So You Want to Be a Pinoy IRONMAN

Yesterday, the Philippine triathlon community got the confirmation to all the rumors that have been circulating (founded and unfounded): yes, a branded IRONMAN race would finally be held in this IRONMAN-crazy country. In celebration of the 10th anniversary of the first IRONMAN 70.3 race ever held here, the Century Tuna IRONMAN Philippines will be held in Subic Bay on June 3, 2018.

While registration is yet to open — it’s scheduled for August 1, or Ironman 70.3 Philippines weekend — my Facebook feed was abuzz with people already planning to take on a full IRONMAN for the very first time in the country. Others may have already become an Ironman in other countries, but this race is special, they say. Continue reading “So You Want to Be a Pinoy IRONMAN”

Century Tuna Ironman 70.3 Subic Bay 2016

This year’s Century Tuna Ironman 70.3 Subic Bay was the first time I have not been on the starting list of a half-ironman race in the Philippines since 2011 when I joined a relay team for Ironman 70.3 Philippines in Camarines Sur. With radically different goals for this year, I’ve decided to sit out the two Ironman 70.3 races in the country.

Ironman 70.3 Subic Bay 2016
It was still off to Subic for me!

That doesn’t mean I want to be completely absent; I love triathlon and I love following the sport. In particular I think the Philippine triathlon scene is as warm as our weather. *wink*

At the same time, I have been whining about the poor worldwide official media coverage for professional women. I met Stef Hanson, the editor-in-chief of Witsup.com, at Challenge Roth last year. Witsup stands for “Women In Triathlon. ‘Sup?” It’s a portal covering all things women in triathlon, aiming to boost the profiles of women in the sport and introduce triathlon to more women. We have been following each other on Twitter for some time now, and I offered to do a write-up of the Ironman 70.3 Philippines for them last year.

After the dismal coverage Ironman did for the professional women at Ironman 70.3 Dubai, I shot Stef an email proposing I do some supplemental reporting on the women at Ironman 70.3 Subic Bay. With many thanks to Century Tuna, Ogilvy, and Sunrise Events, we secured a media pass so I could be at the race on “official business.” I drove up to Subic with Roselle of Runningdiva.PH to cover the race.

But the first stop that weekend was the Century Tuna Superbods Underpants Run. Continue reading “Century Tuna Ironman 70.3 Subic Bay 2016”

Dispatch #9: Work, Work, Work

Last week for training was a bit crazy due to events like the Nike Leap Year Day as well as the launch of the Nike Run Club the next day. I found myself in so much soreness by Wednesday that I had to dial the training back; I just couldn’t keep good running form.

Naturally, if I’m writing this on a Monday, the events of the weekend will be foremost in my mind. I covered the Century Tuna Ironman 70.3 Subic Bay for witsup.com, providing race-day Twitter commentary about the professional women’s competition. I’ll be writing about that a little later this week.

Oh, I was also at the Century Tuna Superbods Underpants Run the day prior to the race:

Dispatch 9

You know those nightmares you get about suddenly finding yourself nude in a crowd of people? Continue reading “Dispatch #9: Work, Work, Work”

Dispatch #7: Keep on Keeping On

I found myself feeling a little lost this past week. For the last two years this particular week has been occupied by the lead-up to Challenge Philippines. I had decided last year I wouldn’t be racing this early to give myself a longer adjustment period into racing season, but when the race was cancelled the hole in my calendar felt that much bigger and emptier.

Most of my training is done solo. I prefer it that way; I’m more likely to over-extend myself when training with someone else. I can achieve a more gradual progression that sticks when I’m able to work at my own pace, whether fast or slow.

Dispatch 7
Long solo runs how I like them, just me and the open road.

Still, I appreciate when I do have company. I love catching up with my tri friends and chatting about what we’ve got lined up. Even if we’ve got different abilities and reasons for engaging in the sport and most of triathlon is a solo endeavor, it is the wonderful community at training and races that I enjoy being around again and again.

Dispatch 7
Sometimes you’ve got to sit up and just enjoy.

Speaking of triathlons, I’m heading to Subic in two weeks’ time to cover the Century Tuna Ironman 70.3 Subic Bay race for Witsup.com. Continue reading “Dispatch #7: Keep on Keeping On”

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)”

Century Tuna Ironman 70.3 Subic (Part 1)

Part 1: Play Hard

When I got the opportunity to race the Century Tuna Ironman 70.3 Subic Bay with two of my teammates from Team Endure, I couldn’t say no. Being part of a relay at a triathlon has always been fun and pressure-free for me. It’s an opportunity to work together as a team in this often very individual and lonesome sport, you can go as hard as you want in your chosen leg without being afraid of blowing the other two legs, and it’s just a great excuse to be away for an active weekend without overtiring yourself.

Century Tuna Ironman 70.3 Subic Bay
I am obviously taking things very seriously. Continue reading “Century Tuna Ironman 70.3 Subic (Part 1)”

Century Tuna Ironman 70.3 Subic Bay Preview

It’s only a few days to go, and then I drive up again to what the legend Frank Lacson refers to as “Triathlon Country” for the Century Tuna Ironman 70.3 Subic Bay!

Century Tuna 5150 Triathlon
From a 5150 to a 70.3… Century Tuna has stepped it up!

These last few weeks have been busy for triathlon in this part of the world, with Challenge Philippines and Tri United 1 just concluded. And no, I did not sign up for all three races, but I know some crazies who have…

It’s going to be a fun weekend and the pressure is off for me because I’m just doing the bike leg on a relay team with my Endure teammates John Doctor (swim) and Sugz Lopez (run). This is going to be a great opportunity to experience what it’s like to cycle on the SCTEX coming from the Subic side. I’ve heard and seen how challenging the terrain can be — long climbs, some steep sections, and fierce headwinds and crosswinds — but due to tollway regulations no one can ride on those roads on any normal day.

But really my main motivation in joining this race is I just love watching the pros do their thing, and boy do we have some stellar ones coming! Continue reading “Century Tuna Ironman 70.3 Subic Bay Preview”