Musings of a Neophyte Aquathlete

Do you believe that things do happen for a reason?

I do.

This happened in 1992. I was seated, typical Indian style, along the beach, watching friends swimming in the sea. I didn’t join them for one sole reason. I can’t swim. I can’t float. That was also the day when I said to myself, “you need to learn how to swim.”

Back in my hometown, there are public swimming pools and one can simply choose from four feet to an Olympic-size swimming pool. With its continual flow, the water is continually refreshed.

So, I found myself enrolled in swimming lessons for three months. It was not easy. One hour per week is devoted to learning this new skill. My schedule for swimming then was at 6AM. If you talk of province time, 6AM is way too early for a swim considering the pool water is really cold fresh water. One can even have a cold bottle of Coke or beer after placing it for a few minutes in the pool.

From floating to overcoming the fear of drowning, I finally learned how to swim. It culminated with me jumping into an 11-foot swimming pool and doing the crawl or free style toward the shallow end of the pool. I had to conquer my fear of depth.

Luckily for me, I had a good swimming instructor. He was one of the fast swimmers in our area and has competed in various swimming competitions. From him, I learned how to do the crawl, breaststroke, backstroke and just a little bit of the butterfly stroke. I learned to swim for safety reason and to just enjoy swimming whenever there’s a beach outing with friends. At least, I wouldn’t be sitting down along the beach again while watching them having a good time. I have never joined any swimming competition until last year.

Fast forward.

I recently finished another aquathlon, my third out of four aquathlon simulation races, dubbed as the 4th Sheer Will Aquathlon Cup (SWAC4), which was held two months ago, and a week before the Condura Skyway marathon.

The classic participants. There were only three females who joined in this category.

SWAC is a simulation race in preparation for upcoming aquathlon races. After a grueling marathon training, I almost backed out from joining SWAC4. Finishing a 25-kilometer run at a marathon pace the night before the race didn’t help either. Plus, not having enough sleep, I woke up so tired, sleepy, and with sore leg muscles.

Having fun posing for Photobongbong launch. L-R: Pepsi, Running Diva, Kelcy33, Flying Boar, Chelly, Joyce Morrison, and Digital Dash (Photos Courtesy of Bong Yu of Photobongbong, Argo, Planetrumania, Ace Balasador, and Nuttybunny)

Anyhow, I just couldn’t stop myself from being with a good bunch of Takbo.ph friends and fellow aquathletes. So, I raced under the classic category, 600m swim-5km run, and finished 9th overall and 2nd women’s division with a time of 47 minutes and 53 seconds.

600m 5k Classic Results
Name Moniker Swim Transition Run Total

1 Erick G: Rico99 _ 14:41:00 _ 0:47:00 _ 21:23:00 _ 36:51:00
2 Jason DR: Jasondelarama _ 14:54:00 _ 1:18:00 _ 21:29:00 _ 37:41:00
3 Vinci C: Cabcar _14:51:00 _ 0:31:00 _ 23:08:00 _ 38:30:00
4 Ian C: Onemelc _ 14:29:00 _ 1:11:00 _ 25:27:00 _ 41:07:00
5 Deo P: Bluesman _16:39:00 _ 0:25:00 _ 26:15:00 _ 43:19:00
6 Marvin O: Nuttybunny _ 15:02:00 _ 1:42:00 _ 27:58:00 _ 44:42:00
7 James D: Runma777 _ 15:58:00 _ 0:00:00 _ 31:10:00 _ 47:08:00
8 Girly G: Pepsi _ 7:50:00 _ 1:49:00 _ 28:05:00 _ 47:44:00
9 Roselle: Running Diva _ 22:34:00 _ 0:00:00 _ 25:19:00 _ 47:53:00
10 Mark H: Markhernz _ 23:02:00 _ 1:49:00 _ 25:02:00 _ 49:53:00
11 Jan B: Musang _ 20:09:00 _ 2:15:00 _ 28:23:00 _ 50:47:00
12 Rico V: Sheerwill _ 16:50:00 _ 1:07:00 _ 33:09:00 _ 51:06:00
13 Ross C: Ross _ 29:41:00 _ 2:08:00 _ 30:09:00 _ 61:58:00
14 Vic V: Hagibis _ 34:19:00 _ 2:16:00 _ 27:17:00 _ 63:52:00
15 RJ B: X59 _ 18:42:00 _- _ – _ – (He officiated the Lite category)

For a comprehensive race report, visit Sheerwill’s blog.

On hindsight, this [the aquathlon] must be the reason why I had my swimming lessons 18 years ago. Some things happen for a reason. Hhhmm. We sometimes couldn’t fathom it but it’s part of who we are and what we are today. How about you? Have you experienced something similar?


Related links about SWAC

Rock Conquered: Aquathlon Challenge
Sheerwill Aquathlon Cup, 3/e
SNN: Special Report Corregidor Aquathlon
Half-iron Dreams
SWAC 4: All Natural Goodness
Sheerwill Aquathlon: 2nd Leg Level Up Na
We Are Such Losers