Last ender was written and published in 2014 saying, “world renowned ultra distance runner Scott Jurek gave me the inspiration to try harder or “to dig deep” in 2015. So I signed up in an Ironman event, the 2016 Cobra IM 70.3.
It’s time to not only see how I did since then but also this past year. Somehow it brought me back to the time when I finally owned my first bike in 2015, which eventually led me to embrace triathlon (tri) races and do other challenges other than running. Finishing the inaugural Sunrise sprint tri on the podium in my age group and the Cobra Ironman 70.3 in Cebu highlighted my tri experience in 2016. Yes, this didn’t stop me to dream because “when you make a good wish, no dream is too big, no dreamer is too small.” So in 2017, it was indeed a reverse for me especially in tri races where I finally experienced how it was to race in standard or olympic tri and duathlon or run-bike-run races only after having to experience a 70.3 first the year before.
In summary, I have finished (may have forgotten to include some in the list) 57 races. This number covered races from where I left off in 2014 and up to the month of November in 2017 with seven podium finishes, six triathlons including a half Ironman tri distance, a 68.9-km ultramarathon, a 50-km mountain/trail run, two marathons, two 32Ks, 15 half marathons, ten 10-km distances, a two-km open water challenge, three 16Ks, five 5Ks, and the rest are other distances, eg 4 x 100m relay, 1500m relay, endurance trail running, etc., or multisports such as the 40-km “challenge” cycling event, aquathlon, duathlon among others. To top it off, 2017 was the tenth year blog anniversary of Running Diva. This is not much but I’m grateful to have reached this far. I know I should have written more this past year, but sometimes good things are better imprinted in the recesses of our memories. That said, I thank all of you who were part of this three-year journey.
Year’s end is not the end nor the beginning, but a going on … it’s something to look forward to!
The family that runs together, stays fit together. Run for health and wellness! For a fit and healthy lifestyle.
Takbo PMMA fun run is happening on February 25 at the Quirino Grandstand. Race categories include a 3K (P650), 5K (P750), and 10K (P 850). To register, deposit at BPI Family SA 5533 3240 71 (Account Name PMMA Alumni Association, Inc.).
Please send your deposit slip to email@example.com by using the following format:
In-store registration will start on 1 Jan. 2018 with Second Wind and Chris Sports as registration centers/sports store partners. Second Wind will offer a FREE gait analysis for every registration made at their store located at Ayala 30th Mall in Pasig. A 10% discount on selected sport items will be given to those who will register at any of the following Chris Sports branches: SM North EDSA Annex, SM Manila, SM Mall of Asia, SM BF, UP Town Center, and Uptown Bonifacio Global City in Taguig. Race kits will be available/to be claimed at the registration sites. See posters below for other details.
For updates, exciting promotions, and freebies for this event, you may like and follow TakboPMMA2018.
adidas updates the iconic UltraBOOST with design features to withstand the most unpredictable weather
Splash water-repellent adidas Primeknit and reflective elements helps the wearer run greater in all conditions
Continental Stretchweb outsole technology has been integrated to prevent slipping on wet or icy surfaces
adidas on September 14 unveiled two brand-new additions to the pioneering UltraBOOST family – the UltraBOOST All Terrain and UltraBOOST X All Terrain. Driven by innovation and style, each design is injected with adidas’ ground-breaking technologies including BOOSTTM, the Continental Stretchweb outsole, splash-repellent adidas Primeknit and reflective elements to support and protect each wearer whilst allowing them to experience an effortless run no matter what the weather conditions.
Shatter your excuses with the latest additions to the UltraBOOST family which are designed to empower runners and encourage them to embrace any condition whether rain, hail, darkness or cold. The UltraBOOST All Terrain includes an integrated cage for better support whilst the UltraBOOST X All Terrain, designed specifically for the female foot, includes the pioneering adaptive arch to ensure a better adidas Primeknit fit whilst continuing to add dynamic support, allowing each run to feel effortless.
Stephan Schneider, adidas Running said, “The autumnal weather can be unpredictable and as a result it took us longer than usual to develop these products. Extensive testing ensured that each design element offers protection and uncompromised comfort in any condition. We specifically focused on increasing the ankle height in order to protect and create a smoother movement from the leg into the foot with each stride.”
Key features across both silhouettes include:
Splash water-repellent adidas Primeknit upper – breathable fabrics combined with moisture-repellent yarns provide the ultimate fit and unbeatable protection against the ever-changing autumnal surroundings
Continental Stretchweb outsole – featuring world-class Continental rubber to increase foot to floor traction on slippery surfaces and enabling a smooth and more flexible ride
BOOSTTM midsole – ultra-responsive comfort and cushioning that stores and returns energy every time the foot hits the ground; even when dry, wet or icy
All Terrain LUX configuration – a coarse outsole ensuring stable foot to road traction when faced with adverse conditions such as rain or mud
Increased height ankle protection – as the weather grows colder the high-knit ankle design provides increased warmth during cold runs, differentiating the UltraBOOST All Terrain and UltraBOOST X All Terrain from other UltraBOOST silhouettes
Reflectivity – as the nights grow darker, reflective detailing on the sock offers ultimate visibility for street running
The new UltraBOOST All Terrain and UltraBOOST X All Terrain are now available in adidas.com.ph/UltraBOOST and leading adidas stores and retailers.
Follow the conversation at @adidasrunning / @adidasph on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter using #UltraBOOST or #UltraBOOSTX #TakeCharge.
While the Body Geometry FIT (static 2D) is still being offered by Maximus Athlete’s Shop Cafe, the new VelogicFit 3D Pro bike fitting service offers a wide array of information for a more precise and dynamic fit such as lateral knee travel, hip rock, ankle angles among others. Visit velogicfit.com or search demo videos on Youtube to know more about it.
For first time customers of Maximus, the 3D Pro bike fit is P8,000, but is currently being offered at an introductory price of P6,000 until end of November 2017.
For those who were fitted before, Maximus is offering a special 3D Pro refit upgrade for only P2,000 until end of December 2017. To avail of this offer, kindly call Maximus Concierge at mobile number +63 977.841.2894 and look for Claudine or Rommel to book a slot.
Rooted in its passion for mountain sports, Salomon is a French-based brand with 70 years worth of heritage in developing new technologies and progressive craftsmanship in the field of outdoor sports.
From producing an extensive range of innovative trail running footwear to mounting a series of trail running events, Salomon seeks to expose the sport of trail running to a wider network of runners and outdoor enthusiasts. Consistent with this advocacy, Salomon sustains the momentum of encouraging more people to run with nature as it unveils its all-new Sense Collection.
Developed in the company’s Annecy Design in France where engineers, designers, and athletes collaborate to produce innovate solutions that will continually enhance its offerings-the Sense Collection was designed to provide runners with maximum comfort and protection amid long runs through the toughest terrains and roughest of surfaces.
Inspired by trail runners’ commitment to pushing the limits of their minds and bodies as they enjoy immersing in nature, the Sense Collection features three new foot wear designs that will encourage trail runners to get off the beaten track and experience traversing through more diverse landscapes. Leading the pack is the Sense Ride shoe which received tremendous feedback from testers and running specialists.
The Sense Ride embodies a new standard of performance for the brand’s range as it bears progressive technologies that will enable trail runners to go the distance drawing from the key features of the S/LAB Sense Ultra.
This include the VIBE midsole technology which serves to provide better energy return and more cushioning capabilities via its Energy Cell+material. Meanwhile, the CONTRAGRIP with Premium Wet Traction ensures extra grip on wet and slippery surfaces. Moreover, the Sense Ride shoe was built with a natural rocker profile to deliver a smooth ride along with an 8mm heel drop and bottom unit geometries to suit the needs of a large cross-section of runners. From dry to grassy pathways to routes with intermittent obstacles and debris, the Sense Ride ensures pro trail runners and beginners alike with a smooth and secured experience.
Sleek and lighter than most trail running foot wear, Sleek and lighter than most trail running footwear, the Sense Ride comes in the Navy Blazer colorway.
For those who opt for more speed, the Sense Collection offers the Sense Pro 2. Crafted for a more lightweight and faster running experience, the Sense Pro 2 also bears the Energy Cell+component. Also, included in the line-up is the Sense Pro Max with VIBE mid-sole technology; a trail running shoe that’s meant for those who seek more protection when going on longer runs.
ABOUT PRIMER GROUP OF COMPANIES
Established in the Philippines in 1985, the Primer Group of Companies is engaged in the retail and distribution of the world’s top and premium consumer brands in outdoor, travel, footwear, fashion, wellness and urban lifestyle. It has also established a solid ground in the industrial products and services landscape, with companies in full-scale printing, air-conditioning and creative graphic design and services.
The company is aggressively expanding to become the leader in the global distribution and innovation of premium goods and services. Its retail authority alone has grown to over 150 premium brands, with over 500 free-standing stores worldwide.
Headquartered in Manila, Philippines, the Primer Group employs over 3,000 and has presence in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Australia and the United Kingdom.
Running Photographers will hold a fun run on 10 Dec. 2017 at the CCP Complex, Pasay City to celebrate the art of sharing, touching lives, and making a difference. As a prelude to the Christmas season, the event aims to raise funds for the benefit of Senden Home Foundation, a home for homeless boys in Binganonan, Rizal.
Aptly called Strike a Pose Fun Run, the event will feature different photo stations along the route. Runners will have the opportunity to have their running moments captured by our photographers at every station.
To add more fun to the run, organizer Running Photographers and its sponsors will be raffling off a pair of Hoka shoes during the event. There will also be a mini-competition for best photos showing the runners’ best poses during the event. The mechanics will be posted at the Running Photographers’ Facebook page. Team Soleus Philippines will also be leading the Zumba Reggaeton.
The fun run is sponsored by Lightwater, Vitamin Boost, Toby’s Sports, and Soleus and powered by RG Events. The distance categories, registration fees, and gun start times are as follows:
Distance Fee Gun start
3K P450 5:50AM
5K P550 5:40AM
10K P750 5:30AM
The registration fee entitles each runner-registrant to a race bib and an event shirt. Likewise, finishers will also get a finisher’s medal and an assortment of freebies from the event sponsors.
Online registration opened on October 20, 2017. To register online, participants can visit https://reg.goorahna.com/#/event/strike-a-pose-fun-run-2017. On the other hand, in-store registration will open on November 9 at Toby’s Sports branches in Trinoma, Glorietta, SM Mall of Asia, and RUNNR Alabang Town Center.
With the fun run, Running Photographers aims to encourage running enthusiasts to keep an active lifestyle while at the same time share their blessings to the less fortunate. It wants to focus more on instilling into the consciousness of the participants how they can help in their own little way. As such, there will be no cash prizes but top finishers for each category will receive gift packs and giveaways from our sponsors.
Gear up 2018 for another exciting edition of Run & Raise!
New World Hotels and Resorts brings back the 4th edition of Run & Raise next year, which will be held at the Rajah Sulayman Park, Roxas Boulevard, Malate, Manila. Proceeds will benefit ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation, Inc.
Registration fees are priced at P500 for three-kilometer distance run, P600 for 5K, P750 for 10K, and P900 for 16K inclusive of singlet, race bib, and loot bag. Gun start is at 4:30 AM.
Sign up from 28 Sep. 2017 to 10 Jan. 2018 at the following Olympic Village store branches: Trinoma, Glorietta 2, Market! Market!, Alabang Town Center, and Robinsons Ermita. Or register online through www.goorahna.com.
Winners of each category will receive exclusive gifts from New World Makati Hotel and AG New World Manila Bay.
Please visit facebook.com/NewWorldRunandRaise or www.newworldhotels.com for updates.
For inquiries, contact Karen Alejo at telephone number +632 8116888 local 3377 and 09175389095 for mobile, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
About New World Hotels and Resorts Run and Raise
New World Hotels and Resorts Run and Raise started as a small-scale charity fun run in 2015. In the past years, Run and Raise continued to improve by increasing number of participants and moving to bigger venues. Through these initiatives, New World Hotels & Resorts is able to support and give back to local and global communities through a number of ways, including offering financial support to victims of natural disasters and educational opportunities to children, to committing to recycling and conservation efforts and providing career-enhancing training for all associates.
About New World Hotels and Resorts
New World Hotels & Resorts properties are designed with the discerning business traveler and vacationer in mind and offer deluxe business hotels and resorts in China and Asia destinations. Every New World Hotels & Resorts property provides not only a place to stay but also a gateway from the hustle and bustle of city life. Guests will discover a world where the experience is always warm and the care is genuine. Indeed, New World Hotels & Resorts properties are known to be retreats for travelers who desire convenience, privacy and the highest standards of comfort and personalized services.
Trail and road triathlon are set to converge at TRI-Factor Triathlon on December 2 in Laiya, Batangas.
Noted Singaporean multisport brand TRI-Factor has announced their first race in the Philippines. TRI-Factor Philippines will be held on December 2 at La Luz Beach Resort, Laiya, San Juan, Batangas.
TRI-Factor Philippines offers three categories suitable for beginners and experienced triathletes alike.
On race morning, the Sprint category offers a spin on a commonly-raced short distance: after a 750-meter open-water swim and 20-kilometer bike ride, the 5-kilometer run will be along Laiya’s famed white sand coastline.
The Super Sprint category is even shorter, targeted at Rookie Amateur Weekend Warriors, comprised of a 500-meter swim, 10-kilometer bike ride, and 2.5-kilometer beach run.
With an afternoon start, the EXTRI Challenge is for off-road enthusiasts, covering a one-kilometer swim, 22-kilometer cross-country cycling, and four kilometers of trail running.
TRI-Factor Philippines has illustrious pedigree as part of Asia’s biggest triathlon series. Founded in 2009, TRI-Factor has helped grow the Singaporean triathlon scene with its mass participation events that help multisport beginners master swimming, cycling, and running. The short distances and secured courses provide a platform for beginners to progress and grow in the sport so that they can eventually race triathlons.
The TRI-Factor Asian Championships expands into the regional market, announcing races in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, China, and now the Philippines.
“The Philippines has one of the fastest-growing populations of triathletes, but there is a gap of regional races in the race calendar,” says Elvin Ting, Co-Founder of TRI-Factor Series. “We are building a community and culture of Asian athletes, and this race brings the Philippines into the fold. We see an opportunity to provide the local athletes a structured progressive platform to grow into the triathlon sport rather than to jump straight into completing a long distance Ironman event.”
TRI-Factor’s entry into the local market is in partnership with eXtribe. Established in 2005, eXtribe has long distinguished itself with the eXtri Offroad Triathlon and Whiterock Triathlon, cherished events on the local triathlon calendar. Adding the off-road element is eXtribe’s signature contribution, which gives the TRI-Factor community a different race experience.
Regular registration rates are in effect until 12 Nov. 2017. For more information, visit www.trifactor.ph and follow TRI-Factor Philippines on Facebook.
For further media inquiries, please contact:
HP: (65) 97549161
About The Orange Room:
Orange Room specializes in organizing professional sporting events. Formed by athletes with more than 20 years of combined experience in the competitive sporting event field, Orange Room has successfully organized numerous events throughout Singapore and Asia.
Orange Room is the regional rights holder to global concept events such as Blacklight Run, Foam Glow Run, and Bubble Run. Its homegrown TRI-Factor Series has become one of the most successful sporting series in Asia, expanding into Thailand, Malaysia, China, and the Philippines.
Earlier this year the invite came from runner-blogger and Busan-based Del aka Argonaut Quest, who advised me that the best time to go to Busan, South Korea would either be in April in time to see those beautiful sakura flowers blossoming just about everywhere, or in the autumn months between October and November where leaves are changing from the vibrant greens of summer to a colorful palette of yellow, orange, red, and cooling temperatures. I was a bit hesitant to say yes not because I didn’t want to, but because of some important stuff.
Since triathlon (tri) off-season was also underway, a few weeks off from my last big races would mean some time doing other activities, eg household chores, filing stuff, and a lot of catching up on life. But what the heck! The call to come to Gurye (pronounced gu-re or gu-ræ) to support teammate Raffy’s IRONMAN (IM) Gurye quest at the same time get to watch the IM event was too much to ignore that I found myself securing needed documents, crossing my fingers that I could get through the dreaded visa process. To my surprise, getting one was not bad at all. Funny, too, the flights were booked way ahead of time. Super thanks to Tri Taft and Team Ninja Jerome for making it possible for Raffy and me. Well, I got mine just a few hours earlier than that of teammate Raffy. Obviously, wasn’t too excited, right? Yay!
The send-off party attended by Endure teammates and some friends put Raffy in a good mood days before the trip. The occasion was also made extra special in a way that only a videoke can! The final night before flight next day, I still managed to sneak time to meet Endure teammates Jemai and Vic for Raffy’s IM finisher’s poster including helmet and bike stickers. Super thanks, Jemai and Vic!
Everything went well as planned. We were picked up from Busan airport right on time by Del, or around 8 PM local time. Manila is one hour behind Busan. Then we immediately went to his place for a quick stop to bring our luggage in. Del was letting us stay in his place during our short visit in Busan.
It was a good idea to start the night with a short walk. Seeing the lights and buildings, my initial impression of life in Busan was the city had a more laid back atmosphere and perhaps a more beautiful city at night than it was during the day. We visited a nearby restaurant for Thursday dinner and enjoyed a spicy Korean soup with rice, fish and kikiam cakes partnered with (to my relief) fried chicken, potato fries, and cola drink. Super thanks Del for the welcome dinner. Simple things yet they have transformed our arrival in Busan extra special.
We agreed to do a short run around the nearby area early next day. Del maintained a daily routine that is, squeezing in some morning run workouts before going to work. Who could resist such cool morning where the sun added an unbelievable light to the already foggy mountain range. I so wanted to stop running for a few minutes to savor the view, but I didn’t want to lose sight of Del and Raffy who were running ahead of me. The partly shaded flat run around the block worked wonders, which eventually led us to Eulseok Island, a paradise for migratory birds and happened to be home to one of the most runner or cyclist friendly paths in the city. The amazing view would always be imprinted on my mind.
We left Busan on Friday evening for Gurye and had a short stop to grab something to eat at a restaurant along the expressway. County Gurye is a two and a half to three-hour drive from Busan. We arrived late in the evening to our hotel, and soon as we stepped out of the car, we were greeted by the chilly mountain air. After some initial confusion about our reservation, the staff at the front desk immediately sorted it out with smiles and a bit of humor. Visiting Gurye for the first time, I found the locals to be quite friendly and helpful. “This is it!” I said to myself. I would have to wear many hats in the next two days—as a teammate, support crew, cheerer, overseer, spectator athlete, la la la. We went to our rooms and decided to meet up early next day (and in our minds) to officially kickoff race weekend.
We all got up early on Saturday morning and headed to the swim venue for the official swim practice. I was mesmerized by the breathtaking views of the town of Gurye. It was simply amazing! It was a cold foggy morning at Jirisan Lake, and the fog looked like steam rising off from the lake water.
As participants trickled in, some were engaged in conversation and others were busy changing into their wetsuits. I saw familiar faces including friends Maximus owner coach Andy, RaceDay Triathlon Monching, recent Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® or UTMB CCC finisher Erick, Jay, and Doc Art among others. Swim practice didn’t take long for Raffy, except for Del who decided to swim, well, almost the full course. Whoa! Go, Del!
After the swim, we had to meet some members of the Philippine IM Gurye KOREA delegation for a quick photo op, and the four of us then proceeded to claim race kits at the race expo. There were clearly people that had arrived at the expo, which was at another location accessible either by walking or by car.
The expo where participants pick up their race packets, have photo ops, register or listen to race briefing, is a triathlete’s dream place. Couldn’t help but feel a twinge of envy after seeing Raffy’s, Del’s, and Yap’s race kits. In my mind, “I wish I were a participant, omgee!” LOL to myself. Kit claiming is one of my favorite race-day moments. In Gurye it was orderly, organized, and most importantly, it happened real quickly. We got the opportunity to take some time to check out race items and see what the vendors had to offer. After all, it was not a bit silly to try other goodies on offer, and they were reasonably priced, too. And if you were lucky enough, you could even get a substantial or good discount. The guys bought some race essentials and IM Gurye mementos. We also watched a bit of the IRONKIDS Gurye wave start.
Since all bikes and transition bags must be racked on Saturday, after having brunch, we went back to the hotel to prepare the bikes and pack gear and transition bags for check-in later in the afternoon. Del drove his car so he and I could go straight to the gear/bike check-in area, while Raffy and Yap biked their way to the expo to see a bike mechanic for last minute bike checkup.
I stayed at the waiting area or near the M dot for Del to rack up his bike and gear first, then I scanned the crowd to check whether Raffy or Yap had already arrived. From afar, I watched officials checked helmets as athletes entered the transition area. It took sometime before Raffy and Yap could join us. It turned out, Raffy’s bike was thoroughly checked for other mechanical problems. Once everyone was done, we all headed back to our hotel and opted to go out again to have an early dinner.
Raffy and I joined Greenhills Tri James at a nearby local restaurant frequented by some Pinoy triathletes. Del and Yap opted to check out foods from other restaurants. Afterwards, Raffy and I joined Del and Yap, and together we bought some groceries at a nearby convenient store.
Raffy and I went back to our hotel to prepare other race essentials: (1) race number tattoo, checked; (2) transition bag for special needs, checked; (3) timing chip, checked; (4) wetsuit, checked; (5) goggles and cap, checked; (6) outfit of the day (OOTD) pre-race, checked; and, (7) OOTD post-race, checked. We agreed for an early night on Saturday to get that well-deserved rest because we had a BIG day planned for next day, but Raffy had difficulty falling asleep. My thoughts, “I so can relate. Race jitters here you go!” Deep breathing exercise didn’t help him either. I just said to Raffy this, “Don’t worry about bad sleep; having good sleep days before the trip is what matters. Being a little nervous for tomorrow’s race means you cared about your performance and have put in a lot of hard training to prepare.”
The day has finally arrived!
On race morning, Raffy and I availed of the hotel’s breakfast, which was specially prepared for IM participants. It was a fairly early start as we all had to travel to race venue with a bit of time for the guys to check their gear in the transition area. Race suit on, transition bag ready, bike Tomoe race ready, I believe Raffy was focused. A good sign!
The early dawn silence was suddenly broken by the booming and energetic voice of IM race announcer. In a few hours, the starting line would soon be filled with that too-pumped feeling, pre-race jitters, and adrenaline! Looking up at the sky, it was cloudless, clear, and purely beautiful. I told Del about it and was a bit surprised when he replied, “Just wait. It would be foggy in a few minutes.” Finally, it was time for them to go to start!
From afar, I could see IM officials supervising all participants during the self-seeding for age-group rolling start. It was like watching penguins congregating at the water’s edge since most athletes wore wetsuits, and diving one by one into the cold water. In reality, one by one racers jumped off the dock to get round the first buoy. Then what Del said earlier happened. The fog crept by and had slowly enveloped the swim course. Not more than ten minutes after the race had started; a swimmer had veered completely off course, and tried to go back while kayak safety marshals looked on. A few minutes later, two swimmers asked to be rescued and were aided by race marshals at the dock. I think, it was a DNF for these two athletes.
I could hardly see anyone out there in the water now. Even kayak marshals and the biggest IM buoy disappeared into the fog. It wasn’t too cold, but the evaporation fog over the lake made it look like a scene from a movie where a predator could come out any time soon of the mist in front of us. Then came emcee’s voice on the mic again announcing that the swim might be cut short to bring the swimmers to safety due to the thick fog. Spectators muttered as he was announcing this. As I watched the scene before me, I prayed hard for the safety of the participants and my friends. After a few seconds, perhaps an answered prayer, emcee’s voice came again and jubilantly announced that the swim would continue after all! We cheered and clapped our hands! I was positioned for a good view of athletes as they came out of the water. Spectators encouraged participants with cheers. I saw who came out first. It was a Caucasian, perhaps from the US. Then followed by more athletes now out of the water. I stood there for almost two hours and waited not only for Raffy, but also for other friends to come out of the water. And, when they finally did, it was a huge relief!
In the next moment, who would have thought that you could hear the emcee shouting an athlete’s name followed by a dialect of your own language in this foreign land, “Philippines! Astiiiiiig!” LOL! By the way, there were over a hundred Pinoys who joined this year’s IM Gurye Korea, third biggest contingent, if I were not mistaken. Thanks to Tri Taft JR Hizon for doing much of the coordination and for making this possible for our Pinoy triathletes. Also, great thanks to Yap for leaving his pocket WiFi with me. Because of it, I was able to share race-day highlights to Endure teammates in Manila.
Except for tidbits or stories shared by friends, I couldn’t say much for the bike leg. “Bike course wasn’t that too easy. It was like riding two Tagaytays,” according to coach Andy.“I was emotional and I even cried when family back home came into mind,” Raffy said. “I was careful while riding down the hills,” Del shared. And Yap said, “The best!”
After the swim leg, decided to walk to the other side of the lake to meet briefly coach Andy’s Mom and family who stayed at a place called Guest House Hotel. Spent time with them over a quick late breakfast then went back to my hotel to rest while the competitors were still on their bikes. The athlete IM tracker was a huge help to track my friends’ standing in the race including expected time to finish. Getting back to race venue or finish area was not a problem since shuttle bus services were made available until midnight on that day.
I arrived at the race venue at half past three in the afternoon, and positioned myself near the 17K/30K turnaround point so it would be easier for me to spot incoming athletes. Almost all participants looked so strong despite having had to finish biking a 180-kilometer distance. The 42-km run race was still on, and you’d never know what could possibly happen in the next few fours.
Finally, saw Raffy as he was approaching the 17-km mark and cheered on him. On the second time he was about to turn around it, having reached the 30-km distance, and as I was about to take a video of him to update teammates when suddenly he stopped running only to tell me he felt dizzy. Of course, in IM tri you couldn’t lend extra help to a participant for this would mean a DQ or DNF. I did try to seek help from the marshal, but the language barrier did not help. Looking at it positively, I believe it was a blessing for my asking help made Raffy continue his run. Though a bit worried for Raffy, my assessment was Raffy’s overworked muscle was getting into him. He was exhausted. I could see that. But it was up to him now. IRONMAN, as an endurance sport, is also mental. It’s mind over matter now for Raffy. From where I stood, I saw him ate something at the aid station, and ran again. Crossing my fingers and knowing how much Raffy prepared for this, I never for one reason or another doubted his capability to reach the finish line. He would be OK.
With only over 12 kilometers to go, expected time to finish was about sub-15 hours. A block away from the finish arch, I positioned myself at the corner. Readied the poster that teammate Jemai prepared for Raffy. With only 30 minutes to go, Raffy would, finally, be an IRONMAN! In those minutes, I kept shouting at the passing runners to cheer on them shouting, “You’re stronger than you think you are! You’re about to be an IRONMAN, go, go, go! Girl power! Your running form is still OK, you can do this! Still running strong!” It was like a litany while waiting for Raffy to arrive. In that moment, while watching them, a realization dawned on me that it was easier to be out there racing than to patiently wait. Omgee! LOL!I reminded myself, “RD, patience is a virtue.”
Finally, I spotted him a few meters back, he was slouching already and looked tired. As soon as he was near enough from where I was seated, I opened the tarp for him to see. Written on it was “IRONMAN (his complete name) CONGRATS! From your team ENDURE for conquering IRONMAN Gurye KOREA 09.10.17!” Entirely, I’ve noticed his stance changed. Now that was what I call second wind. I was running alongside him on the sidewalk now while holding the tarp, too excited and shouted, “Almost there … IRONMAN, ka na! Woohoo! Congrats!” till he reached the red carpet at the finish line. From outside the corral near the finish arch, I stood there waiting for the emcee to announce his name ending with these words, “… you’re an IRONMAN!” He crossed the finish line with a pretty impressive time for a first-time finisher! Nothing was easy, but anything was possible.
I was feeling happy during the race and I believe it had something to do with the fact that I was part of something big. Though some close friends back home thought that I would be racing full IM, no, not this time, not yet. My task has officially ended. Mission accomplished. Now I could finally relax and remove my invisible support crew hat.
Congratulations to all Pinoy triathletes who participated in year’s inaugural IM Gurye Korea! Kudos to IM Gurye Korea organizers, event partners, volunteers, cheerers, Gurye residents and officials, and to the many people for a job well done. You guys, rock! See you next time! Gurye saranghæ! Busan saranghæ!