for the entire 90 kilometers. I was still okay but my mind was already on the next leg, the run, which I am not so gifted at. Having a heavy framed body, the run part is somewhat difficult unless I lose 30 pounds! Before, I could do a 20-minute 5K run in a triathlon–but that was when I was 30 pounds lighter. Carrying a lot of blob surely slows you down…thanks to Mang Inasal!

“Then the run starts. It’s not easy to run a 21K, all the more when you start after a 2K swim and 90K bike. With energy reserves half empty and the sun almost at its peak, it’s tough. But run I did. I promised God that I will run the whole 21K for Him, without walking, and so I did except a little near the finish line. My quads, gluteus and every leg and back muscle were cramping at the last 1K mark. In the end, the finish line attracted me like a magnet or a moth to a light. Even when I was in extreme pain, it gave me that extra boost to cross the line. And I did in a time of 5:31:57–the 3rd Cebuano to cross the line at the Ironman Philippines.

“Now I can have my subzero beer and do a little partying. But it won’t be long, the 3rd edition of the Philippine Ironman is just a year away. So I will soon be back to what I love most: swim, bike and run. See you at the starting line!”

Doc Reel transforms into the real Ironman

To the ordinary species—that includes you and me—swimming 1.9 kms., biking 90K, then running a 21K is crazy and impossible. It takes a body made of iron—plus a brain that’s ironclad—to finish the Ironman 70.3. One such man is Dr. Raymund Reel Bontol. A marathon runner with the physique of a Daniel Craig, Doc Reel joined the Cobra Ironman 70.3 event in Camarines Sur last Sunday.

Among those representing Cebu included last year’s top Filipino finisher, Noy Jopson. Also joining were Elmo Clarabal, Ralph Martin Sios-e, Eugene Sanchez, Trino Trasmonte, Ralph Arche, Tyrone Tan, Kristian Cabahug, Frederick Pahanonot, Jose Ricardo Dizon, Siegfred Zarex Tura, Bro. Carlo Bacalla and Cleve Villanueva.

Dr. Bontol, 31, was part of TEAM REBORN, which included Tenggoy Colmenares, Jung Cases and Annie Neric. Here’s “A Test of Faith,” Doc Reel’s real experience…

“My legs had over three years running experience when Noy Jopson convinced me to join the Ironman. He taught me swimming and cycling techniques necessary for long-distance triathlon. Despite my panicking during the swim and weakness on the bike, I was always atoned by my running skills. In every race I pray that I reach the run leg for me to be assured of the finish.

“Training was not easy. No wonder Noy is a great athlete. TEAM REBORN trained with him 12 weeks prior to the Cobra Ironman race and we were always drained after every session. He is strict. We never let Noy see us slacking off. Disciplines include swim training, cycling, running, gym-training, core training, yoga/Pilates sessions. Hot weather in Camsur was expected so we trained at least twice a week at noon.

“Unpredictable moments are common in multisport races. I suffered from colds and cough two weeks before race day. It was getting worse. I also started having loose bowel movements five days before the race—which made it difficult to hydrate and carbo-load. I was getting anxious and panicky. I loaded myself with all types of medications and prayed to be healthy.

“It is a custom for Cebu Executive Runners Club (CERC) members to attend mass a day before the race. I had to thank God for all His blessings—plus it was the perfect time to ask for good health. With fellow Team Reborn and CERC member Annie Neric and her husband, Jet, we attended mass. With my condition, I prayed hard that I would survive the race.

“Race Day: I was up by 2:30 a.m. and started my usual race day routine. Ensaymada and banana for breakfast followed by medications including my daily FRS energy supplement. The trip to CWC lasted 10 to 15 minutes and I spent it thanking God for the opportunity to fulfill a dream. I prayed for a strong will and body. Everything except my uniforms and water bottles were checked-in so all I had to do was wait for gun start. After final preparations, Team Reborn rounded up and started a prayer. We then wished each other good luck…

“GO! With poor visibility in Lago del Ray, it was predictable that I panicked during the swim leg. ‘God,’ I prayed, ‘please help me finish the swim leg.’

“Out of the water I then proceeded with the bike leg. Despite the course being traffic-free, cycling accidents happen. Whenever I can, I prayed the rosary—a practice I kept while running marathons. After pedaling 90 kms., I was now in my comfort zone. However, running 21 kms. under extreme heat after swimming and cycling is not easy. Cramps and dehydration set in while muscle fatigue ruin your running form. After two loops of the run course, the finish line was visible. ‘Three kilometers to glory!’ I told myself. With friends cheering and the booming voice of the announcer, my heart beat faster.

“Then suddenly, everything was a blur. Next thing I knew, I felt the finish line tape in my hands. The surge of emotions was overwhelming: relief, happiness, fulfillment and gratitude. I finished strong in five hours, 39 minutes. All my prayers were answered. As I victoriously raised my fists up high, I thanked God for giving me a perfect race.”

An Ironman woman named Annie

If you exercise at the Holiday Gym & Spa or have been running 10K races the past 36 months, then you know Anna Maria Neric. Tall, mestiza, and extremely robust and slim, she’s finished three 42Ks (best one in Condura with a 4:47 time).

This Sunday, Annie Neric will do more than run—she’ll compete in the Cobra Energy Drink Ironman 70.3. Yes, an iron-willed woman joining the Ironman. That’s Annie. Although she’s completed two short-distance triathlons before, this one is difficult. How painful? The “70.3” refers to 70.3 miles, spread out with a 1.9-km. swim, 90-K bike, and a 21.1-K run. That’s tough. So is Annie.

“I’ve gained confidence after my experience in the relay last year,” she said. “With more running, biking and swimming, I told myself I’m ready. I was convinced by Coach Noy Jopson to join the individual event this year.”

Training for CamSur was laborious. “I had difficulty in biking because I was used to indoor cycling,” said Annie. “I fell twice before getting used to riding a road bike. I had a hard time using biking shoes with cleats.”

TEAM REBORN is Annie’s group and they’re led by Ironman champion Noy Jopson as mentor/coach. Her other teammates are Dr. Raymund Bontol, Tenggoy Colmenares, Sef Miller and Jung Cases. “Our team started serious training only last May. Our schedule involves brick trainings and simulation trainings. We go to Shangri-La to swim; road bike from Liloan to Carmen. I continue to join runs in Cebu and Manila.”

TEAM REBORN: Jung Cases, Annie Neric, Raymund Reel Bontol, Joseph Miller, Tenggoy Colmenares and Noy Jopson

Why join the Ironman? “Because it’s a prestigious competition and I’d like to experience competing with the pros. It helps me determine my limits,” said Annie, now 45 years old. “This is the ultimate. It keeps me young. It’s FUN! I also get to meet friends and gain new ones. My husband Jet will be there and I hope he can join next year. I hope my two sons will join me someday.

“I want to be an inspiration to the wives and mothers. In turn, they can be inspirations to their families and friends to pursue a life of healthy living. And to the single and younger ladies, I hope to be a good role model. I got into sports in my early twenties doing aerobics. Being a triathlete does not happen overnight. The earlier one starts, the better. It takes getting rid of the unhealthy lifestyle. It’s a change of lifestyle – a healthier one!”

This training more difficult than the marathon? “Absolutely!” she said. “I had to train in three sports: swim, bike, run. To train for a Triathlon, you need discipline, patience and time management skills. You also need to invest as each event has different equipment. I always think of it as an investment on my health.”

Finally, when I asked Annie if she’s intimidated with the swim portion (considering last year’s incident), she said, “I’m a bit scared but I just need to relax and focus on my strokes. Like what my coach tells me, you can do any stroke just make sure you don’t drown. I also know they have more marshals. For this triathlon, I plan to be a finisher (eight hours cutoff) but doing my very best. Even if I come in last… I would only be the last winner!”

Noy Jopson is RP’s swim-bike-run Ironman champ

Sunday last week, over 550 participants from 23 countries joined the Ironman 70.3 race in Camarines Sur. That’s a 1.9-km. swim, a 90K bike and a half-marathon (21-km.) run. Of all the Filipinos who participated in that triathlon, one man crossed that finish line first: Nonoy Jopson.

How different, I asked Noy, was this race compared to the others he’s joined before? “It was one of the best organized races I’ve done,” Nonoy replied. “There were buoys and inflatables all over the swim course, marshals in the bike and run, aid stations were stocked with Gatorade, water, fruit, gels, sponges, you name it. On the run, in that heat, having the aid mostly every 1K saved my race and, I’m sure, the races of so many. Continue reading Noy Jopson is RP’s swim-bike-run Ironman champ

Noy Jopson tops all Filipinos in Ironman 70.3 Philippines

The death last Sunday of Miguel Vasquez while swimming the Ironman 70.3 race in Camarines Sur was shocking. It was tragic. But apart from that horrifying story, there were plenty of good news to report. Topping them all was Noy Jopson, who has called Cebu home for many years now since marrying fellow triathlete Amale Mendezona. Among the hundreds of Filipino competitors in CamSur, Nonoy emerged No.1. Continue reading Noy Jopson tops all Filipinos in Ironman 70.3 Philippines

Death drowns the birth of Ironman 70.3 Philippines

At 10:52 a.m. last Sunday, I received this shocking text message: “My friend drowned in ironman swim. Died. Miguel Vasquez.”

Gerry Malixi, who competed in the 1.9-km. swim category of the country’s first-ever Ironman 70.3 triathlon race, was in Camarines Sur. I immediately called.

“I was chatting with Miguel five minutes before the swim started,” said Gerry. “We were joking around. We kidded each other saying to be careful of each other’s elbows in the swim. We then joked on who would treat the other for lunch after. Senator Pia Cayetano was with us.”

(Photo from www.spot.ph) Continue reading Death drowns the birth of Ironman 70.3 Philippines

Tri-ing this Sunday’s Ironman 70.3 in CamSur

The Cobra Energy Drink Ironman 70.3 Philippines triathlon race in Camarines Sur is the country’s first-ever. The race will swim off (2K), bike next (for 90 kms.) and finish with a 21K run this Sunday, Aug. 23. Among the hundreds of triathletes joining are the trio of Gerry Malixi and Annie Neric, both residing in Cebu, and Manila-based cyclist Raul Romulo. They’ll participate in the relay race. I asked Gerry Malixi for the event details and their preparation. Here was his email…

Gerry, Annie and Raul

“Who would sponsor a bunch of 40-year-old, over-the-hill slowpokes?” This was the response I gave my good friend Raul Romulo when he said he would ask Flying V to support our stint in the first Ironman 70.3 race in the Philippines. Little did I know I was in for a major surprise. Continue reading Tri-ing this Sunday’s Ironman 70.3 in CamSur

Camsur Ironman

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Everybody’s talking about one of the most-awaited sporting events this ’09: the Ironman 70.3 event in Camarines Sur this August 23. Singapore Marathon runner Jane-Jane Ong is targeting to join. Gerry Malixi is swimming the 2-km. length. Noy Jopson, the former triathlon record holder, is one of the local favorites. Anton Regis will join. What makes this triathlon special, from among many reasons, are these: 1) This is the first time in Phil. history that an Ironman (a licensed brand/event) will be competed here and, 2) The event allows relay teams: One can swim, another can bike the 90K length, and a third athlete can do the 21K run. It’s perfect, right? And, doesn’t the three-person squad fit the name Tri-athlete? For details, visit www.ironman703phil.com.

The Aviva Ironman 70.3 Singapore: Part 2

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Forty eight hours ago in this same box that you’re reading, I wrote about Anthony Regis. He’s a swimmer-turned-cyclist-turned-runner who, last September, joined the Singapore Ironman 70.3. That’s a grueling event where you swim 1.9 kms., bike 90 kms., then, when your body is downtrodden and all-wearied, you run another 21,000 meters.

In that triathlon’s first leg—the swim—Anton dove into the Singapore waters to swim freestyle beside 1,400 other triathletes. He finished the 1.9K swim in 52 minutes. Here’s his account of the next stage… Continue reading The Aviva Ironman 70.3 Singapore: Part 2

Anton Regis remembers the Ironman 70.3

Few people can swim 1.9 kms. Few people can bike 90 kms.—roughly the distance from Cebu City to Bogo. Few people can run, unaided by car or tricycle and with nothing on the feet but socks and rubber shoes, the length of 21 kms. How about finishing not one, not two—but all three? Not one today, one sport tomorrow and another on Thursday—but one after the other? Back to back to back?

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Anton Regis has accomplished that. Aged 29 and, for three years now, delightedly-living with his wife Zie (they have a four-month-old baby named Zoe Angelou), Anton works as a Software Development Engineer at the NCR Cebu Development Center at the I.T. Park. That’s his day job. His passion? On Sundays? During days off when he has free time to pedal, swim freestyle and jog? Continue reading Anton Regis remembers the Ironman 70.3

Carmen Triathlon: Tiptoe, swim, pedal, run

Three Sundays ago, when I enumerated my shortlist of Cebuanos whom I respect the most in sports, I failed to include one name: Oscar “Boying” Rodriguez. The chairman of the Danao City Sports Commission, Boying is one of this island’s most recognizable youthful faces. Mountain-biking? Running? Cycling? Triathlon? Check, check, check… Mr. Rodriguez has nourished all these.

Two days ago, Boying was back in vigorous action. With the assistance of the Municipality of Carmen and the newly-activated group called SugbuTriathlon, he organized the 300-meter swim, 15K bike and 3K run contest named the Carmen Mini-Triathlon.

I joined. So did 24 others. Jonathan Guardo, a veteran of four Tris, participated. So did Sambag I barangay captain Jerry Guardo and Tinago councilor Joel Garganera—both first-timers. The seasoned triathletes were in full gear at the Carmen Breeze Resort: RJ Balbuena (who biked to and from Cebu City), Eugene Sanchez, Ralph Arce, Franz Baguio, Anton Regis, Freddy-Boy Veloso… Continue reading Carmen Triathlon: Tiptoe, swim, pedal, run

Try the Tri? Yes, this sport is worth Tri’ing

If you know how to float on water and can swim the freestyle or breast-stroke, if you can mount a bicycle and pedal it forward, if you can plant one foot in front of the other and run, then I suggest you consider joining one sport.

Sorry, it’s not one sport. It’s Tri. As in “three.” You know, with words like “tricycle” or “triangle” or “tripartite,” this word is the same: It’s one sport partitioned with three legs.

Triathlon, it’s named, and, for the first time, I joined an event last Sunday in Catmon. It was a mini-triathlon—nowhere near the Hawaii Ironman—with distances that any regular exerciser can finish: a 300-meter swim, 15K bike and 3,000-meter run. My advice to all?

Tri is a must-try. Really, you should. Continue reading Try the Tri? Yes, this sport is worth Tri’ing

Catmon Triathlon: my first try with the Tri

A 300-meter swim. A 15K bike. A 3K run. That’s all it takes to finish the Catmon Triathlon race on March 1, explained Quinito Moras, when I saw my high school buddy at the SM North Wing two Thursdays ago.

Go! I’ll try the Tri! And so, this tennis player-turned-long distance runner—with absolutely no plans of joining a swim-bike-run race a few weeks back—agreed to “Try the Tri.”

With only two practice swims at the Casino Español and two bike rides, at 5:45 a.m. last Sunday, off I drove from my Talamban home with Jasmin and Jana to the Bachao Beach Resort in Catmon. Continue reading Catmon Triathlon: my first try with the Tri