My first open-water triathlon was at the National Age Group Triathlon in Subic in 2011. I competed over the minisprint distance having no open-water experience whatsoever, panicked and backstroked to finish the swim, then recovered enough to overtake others on the bike (wearing running shoes!) except for the eventual first-placer, who I ran out of kilometers to overtake on the run.
So it always felt like a homecoming of sorts to do the National Age Group Triathlon Subic last Sunday. Open water holds far less anxiety for me now, I think I’ve become a better cyclist, and my run has become a better tool to take me home safely. It was nice to see how much I’d grown as a triathlete, and also how much the sport has grown since 2011.
Granted, nobody at this race was at peak condition (except maybe for the elite triathletes like Monica Torres, who showed up in old school swim gear but still whipped everyone). It’s a season-starter great for newbies and those who want to knock the rust off after an indulgent off-season. For me, it was also a dress rehearsal of sorts for Challenge Philippines. (more…)