Kikay Reviews: ROKA Viper Elite swimskin

There are things that are essential gear for a triathlete: goggles and swim cap, helmet and bike, running shoes.

Then there are things that are nice to have: aero helmets and disc wheels for the bike, compression calf sleeves for the run, and speedsuits (also called swimskins) for non-wetsuit swims.

As a member of Team MaccaX I benefit from a nice little discount on ROKA items off their website (, so I decided to get myself something special for Christmas last year: a ROKA Viper Elite swimskin.

Roka Viper Elite swimskin
Swimming with the ROKA Viper Elite swimskin

The main function of a swimskin is to eliminate drag that would be caused by a tri suit. Continue reading “Kikay Reviews: ROKA Viper Elite swimskin”

Training Venues: Subic Bay

This is part of a new series about training venues for running, cycling, and swimming near Metro Manila.

With only a two-and-a-half hour drive separating it from Metro Manila, Subic Bay is the preferred location for a bunch of races on the multisport calendar. It’s hard not to see why: this former U.S. base has open water, safe and well-paved roads whether flat or hilly, and plenty of good accommodation options. In fact, you’ll also often see local tri teams organize training weekends in Subic, especially before major races. Now, it’s also a training base for elite and pro athletes both local and foreign.

Next Step Tri Challenger Camp
During one training camp in Subic

Continue reading “Training Venues: Subic Bay”

Atleta Ako Women’s Aquathlon

How can you not show up to a race when all the women athletes you know will be there? That question I had no easy answer to, so I had to turn up!

The Atleta Ako Women’s Aquathlon yesterday drew people from across the running and multisport community to the PhilSports Arena. And it wasn’t just us women; despite this being a women-only race, the gents were around, volunteering and supporting.

My Endure teammate Hanna Sanchez was doing the Petite category (300m swim-3.2km run), our K-Endure Chelo Neri was participating in her first aquathlon in the 11-12 kids category (200m swim-1.6km run), and I was signed up for the Standard distance (500m swim-6km run).

Atleta Ako Aquathlon
The Atleta Ako Aquathlon was for every woman. (photo by proud daddy Al Neri)

There were about 250 women registered for this race, which is quite a lot considering multisport (and to a lesser extent running) is still male-dominated. I can’t tell you how many races I’ve done where the women’s race seems to play second-fiddle to the men’s race, how because we’re usually the last wave to be let loose, there are so few spectators left out on the course when we women are finishing up. Continue reading “Atleta Ako Women’s Aquathlon”

Powerman Duathlon Pilipinas on November 14-15

Hot on the heels of last weekend’s Pilipinas Duathlon Series race came the announcement that an international long-course duathlon brand was coming to the Philippines. I had been privy to some of the preparations behind this launch, so I’m happy the news about the Powerman Duathlon Pilipinas is finally out!

The Powerman Duathlon Pilipinas is set to take place on 14-15 November 2015 in the city of Balanga, Bataan.

Powerman Duathlon Pilipinas on 14-15 November 2015
Powerman Duathlon Pilipinas in Balanga, Bataan on 14-15 November 2015

For living in a country made of 7,107 islands and surrounded by water, most Filipinos don’t know how to swim very well. However, the bicycle is a form of transportation most are familiar with, and it’s juch easier to learn to ride a bike than to learn to swim. Thus, the path to entering multisport is more commonly trodden through duathlons, seen in the perennially popular Pilipinas Duathlon Series, Duaman (which even had an X2 race distance last year), and UL Active Health Duathlon.

Now, it’s time to take duathlon in the Philippines to the next level. Powerman Duathlon Pilipinas aims to raise the level of competition in the Philippine Duathlon scene. Continue reading “Powerman Duathlon Pilipinas on November 14-15”

Training Venues: Nuvali

This is part of a new series about training venues for running, cycling, and swimming near Metro Manila.

I’ve previously written about where you can do swim, bike, and run training in Metro Manila, but honestly most Manila-based triathletes travel about an hour out of the city to get some quality bike training in.

I first became acquainted with Nuvali during the Men’s Health All-Terrain Race held there a few years ago. Even then, I marveled at the development’s thrust to make motorists aware that they had to share the road with cyclists and runners.

I started weekend rides in Nuvali in 2012 while preparing for the 90-kilometer bike leg of a relay at the Ironman 70.3 in Cebu. The development in Sta. Rosa, Laguna has become a favorite stomping ground not just for me, but for many other athletes longing for smooth pavement, few stoplights, and not so much vehicular traffic. Continue reading “Training Venues: Nuvali”

Get Speedo Fit Camp, Session #1

The thing I love about being a triathlete is there’s always something I can work on for improvement. For the past few months it’s been about improving my swim and I’m glad to say all the solo training sessions I’ve done have paid off. That said, a fresh pair of eyes can see what I can’t; that’s why I popped into the Get Speedo Fit Camp a few weeks ago held at Fitness First Platinum in SM Aura, which was facilitated by Coach Anthony Lozada.

Get Speedo Fit Camp Session #1
Get Speedo Fit Camp participants with Coach Anthony Lozada

It was an intimate batch of participants all interested in learning to swim better, whether they wanted to start competing in aquathlons and triathlons or just swim for fitness. Continue reading “Get Speedo Fit Camp, Session #1”

Century Tuna Ironman 70.3 Subic (Part 2)

Part 2: Work Hard

Unlike my previous races in Subic where I stayed in a hotel, this time I had taken a spare room in the Team Red Cross Triathlon house in Subic Homes, where pros Michael Murphy and Mitch Robins had taken up residence. On race morning I hitched a ride in a van with them to Transition 1. This small change in routine was sufficient enough to throw me off, and in the pre-dawn drive I realized I’d forgotten my drink bottles and flat tire repair kit at the house. It was too late to go back for it, so I decided I would be able to grab some bottles at the first hydration station on the bike course. As for a flat tire, well I was about to gamble that on the smooth roads of SCTEX I wouldn’t pick up a stray nail or glass shard…

Century Tuna Ironman 70.3 Subic
Notice the empty bottle cages.

Continue reading “Century Tuna Ironman 70.3 Subic (Part 2)”