My first ever triathlon, concluded recently. After 4 months of hard training which consisted of swim, bike and run, I tested myself in the waters and roads of Panglao Island, Bohol. Bag above wasn’t mine, but whoa! Check out all the races he or she did! The early birds on chinese time, haha! Waiting for the rest to arrive! When I was introduced to Fred Uytengsu he said to me “so you’re drinking the Kool-Aid as well now huh?” jokingly. Haha! Really nice fellow.
On to the race!
Swim start was surreal, as we had to walk about a hundred meters out since it was lowtide. But was surprised by the sudden depth shortly after, waiting for the start signal 20 or so athletes (including myself) avoided treading water by perching ourselves on a half submerged rock. Incredible feeling of steady yet intense silence. Then we were off!
The pros were of course out of the water first! You see the camaraderie in the sport as Eric Watson helps out Josh with his speedsuit’s zipper.
Swimming is both very unnerving, frantic and calm and fluid at the same time depending on what you focus on in your mind. I just went back to my training with Coach Noel Salvador and tried to relax, I must’ve sighted about a dozen times, always surprised that the big buoys which marked the distance were still far off. When I finally felt some fatigue settling in, I just remembered why I set off to do the triathlon in the first place. This was for my friend, an inspiring person who believed in goals and ideals and new ideas, and who really really loved almost anything from a certain company from Cupertino. Out of the water. Finally!
On to the bike, where any type of rehearsal or practice can hardly prepare you for the speed of transition. I visualized a flying mount, but ended up being logical and just safely inserting my foot while stationary. Through the straights and climbs, I just kept counting 1-2-3-4 recalling the turbo trainer sessions with Matteo Giudicelli and Ivan Carapiet to at least keep my cadence at a constant 80-90rpm. Nice thing about the Safeguard Active 5150 Triathlon was that it had a few u-turns that allowed me to see the rest of my teammates pushing! Went past a few water stations too quickly, knocking some bottles off of volunteers’ hands. This was a tough course with false flats and a few non-aero bar friendly stretches. I was so happy to have finally switched over to the run portion after consuming 3 or so gels on the bike.
Running off the bike felt like a big disconnect and even if I must’ve perspired buckets, I didn’t feel any lighter. But, as always trust your training! Running barefoot by this time since I successfully did a flying dismount (at least!) put on my visor and Rudy Project Philippines sunglasses and improvised with getting the sand off my feet using my Saucony Philippines Fasttwitch 6s via pagpag method. Highly effective and actually no choice since my newbie self forgot to bring a towel.
Still off to the races! Running this time, which I’ve been doing the most leading up to the race (weekdays run crew with Noel dela Merced, Raj, Gerome, and Jasper!) helped a lot I think as I was a little more confident and finally found my legs after a few hundred meters. I was getting stitches probably from the timing of my nutrition (ie: gels) but soldiered on, had some hardcore rocksalt offered to me but I opted for the fizzy caffeinated drinks for those last few kms. The cheers from the crowds lining the course was a big help, as did the cooler, overcast weather. Approaching the final stretch, I sprinted and forgot all my practiced “finisher” poses and just raised my hands up in accomplishment, relief and thankfulness that I was able to finish such a race. My super supportive girlfriend ;-) Divine was at the finish line, but I was unashamedly too in the moment to properly pose for a photo. But did after my timing chip was removed! My good friends Elmer la Pena, Charmaine and Rajo Lareul were also there, talk about support! Super thank you for documenting and being there to share in my personal victories! I’m sure you guys had fun also! Matteo and Ivan at bike check-in before the race. Kristy also! Before the urchin attack! Trophies, and the DJ. The very fast Raj Moreno! Bikewash? Haha! Envious of this, next time will take a jumping shot also! Haha. I think our group was still in the ice bath! Matteo snapping photos of his dad Gianluca! Congratulations Giorgia! Podium finish! Rudy Project represent! These transition bags were invaluable during our race here in Bohol! Trusty multicab Which transported our bikes! I need one of these! I got one of these too! Separate flights equals separation anxiety! Haha! Rajo, Divine and Elmer! I finally got to take a photo with Belinda Granger who is a 15x Ironman distance champion and member of the Australian Ironman Hall of Fame! All in all, I would do it again. The energy, enthusiasm and competitiveness really got me hooked. That’s why I signed up for a couple of more races! Thank you so much to Tessa Prieto Valdes for inviting me to Nuvali rides back when I was still on my fixie, and got me interested in triathlon in the first place. Noel, who I ran with in Central Park after a sleepless night and had to discover compression socks for the first time. Ivan for inviting me to come train with boys, and recklessly telling me I can do it despite the short time frame leading up to the race. Matteo for being so strict with training “push! push!” Ranfu (for offering me anti-fog drops first time I met you) Giorgia, Kristy, Stefano, Claudia, Anjo and AF for entrusting me with a bike temporarily! Tita Glenna and Gianluca for the yummy food after training. Coach Bok for strengthening! Lawrence for putting me on the roster of DMax, I really felt I had to earn my spot very quickly. And last but not the least Coach Noel Salvador, for teaching my lumbering self to swim this year! Big up also to Saucony Philippines, Rudy Project, Specialized, 2XU and RETUL (Glenn Colendrino)!
Here’s the video from Aero Eye Asia!