Category Archives: Triathlon

Blog Triathlon

Thoughts and Thanks Before Challenge Roth

I fly out tonight bound for a little town called Roth to participate with 5,500 athletes in the greatest triathlon in the world. Challenge Roth is the European triathlon mecca, and this year marks the 30th anniversary of the first triathlon held in Roth.

30 Years of Triathlon in Roth

Challenge has pulled out all the stops for this year’s race, and it’s certainly attracted the cream of the crop. This is the strongest pro field ever to contend for the title.

If you scroll down the list of pros, though, you may find a pro representing the Philippines…
of course it’s not me! It’s Arland Macasieb, the first Filipino man to compete as a pro on the long-course circuit.

This year, we make history because this is the first time Filipinos are participating at Challenge Roth. As I mentioned earlier, Arland is doing it as a pro. For the age groupers, it’s Pinay Power because Coach Ani de Leon-Brown and I will take on the fast Bavarian course. We are unofficially Team Philippines, and I’m proud to be racing alongside (well, on race day I’ll be a few hours behind) these two giants of Philippine triathlon. I am the rookie in this group, and this is my first full distance race.

If you had asked me when I started on this triathlon lark whether I would bite the bullet and attempt an ironman, I would have shuddered, then laughed at the idea. I would have said, “I’m not that crazy.”

I didn’t know I would get to do it this early; I’ve been doing triathlon since 2010, really just taking my time and enjoying the challenge of each step up in distance. As a sport, even for an age grouper, it really takes a lot of time, energy, commitment, as well as resources. The addiction feeds itself; you suffer, but you soon start to look for that feeling of having pushed yourself to go farther or faster than you have before. You can now say I’ve gone off the deep end — and I love it.

All these months of training are soon coming to a head. The question, “Was it enough?” will be asked and I will have to come up with the answer. When I did my first marathon, there was a feeling of uncertainty about whether or not I would finish it. I have that same feeling now about this first ironman; anything can happen out there on the course.

Truth be told, it will be a great relief for it all to be over; during this taper period I’ve had so much time to reconnect with friends I’ve been neglecting and enjoy some time where I’m not just waiting for my next training session to start. I don’t think I will miss those long afternoons at a pool swimming until I logged 4,000 meters or my arms fell off, whichever came sooner. While my long solitary rides were great for some “me” time, I did feel like a loon every time the security guards manning the gates at Nuvali would tell me, “Ma’am, mainit na! — It’s gotten hot!” and I still had four more hours to do. As for running, I did a bare minimum because of all the time devoted to the two other disciplines, but it did become a matter of ticking off miles because I had to, not because I loved to run.

I did almost give up; a few weeks ago I actually decided not to push through with the trip and the race just because I felt so alone in my efforts. The training, the travel, the race, the expenses… But I didn’t know so many people were standing behind me and rooting for me, and all I needed to do was ask for help.

So I’d like to take this opportunity to thank some of those who have been with me on this #roadtoRoth. I may be doing this race as an individual, but it’s taken a great team to get me to this point.

Team Endure — words aren’t enough to thank you for everything. Thank you for believing in me, thank you for being there for me, thank you for being not just friends, but family.

Mizuno Philippines — thank you for the continued support. Never Settle!

Jerry Santos, Ceepo — I don’t think it’s a coincidence that my triathlon journey has progressed by leaps and bounds since we started working together. Thank you for the opportunity to use this amazing Mamba frame. I really hope to maximize its potential and mine on Sunday!

Maiqui and Gianina Dayrit, Cascos — you’ve given me access to some amazing brands that have helped immensely during my training and racing. Thank you especially for all my new pink stuff I will be wearing on race day.

Greg Banzon, Century Tuna — thank you for allowing me to share my dream with you, and thank you for being a part of my journey.

Dave Voth, Challenge Philippines — without your hand in all this, I wouldn’t even have considered going to Roth in the first place.

Raymund Magdaluyo — I really don’t know how I can ever repay you for all you’ve done. Thank you for taking me on my first few triathlons overseas, for valuing my input, for being a friend. :)

Primo Cycles and Sabak — thank you for, among other things, keeping my bike in tiptop shape and being staffed full of triathlon nuts in their own right so I could spend hours just chatting away about this sport I love.

Anthony Kierulf, Tenkie Box — who would have known that day we did our first sprint triathlon at Subic that we’d still be in this sport years later? Thanks always for your ready smile and for all the gear!

Chris McCormack and Aaron Franklin, MaccaX — thanks for the writing gigs that have helped fund all my training expenses for Roth! And to Chris, thank you for saying these four words: “You have to come.”

Ani and Arland — You both paved the way for the rest of us and have set such high standards. Coach Ani, thank you for always being a positive presence and thank you for encouraging me not to give up on Roth.

my family — Mama, Papa, Marielle, Michael, thank you for always being supportive about my sporty endeavors from my first marathon up to now. I hope to make you even prouder than you already are about me.

Let me also thank you, dear readers, for continuing to read and follow my journey.

Onwards to Roth!

Blog Race Report Triathlon

Century Tuna 5150 Triathlon 2014

As my last race before Challenge Roth, the Century Tuna 5150 Triathlon was supposed to be the perfect tune-up: not too long, so recovery would be fast, but a significant hit-out to make sure all systems are GO.

I kind of got what I wanted from this race, and then some!

Century Tuna 5150 Triathlon

It was a pretty easy drive from Manila to Subic on Saturday, about 2.5 hours from the time I left my home to the time I got to race central, the Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center (SBECC).

Century Tuna 5150 Triathlon
You know you’re at a triathlon when…

Inside, the place was already abuzz read more »

Blog Training Triathlon

The Next Step Triathlon Pinnacle Camp

While the rest of the world (or so it seemed) was out racing hard this weekend, I was secluded with a group of fellow athletes at Pico de Loro Beach and Country Club for some fun group training sessions at Pinnacle Camp. This is the second of the Next Step Triathlon Camp Series this year and was meant as a build weekend for those heading to Tri United 2 or Ironman 70.3 Philippines.

Pinnacle Camp
Pinnacle Camp 2014 *

I felt very much the veteran at camp with so many new faces around doing their first long course triathlons in a few months’ time whether as an individual or as part of a relay. I’m still preparing for Challenge Roth; with Coach Ani doing the race this year and Coach Dan having done it twice before, I was read more »

Blog Training Triathlon

Next Step Triathlon Series: Pinnacle Camp on June 7-8

Are you in the best shape you can be for your upcoming triathlons? I love attending camps — the social aspect of training alongside fellow athletes and friends, the competitive aspect of pushing each other further and faster, and the athletic benefit of knowing where you are in terms of fitness and readiness.

The Next Step Triathlon Series Pinnacle Camp is on June 7-8.

The Next Step Triathlon Pinnacle Camp on June 7-8
The Next Step Triathlon Pinnacle Camp on June 7-8

The Pinnacle Camp is perfect prep work for those racing in a few months’ time at Tri United 2 and Cobra Ironman 70.3. Led by coaches Dan and Ani Brown, lay down some quality mileage, consult with experts, and experience some bonding with your fellow participants in Pico de Loro Cove, Hamilo Coast.

For me, I’ll take any help I can get in my build-up to Challenge Roth. Coach Ani is also doing that race so it would be nice to pick her brains about nutrition, further training, and race-day strategy.

Camp registration fee is P1,000, which includes the support vehicle, Gatorade and Enervon HP drinks, and a bike mechanic. This is exclusive of accommodations, but you can easily book at the Pico Sands Hotel. To register, please email abrahamerbel@yahoo.com or nextsteptri@gmail.com.

For more information about all the Next Step Triathlon camps, please visit The Next Step Triathlon Facebook page.

Next Step Tri Camp: after running
See you there!

Blog Training Triathlon

Where Can You Do Run, Bike, and Swim Training in Manila?

Being based out of Metro Manila has its perks. My work is here at the various gyms I teach classes at, all the good sports stores are within reach, and it’s where plenty of runs are held almost every weekend.

Unfortunately, training in the city is another matter entirely. Metro Manila the mega-city was cobbled together from different cities and municipalities that spread out and merged into each other, so there wasn’t any city planning to give us proper sidewalks, bike paths, parks, and sports complexes. It is also a highly-congested city with more than its fair share of vehicular traffic and pollution. These are not the ideal training grounds at all.

I sometimes find myself envying my buddy Joel who relocated to Cagayan de Oro City some years ago; he tells me he can ride from his doorstep out onto long stretches of road where he can train undisturbed for hours. He’s got access to a track and a pool as well, and I think he’s made the biggest leaps in his athletic fitness since he moved there. (The fresh air also has something to do with it, I think…)

But we’ve got to do the best with what we’ve got, and this blog post is an attempt at identifying the places in this city that most athletes I know train at.

Xpert.PH shoot
Where can you train in Metro Manila?

read more »

Online Triathlon Coaching - MaccaX
Online Triathlon Coaching - MaccaX

Online Triathlon Coaching - MaccaX

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