Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The 19th Subic International Triathlon: A gathering of the world’s strongest Tri-athletes (Part 1)

A few days ago, some of the strongest and the fittest tri-athletes on the planet have pushed beyond their limits to compete in the recently concluded 19th K-Swiss Subic Bay International Triathlon Presented by Century Tuna, held at the Subic Bay, Olongapo City. The two day events were participated by more than 600 tri-athletes representing 15 countries, all vying to qualify for the 2014 London Olympics.

May 4, 2012, myself, my friend, John Jacob, a two time Ironman 70.3 finisher and Tonel Macalinao of Fish and Dips left from Manila at 10:00am bound to Subic for the most anticipated yearly event, the K-Swiss ITU Subic International Triathlon or SuBIT competition. John, a seasoned tri-athlete shared to me his excitement to join months before, but shelling out P6,000 for the registration plus other logistic costs can be pricy for him. I also shared his sentiment because as an online media, I always wanted to cover such prestigious event to be featured in my blog site, Trails Unlimited.

With much hope in him, I often see him in a Filinvest Palms area diligently working out preparing for some big event. So lo and behold, his patience paid off and so does his training because just over a week before the 19th SuBIT , Ms. Sarita Zafra of Chiligrass Marketing asked him to host the May 5 event and as a compensation, he was given a slot to compete in the age group category happening on May 6. My excitement eventually grew because my proposal to cover the event was likewise approved.

So, when we arrived at Subic, we immediately scout for a suitable lodging house that can cover our very tight budget , so we ended up at Cubi Mansions located in the up-hills of Subic, five minute drive to the Travelers Hotel’s session hall.

At the venue, all participants were gathered for a comprehensive briefing on the details of the race. The Triathlon Association of the Philippines, TRAP and organizers recognizes triathlete delegations from different countries. Among other nationalities with large number of delegations are Malaysia, China, Australia and Philippines.

At the dinner portion, race organizers served meals for protein and carbo-loading to all most especially to the athletes that will embark on an extreme and high intensity calorie burning competition that will cover the Olympic standard of 1.5 kilometer swim, 40 kilometer bike and 10 kilometer run for the elite under the hot tropical summer of Subic the next day.

I was able to get a chance to take some shots of our country’s contenders like Nikko Huelgas, Jonard, Saim, John Chicano and Kim Mangrobang who apparently just came back from two month training in Australia. We touched base with our contact with Chiligrass, Ms. Sarita Zafra and secure necessary media IDs and last minute instructions for tomorrow’s event. 

After a while, I bumped into some familiar faces like Dr. Darby Santiago, who is also an Ironman 70.3 veteran and will be competing with his team, Team Pisay contending to do the relay category. It was also a good feeling to see some guys in the running circuit who are crossing the discipline of triathlon which gave me hope that I would go to that direction as well in the future. 

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