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NAGT: Enter the Multi-Kikay

I’d been putting it off for quite some time, but the prospect of doing a triathlon has always been appealing. My friend Joel got into triathlons a few years ago and trained for the 2009 edition of Iron Man 70.3 in CamSur, and plenty of my running friends are also part of Team Endure Multisport. It was only a matter of time before I got suckered sucked into the world of multisport.

And so, after four weeks of training, I found myself in the De La Salle Zobel pool last Sunday morning about to start my first triathlon.

Speedo NAGT: Focus
Focus, focus.

Wary of my lack of training in swimming and biking, I chose to compete in the mini-sprint category: a 300-meter swim, 11.6-kilometer bike, and 2.5-kilometer run. I borrowed a helmet, a race belt (from Rico), and a road bike (from Abby). i bought a Speedo two-piece swimsuit and a Transition One tri suit because I wanted a fast transition time between disciplines, and not having to change clothes would guarantee me that.

I had the bib number 4, which is my favorite number, so I was feeling good going into the competition. I didn’t know how I’d stack up against my fellow females, but my teammate Neil told me before I got in the pool, “That #4 must have a minus 3 by the end of this race, okay?” Meaning, I must be #1.

No, I don’t feel any pressure right now. — Janina San Miguel, Bb. Pilipinas 2008 runner-up

    

So the horn sounded, and we were off. Three other women shot forward in front of me, but I saw their frenzied strokes and kicks and knew it was only a matter of time before the lactic acid built up in their muscles, and I could make my move. After all, there was still the bike and run, so I needed to conserve energy for that.

Speedo NAGT: Breathe!Speedo NAGT: Out of the Water
In and Out

I was able to overtake two women, and emerged tied in second place.

I lost one of my flipflops on the run going to the transition area where my bike, shoes, helmet and race belt were, but I left it there like Cinderella, and hurriedly put on my gear. I didn’t even spare any time to towel off — and since I had no mirror, I had no idea my helmet was askew.

Speedo NAGT: I don't care what I look like anymore
I don’t care what I look like anymore.

I got on my bike a bit wobbly, since I had last ridden it two Saturdays before. I was in hot pursuit of the woman in first place, but her legs were strong. Soon, she was out of sight, and I got lapped by a teenage boy. (Er, not that way. I mean, “got overtaken”.) I couldn’t have that, so I stayed on his tail through the two loops we had to make around the Ayala Alabang Country Club before heading back to the transition area for the run.

I had a bit of a problem dismounting — my body had forgotten how! But thankfully I didn’t fall over. I was able to stow my bike, take off my helmet, and grab a water bottle full of Pocari. Just like that, I was down to the last 2.5K, which I had to run.

Speedo NAGT: Legs Like Bricks
off the blocks with legs like bricks (photo from Joy Vargas)

It felt like the longest 2.5K in my life. I felt impossibly slow even though my heart and mind were still in the game. I stopped for a few seconds to re-tie my shoelaces (I’d put them on too loose during the first transition), but when I heard footsteps behind me, I was up and away.

Well, apparently I was still making pretty good time, because as I rounded the bend before the finish arch, our team’s self-appointed photographer Carina hadn’t made it back in time to take my photo. Then two people told me, “First female!”

WHAT?

Speedo NAGT: Podium
Thank you, Lord!

Apparently, the female who was in the lead during the bike leg got lost because she mistakenly followed the directions for a longer distance category. I was really thankful then that my team and I had scouted the location some weeks before, and we had meticulously double-checked the published race route.

I got changed into some dry clothes and waited for the rest of Team Endure to finish. There were more than 300 participants for this leg of the NAGT; according to TRAP, this was a record number of participants. (Yet again, I seem to be riding the wave of a growing trend. Last year it was running at Globe Run for Home…)

Speedo NAGT: Team Endure
I’m proud to be part of Team Endure.

In my category, another Endure teammate, Karen Talosig, won third place. In the super-mini sprint, Z Villarin placed fourth female, and Pio Sugay placed fifth male. Our other teammates also recorded new PR’s, and fellow first-timer Timmy beat Rico to the mini sprint finish line. In all, it was a successful day for Team Endure.

It also seemed to be a blessed day; after reports that Typhoon Juan would hit during the weekend, our race day proved sunny and dry — a huge confidence booster since we didn’t have to worry about wet, slick roads. I thank God for putting together a perfect first triathlon for me. Need I say I’m hooked?

I’m hanging up my tri suit for the rest of the year, though (but I will still cross-train by swimming and biking — when I get a bike, that is). I need to train hard for Milo finals. But after that, who knows what I’ll be up to next? ;)

(View the complete NAGT Alabang results.)

Photos taken by Carina Manansala, courtesy of Marvin Opulencia.

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19 Comments

  • kassy says:

    COOOOOOOOOOOOONGRATS NOELLE!! I felt the adrenaline on your post! :) Congrats Noe!!

  • WOOT WOOT!!! Congratulations Noelle!

  • drey says:

    super congrats noelle! im so happy for you! you did great! was waiting for this blog… hope to race with you soon sis…

  • nice one multi-kikay :) it was one helluva ride (and swim and run) this multisport thing that we did :) congrats again! next target, subit? :) level up? :) hehehehe

    cycling naman! :)

  • Robert says:

    Congratulations again Noelle! That was smart of you and your team to scout the race trail before the actual competition. And a smart athlete is a successful athlete. :D

  • Good jobbers Noey, must have been quite a rush :) I felt the same during my first :) WOhoo, rest up and enjoy it muna :) Then back to training :)

  • Bave dela Cruz says:

    Congrats ms Noelle!!! God bless you more and continue to inspire us!!

  • Arianne Ortega says:

    That was great! And ang galing naman ng team ninyo :)
    By the way, have you managed to look for your other flipflop :P

  • junn besana says:

    congratulations!

  • ken8 says:

    wow! multi-sport kikay na!

    congaratulations on a great multi-sport debut!

  • Calvin says:

    galing! congrats noelle! good thing pinaghandaan niyo talaga. preparation really helps lalo na for beginners. mahirap bang bumalik sa takbo after biking for 11km?

  • funny yung 3rd pic, you wearing the helmet askew. yun siguro ang nagpapanalo sa’yo kaya di ka naligaw gaya ng 1st biker.

  • Noelle says:

    Kassy, Peter, Paul, Bave, Junn, Ken: thanks!

    Drey, bro, I now know why multisport clicked so well with you. It’s great for people with laser-sharp focus but short attention spans!

    Timmy, everybody says we have to target SuBIT as one of next year’s major multisport events. Sana nga, sana nga!

    Robert, that’s why I appreciate Team Endure so much; there’s wisdom from experience, youthful enthusiasm, plus great camaraderie and support :)

    Luis, good luck for Tour of Matabungkay this weekend! I still need to bring Derek (the bike) back. How’s Monday next week for you?

    Arianne, I went back for it after I finished my race, and it was still there! :) I know some people who have lost their flipflops because other people grabbed them on the way to T1, so I’m quite glad my ratty flipflop didn’t disappear.

    Calvin, sanayan lang talaga yung transition from bike to run. My teammates say I need to do at least one “brick” session a week: 1-hour bike, 30-minute run. It’s called a brick because your legs feel like bricks after coming off the bike. :P

    James, parang pag-baliktad lang ba ng damit para hindi maligaw sa gubat? hehe

  • ricov says:

    Splendid multi-sport debut =)

  • […] There was also enough time to join Team Endure Multisport and train for my first triathlon at the Speedo National Age Group Triathlon, which I absolutely loved doing. Podium finishes at these races and more were just […]

  • […] (swim-run) I can join, I really loved going through the swim-bike-run in my first triathlon, the Speedo NAGT AAV. I knew I needed my own […]

  • […] all of us who are members have to join it. Prior to last Sunday, I’d only done one tri at the 2010 Speedo NAGT Ayala Alabang, and its conditions are vastly different from what I’ll experience at […]

  • […] My first triathlon was a mini-sprint and it took me two years to move up to what we call Olympic distance: 1.5-kilometer swim, 40-kilometer bike, 10-kilometer run. It took me another two years to do my first half-ironman: 2-kilometer swim, 90-kilometer bike, 21-kilometer run. […]

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