Junior Triathletes Shine at the Alaska Ironkids Triathlon

Alaska Ironkids Champs AG 13 to 14: Top Photo - Isabella Kapunan, Una Sibayan & Gabriella Ellis. Bottom Photo - Bambam Manglicmot, Brent Valelo & Drew Magbag

Alaska Ironkids Champs AG 13 to 14: Top Photo – Isabella Kapunan, Una Sibayan & Gabriella Ellis. Bottom Photo – Bambam Manglicmot, Brent Valelo & Drew Magbag

As weeks rolled into months, the second quarter of the year opened with Alaska Ironkids Triathlon held in La Stanza, Marikina on April 13, 2014. This is one of the multis – sports events that some 100 young triathletes, with their parents and bike in tow, were looking forward to participate in.

While trying to find a good vantage point, it’s not uncommon to bump into familiar faces. Participants all geared in their tri – suits getting their body markings, checking in their bikes, getting last minute “reminders” from parent – coaches were a common sight in the race venue. More often than not, it’s the parents who look more excited and eager than the participants themselves. Or, they could just be uber supportive parents. Young as they were, some of the junior triathletes already exhibited professional attitude towards the sport. They come to the race venue on time with all their race gears neatly prepared and checked in at the transition area. They would wait for their scheduled assembly and gun times. Yet, taking a closer look at them, they are still the youngsters who love to play around and be just kids.

Prior to each gun start, Race Director Coach Ani de Leon – Brown briefs the participants regarding their race category, like the distance of each leg of the race, how many loops they need to make, and to get a turn around marker each they time.

The first swim wave for the age group 13 to 14 signals the start of the race, followed by the 11 to 12, 9 to 10, 6 to 8, and finally, relay and the play categories. While the older age group participants are racing to the finish, its lovely to watch the youngest participants, those in the 6 t 8 year old group, as they head to the bike transition area. They needed little or no assistance at all from the marshals! They looked like they’re just playing with other kids, but you can sense their competitiveness.

With each gun start for every race category, parents and spectators alike literally screamed their lungs out to show their support. As soon as the participants head over to the transition area for the bike and consequently the run leg of the race, they’d gather by the finish line, cameras ready to take one of the best photos of the race – crossing the finish line.

Twice to Beat!

By the time the race clock read 00:39:57, the first finisher – Brent Valelo in the 13 to 14 AG, crossed the finish line. Soon, finishers started to trickle in for each of the category. The triathlon race is Brent’s second top podium finish this year. At second place is Bambam Manglicmot followed by Drew Magbag in the third place. It’s complete replica of the race results of the Alaska Ironkids Aquathlon held early this year at the Village Country Club, BF Homes, Parañaque.

The girls are not easy to beat as Una Sibayan clocked in 00:44:49. This is Una’s second top podium finish to date as well. Isabella Kapunan trailed at 00:46:54, and Gabriella Ellis at 00:47:28, second and third places, respectively.

The PLAY Category

In order to give some newbie triathletes the opportunity to have a feel of the triathlon, the Play category was included in the race categories, which is non – competitive in nature and was first introduced in the Alaska Ironkids Aquathlon last February 9th. The race distance was shorter compared to the Race Categories. Simply, this is an assessment category which will help the participant gauge himself if the multisport is game for him.

More often than not, for someone who can swim, bike and run, he is being made for a multisport race whether he plays competitively or he just want to have fun.

The Podium Finishers

Everyone who joined the Alaska Ironkids Triathlon are all champions, in one way or another. To give proper credit to those who fared excellently in their respective race category, a special shout out goes out to you!

AG 13 to 14



First Place Brent Valelo, 00:39:57 Una Janus Sibayan, 00:44:49
Second Place Sabino Czar Manglicmot IV, 00:41:08 Isabella Danielle Kapunan, 00:46:54
Third Place Drew Bennet Magbag, 00:43:05 Gabriella Ellis, 00:47:28


AG 11 to 12



First Place Juan Francisco Baniqued, 00:33:41 Tara Borlain, 00:32:35
Second Place Luigi Miguel Crisostomo, 00:34:04 Samantha Borlain, 00:33:01
Third Place Joe Bernard Sarmiento, 00:35:57 Everly Janarie Macalalad, 00:33:24


AG 9 to 10



First Place Zedrick James Borja, 00:29:15 Angelina Powell, 00:26:19
Second Place Gabriel Antonio dela Rosa, 00:29:22 Syrah Ruth Uy, 00:26:20
Third Place Christopher Apolinario, 00:29:37 Samantha Nalo, 00:27:56


AG 6 to 8 Boys


First Place Thomas Breen, 00:17:23 Kira Ellis, 00:18:45
Second Place Mark Grist, 00:17:25 Justicia Mariearl Tan, 00:19:29
Third Place Juan Miguel Tayag, 00:17:36 Xantia Mikaela Victorio, 00:21:28

Congratulations to all Finishers!

Catch the upcoming Alaska Ironkids Triathlon on August 2, 2014 at Shangri – La Mactan, Cebu City.

Please visit http://www.ironkidsphil.com for race details.
For more information on Alaska Sports, please visit http://www.alaskamilk.com.ph.
Follow Alaska Sports on Twitter @AlaskaSportsHub

Alaska Ironkids Triathlon Held in Palms Country Club

ironkidsFrom Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii to Alaska Ironkids in Manila, the triathlon hype is still on.

Some 149 junior triathletes with ages 6 to 14 years old trooped to Palms Country Club, Filinvest on October 20 for the Alaska Ironkids Triathlon year-ender event.

As early as 6am, the young triathletes, accompanied by their parents, were all geared up to race in their respective age group category.  While others seemed relaxed, others just can’t contain their excitement. For some, the triathlon event may just have been a high end game, for some it was a high competition. It’s quite unusual not to know that some of these young triathletes were born to triathlete parents. Some are even members of prominent triathlon teams.

As each minute ticked towards the swim start, participants were allowed to do a warm up swim. They were also grouped according to their age – 6 to 8 years old, 9 to 10 years old, 11 to 12 years and 13 to 14 years old. Aside from the individual categories, the event also included two relay categories – 6 to 10 years old and 11 to 14 years old.

A quarter past 6, Race Director Ani de Leon-Brown, who is a seasoned triathlete herself, conducted the race briefing. The race commenced with a swim start for the 6 to 8 year old group.  The participants, despite being very young, were on a race mode as they make their way out of the 100m swim down to the transition area where they mount onto their bike for a 3km bike ride, and a final transition to a 1km run.

With 30 minute intervals, all participants in age group and relay categories have gone on to race their respective distances. Parents, relatives and friends have kept the energy on the highest level as they cheered for the participants.

ironkids2While it seemed more of a game for the younger ones, the older participants completed each leg of the race in a competition – trying their best to catch up with a racer ahead of them, or maintaining a lead. They have trained well enough for the race as evidenced by the way they make a left or right turn and accelerating or decelerating their bike speed.  Maintaining a good lead, especially in the run leg of the race was crucial as it gives them an assurance of make a podium finish.

Soon, the Top Three Finishers for each category have made it to the finish line.  They received their finisher’s medal, their parents at bay taking photos and feeling much prouder seeing their children successfully complete the race.

As everyone was waiting for the awarding ceremony, participants and the spectators alike were treated to a refreshing Alaska Chocolate Powdered Milk Drink at the Milk Station, as Alaska strongly believes that nutrition plays a very important role in the development of each child. And through its various sports program like Alaska Ironkids, children, at a very young age, learn the right moral values such as sportsmanship, teamwork and discipline.

And for a job well done, trophies were awarded to the Top Three finishers in the individual and relay categories.

Here are the winners:

6 to 8 years old



First Place Vonn Destiny Luy, 00:17:18.0 Kira Ellis, 16:28.2
Second Place Thomas Breen, 17:26.1 Hannah Drelyn Sanchez, 16:53.8
Third Place Juan Michael Tayag, 17:27.0 Justicea Marierl Tan, 17:11.1

9 to 10 years old



First Place Juan Francisco Baniqued, 24:22.8 Tara Borlain, 24:16.7
Second Place Matthew Trott, 25:13.7 Angelina Powell, 27:04.4
Third Place Samuel Compton, 26:01.0 Aaliyah Isabel Pacheco, 28:35.9

11 to 12 years old



First Place Bambam Manglicmot, 31:24.2 Samantha Borlain, 32:37.3
Second Place Juris Aaron Earl Tan, 31:53.0 Lauren Justine Plaza, 32:52.3
Third Place Oliver Trott, 32:22.7 Una Janus Sibayan, :35:04.0

13 to 14 years old



First Place Arno Baetz, 42:37.6 Gabriella Ellis, 47:11.2
Second Place Lance Vincent Plaza, 43:07.3 Jaymee Marie Ortega, 49:51.0
Third Place Brent Valelo, 44:21.3 Annika Caniza, 49:54.3

View the complete race results HERE.
Stay updated by logging on to www.ironkidsphil.com.
Follow us on Twitter: @AlaskaSportshub


The Cebu Trip and the Cobra IronMan 70.3 Philippines Experience Part 2

Day 3.

It’s a Saturday. And it was a good morning to wake up to. But I got out of bed late. I had to hasten up so I won’t get caught in the weekend traffic going to Shangri – La for the Alaska IronKids Triathlon. I also had to skip the Saffron Café breakfast.

On my way to the beachfront, the bike check in area was busy. The young champs, accompanied by their parents were all getting ready for the race. In one corner, a coach was giving his last minute instructions. The swim start area was even busier. I chanced up Noelle de Guzman, who despite her status as a triathlete (she was racing the following day in the 70.3 Ironman), volunteered to do marshal duties.

Minutes before the Wave 1 gun start, I went through the bike course. The route was pretty technical with a sharp turn and some minor elevation. At the start of the race, there was an overcast which was an advantage to the racers. However, roughly three quarters of an hour after the gun start, big droplets of rain started to pour in. In no time, there was already a heavy downpour coupled with strong winds. I ran to the nearest tent and as the rain poured, some participants in the run course still continued to complete the race. I’ve seen at least a couple of them who braved the ruthless weather that morning. When I got the opportunity to sneak out of the tent, I ran up to the hotel entrance and proceeded to the Media Center. Due to the inclement weather, the organiser officially cancelled the Wave 2 of the race. The rain went on for at least two hours.

Ironically, just before noon, the sun shone its brightest. Everything was back to normal. There was not a single trace of a raindrop. The participants of the Alaska Ironkids Triathlon started to gather up at the Media Center, where the awarding ceremony was held. It was a morning of victory for the young triathletes as they received recognition for a job well done. I would say that even those who didn’t win still deserve a really good pat on the back for making it to the finish line. As Race Director Ani de Leon-Brown said, “the future is bright for the triathlon in the Philippines because of the Ironkids.” True enough, because those young champs are a testimony to what an IronKid is, no matter what it takes, cross the finish line.

Lounging in a Kenneth Cobonpue creation at BE Hotel In the Photo (left to right): Nadine, Yam, Raffy, myself and Rone

Lounging in a Kenneth Cobonpue creation at BE Hotel.
In the Photo (left to right): Nadine, Yam, Raffy, myself and Rone

It was a quite a busy morning. By noon, along with media group, we took our lunch at Dimsum Break at the Park Mall. The morning activities got me drained that I had a little more than enough for lunch. But I ain’t complaing. J Back to the race venue, I spent the rest of the afternoon at the Expo Center, and attended another press conference.

Wrapping up the day’s events, we proceeded to Be Hotel as we wait for the other media personalities to join us for dinner. Unfortunately, another heavy rain fell. The weather got us tied up at Be Hotel lobby. Yam, Nadine, Rone, Raffy and I cozily occupied one of those Kenneth Cobonpue furnitures at the hotel lobby lounge as we sip our coffee. We decided to have our dinner at Be Hotel café instead. It was a blessing in disguise because I came across the Filipino Elite triathlete John Leerams Chicano. That night, I was supposed to move to Be Hotel, but having another option, I chose to stay at Crimson Resort.

Alaska IronKids: Helping Shape the Future of Triathlon in the Philippines

Alaska IronKids AG 13 to 14 Top Winners

In the photo (left to right) Standing: Alaska IronKids AG 13 to 14 Top Winners – Third Place: Brent Valelo & Maria Margarita delos Reyes, First Place: Arno Baetz & Shaia Ruth Uy, Second Place: Justin Liam Chiongbian & Alexandra Leather. Seated: Triathlon Pros: Jacqui Slack, Ben Allen, Alaska Team TBB’s Matt O’Halloran, Belinda Granger, Pete Jacobs, Justin Granger, & WTC CEO Andrew Messick

Some 200 junior triathletes registered to the 2013 Alaska IronKids held at the Shagri-La Mactan on August 3, 2013. And as the traditions, participants were treated to a kiddie carboloading party themed as Super Heroes. 

Before the clock hit the hour of 6 in the morning, the young champs have already geared up for the day’s race. The check in area was visually busy. In one spot, a coach was giving last minute instructions to the some of the children. TriKids with their bikes in tow were in queue to check their bikes in, while parents and close relations were nearby to provide support. Not just support I would say. Some of them were even more excited than the participants! 

The participants were grouped in two waves. Wave 1 included the 11 to 12 and 13 to 14 year olds; Wave 2 included the 6 to 8 and the 9 to 10 year olds. At 6:15, Wave 1 participants were called for the final race briefing before hitting the open water swim at 6:30. The race briefing was conducted by Alaska IronKids Triathlon Race Director, and Triathlet herself, Coach Ani de Leon-Brown. The race route included a 300m swim, 8km bike and 2km run. 

From the swim course to T1, to the bike course. The race started with the 300 m open water swim. The young triathletes competed as kids, but with the heart of the pros. Swimming out of the water, they proceeded to the transition area 1 where their bikes were stationed. Mounting on their bikes like the big guys do, they pedaled through the 8 kilometre stretch of the bike course. They perfectly know when to shift their bike’s gear, speed up and slow down when making a turn – that kind of thing. The bike course ended at the transition area, where the racers dismount off their bikes, put on their running gear for the 2 kilometre run. 

The morning started with a nice overcast, which made racing a lot better. The first pack of the young champs had already crossed the finish line a little past half an hour after the gun start. By half past seven, the slight drizzle dropped in, which eventually turned into a heavy downpour coupled with strong winds. At this time, there were still participants in the run course. And I happen to be at the vicinity of the run course. 

Photos from Left to Right: Swim Start area, IronKids at the swim start, Bike Check In area, IronKids at the Bike course, Participant still running during the heavy rain

Photos from Left to Right: Swim Start area, IronKids at the swim start, Bike Check In area, IronKids at the Bike course, Participant still running during the heavy rain

As soon as it rained, I ran to the nearest tent for shelter. I was a few meters behind one runner, who stopped for shelter under a tree. Probably realising that he was in a race, he continued to run towards the finish line. While the rain poured down, another participant came into view when she made a left turn, and made her way to the finish line. 

And due to the inclement weather that morning, for the safety of the participants, the race for Wave 2 was cancelled. It may have been difficult for the organisers to make that decision, but may have even been harder for the participants to accept. We saw some of them fell into tears when they learned that they won’t be racing anymore. 

While waiting for the awarding ceremony for the Wave 1 Top Finishers (11 to 12 and 13 to 14 year old age groups), seats were provided at the Alaska Media Center to accommodate the participants, finishers and their parents. And to while away their time, the young champs settled with their iPads while others were sharing their story of the race. I could say that the Ironkids are generally the most behaved children I’ve known, compared to other kids of their age. 

I had the chance to speak with IronKids participant Everly Macalalad of Team TriGear. “I was not able to race because the event was already cancelled,” she said in her very calm voice. And I can sense that there was a trace of sadness in her voice. But I know she understood why the race was cancelled. 

Alaska IronKids AG 11 to 12 Winners

In the photo (left to right) Standing: Alaska IronKids AG 11 to 12 Winners – Third Place: Samantha Borlain & Nathan Nalo, First Place: Bambam Manglicmot & Justine Lauren Plaza, Second Place: Craig Joshua Uy & Nicole Danielle Eijansantos. Seated: Triathlon Pros: Alaska Team TBB’s Matt O’Halloran, Pete Jacobs and Justin Granger

Awarding Ceremony. The awarding ceremony commenced around 10 in the morning as soon as all the top three finishers in the 11 to 12 and 13 to 14 age groups have come in. The young champs were in all smiles as they received their medals and gift packs from Alaska and other sponsors. And how can they not smile? None other than the triathlon Pro Champions – Alaska Team TBB’s Matt O’Halloran, Ben Allen, Jacqui Slack, Belinda Granger, Pete Jacobs, Justin Granger, and WTC CEO Andrew Messick excitedly handed their medals and gift packs! 

Here are the Top Three Finishers:

AG 13 to 14



1st Place Arno Baetz, 29:58.5 Shaia Ruth Uy, 34:31.3
2nd Place Justin Liam Chiongbian, 30:05.1 Alexandra Leather, 34:34.5
3rd Place Brent Valelo, 30:21.6 Maria Margarita delos Reyes, 34:49.4

AG 11 to 12




1st Place Bambam Manglicmot, 31:38 Lauren Justine Plaza, 33:01.3
2nd Place Craig Joshua Uy, 33:30.6 Nicole Danielle Eijansantos, 35:42.5
3rd Place Nathan Nalo, 34:08.3 Samantha Borlain, 35:53.6

For a complete list of finishers, please click the following links:
Alaska IronKids AG 13-14
Alaska IronKids AG 11-12

Refreshing Alaska Sweet Milk and Alaska ChocoMilk were served. For those who preferred a hot drink, coffee with Alaska KremTop was made available.

Catch the next Alaska IronKids Triathlon in October at the Palms Country Club in Alabang.

Stay updated by logging on to www.ironkidsphil.com.
Follow us on Twitter: @AlaskaSportshub

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