Champions Rose at the Alaska Ironkids Aquathlon

To further promote active and healthy lifestyle among the children, Alaska continues to provide sports activities that young children, 6 to 14 years old, can participate in. In 2014, a total of four Alaska Ironkids races were held – two aquathlon and two triathlon events.

On May 25, 2014, junior triathletes, aged 6 to 14, converged for an aquathlon event held in Club Manila East, with none other than the Race Director and Triathlon Coach Ani de Leon-Brown at the helm. The race kicked off with the gun start for the 13 to 14 year olds, followed by 11 to 12 age group, 9 to 10, and the final wave of 6 to 8 year olds.

The aquathlon highlighted the third championship title of Tri Clark Team’s Brent Valelo, who finished in 17 minutes and 32 seconds, roughly a minute and a half ahead of the second placer Nathan Nalo, also from Tri Clark Team. Brent has consistently topped his in his age group. Nicole Eijansantos topped the girls in the 13 the 14 age group; Margarita delos Reyes came in second and Una Sibayan came in third.

They race for the podium finish, but that’s only during the race. Sam and Tara Borlain have always taken the first and second spots in their categories. Although Sam was the first out of the water, the younger Tara Borlain had caught up with the Sam during the run leg of the race. Tara finally took the top spot. Christine Julianne Javier completed the roster of top finishers in the 11 to 12 years old girls.

It was a pretty tough race for the boys in the 11 to 12 years old group. Dan Christian Leyba emerged as the top finisher with a time of 13 minutes and 20 minutes, a second ahead of Team TriGear’s Juan Francisco Baniqued. Aaron Joshua Miranda came in third.

Alaska Ironkids is not just about a race, podium finishes, trophies and medals. It’s about family bonding. We’ve seen the Borlains, the Delizos, the Armocillas, and the Hodges cheering for the young triathletes all throughout the course. Fresh from the Ironman World Championship Melbourne, Gus Banusing showed full support to his daughter Nadine Banusing, who participated in the play category just to get the feel of the multisport event.

Though he didn’t make it to the top three, JB Sarmiento was still all smiles at the finish line. JB has a condition called G6PD Deficiency, wherein his body does not have enough glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase enzyme, which helps red blood cells function normally. While his nutritional needs would seem to be a challenge, the Sarmientos have never failed to provide JB with his needs, which helped him champion over this deficiency. JB has continually raced and made podium finishes.

Diagnosed with a down syndrome, his condition didn’t stop Austin Chang from becoming an Alaska Ironkid when he made it to the finish line.
We spotted JC Abad of Alaska Tri-Aspire Team, who came all the way from Ilocos with her equally athletic sister MJ Abad, to lend support to the La Union Bull Sharks, his team prior to joining Alaska Tri-Aspire.

This race was also Hannah Angelika’s and Leila Marie’s final Alaska Ironkids race as they graduate from the program. Hannah and Leila Marie turned 15 this year.

Here are the list of winners:

You can expect to see more of these young triathletes race in the Alaska Ironkids 2015!

Registration for Alaska Ironkids Triathlon Subic on March 7, 2015 is now open.

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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.

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Newcomer Makati Alaska FC Team Makes A Mark at the UFL Youth League Championships

Football Champ Sandro Reyes in action during the  UFL Youth League Championship.

Football Champ Sandro Reyes in action during the UFL Youth League Championship.

Sandro Reyes of the Makati Alaska FC Team played hard for the Championship at the Finals of the FC UFL League Cup last June 29 at the Emperador Stadium, McKinley Heights against the Loyola Meralco FC Team. The Alaska FC Team is proud to make it to the finals and winning 2nd place in the Boys 9 and Boys 11 category. Sandro is a scholar of the prestigious FC Barcelona Escola and returned to Manila to reinforce the Alaska FC Team. Become a champion too and join Alaska’s sports programs now! NUTRITION.ACTION CHAMPION.

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Junior Triathletes Shine at the Alaska Ironkids Aquathlon

Alaska Ironkids Aquathlon Top Finishers Girls Photo Credit: Alaska Sports Hub

Alaska Ironkids Aquathlon Top Finishers Girls
Photo Credit: Alaska Sports Hub

February has just come in and the early morning temperature was literally cold. But despite that, some 150 young triathletes, 6 to 14 years old, trooped to The Village Sports Club, BF Homes Parañaque for the Alaska Ironkids Aquathlon. This is the first installment of the Alaska Ironkids series for 2014. 

It’s the Perfect Form 

The race kicked off with the 400 metre swim start for the 13 to 14 year olds at half past 6 in the morning, and then transitioned to a 3 kilometre run, followed by the swim start of each age group category. Being the year’s opening race for the junior triathletes, there were first time racers as well. Remarkably, one of the Borlain sisters and the youngest one at that, Cheska, who just turned 6 a week before the event, made her debut as one of the youngest triathletes, following her sisters’ footsteps – Sam and Tara, and hopefully grab those trophies and medals, too! According to Mr. Ringo Borlain, the children’s dad, Cheska, though a totally newbie in the sports, showed a very positive attitude about joining the race. I can sense a champion in making! Consistent training and parental support are essential to creating a real champions. That’s why, in every race, it is not impossible to spot Dad Ringo and Mom Carol at the venue. 

The Race Category paved the way for the junior triathletes to show their best swimming and running forms as they took each leg of the race, beating their previous PRs and out-racing each other. Though a race in its truest sense, the young champs went through the course and competed in a friendly manner. While most of the participants joined in the Race category, a good number of them joined in the Play Category. The Play category is another first this year, which was introduced to allow the not so competitive ones and the first timers to be part of the event, have fun and get the feel of the Alaska Ironkids races. Moreso, this will help them decide if multi-sports is the kind of game they want to get into. 

First Time Champions 

Talking about “firsts”, there were first time champions, too! Though they have made several podium finishes in the past Alaska Ironkids races, this was their first time to be the top finisher in their age group category. 

One of the most familiar personalities in the Alaska Ironkids races is Una Sibayan from Team Tri Gear. I’ve seen her race since 2012. She’s good, performed well in every race she joined, and would win a top three spot in some of those races. I know that she puts in every big effort she has to make a podium, it’s just that, perhaps, the effort wasn’t big enough to be the top finisher. But training and hard work would soon pay off. She took home her first ever Gold medal in the Girls 13 to 14 year old category. 

Alaska Ironkids Aquathlon Top Finishers Boys Photo Credit: Alaska Sports Hub

Alaska Ironkids Aquathlon Top Finishers Boys
Photo Credit: Alaska Sports Hub

Another familiar face is Brent Valelo of Team Tri Clark. He’s been joining the Alaska Ironkids races and won for himself a second or a third spot, but never a top spot. It’s every Ironkid’s goal to grab a top spot finish, which motivates him to train well and prepare himself in every race. And yes, all his efforts didn’t go to waste, that’s certain. He pulled off his first top finish in the Boys 13 to 14 year old category. 

They certainly deserved their first championship title race because they did exactly what they have been training for. For the excellent job that the young champions have done, they brought home with them the Alaska Ironkids winner’s medal, a trophy, the commemorative Alaska Ironkids stuffed toy and gift bags from Alaska and other sponsors. 

Crossing the finish line, they have made their dream a reality, proving that when one works hard, winning is just a sprint away. Not only that they achieved their goal, but also they made their number one fans even prouder – their parents, their next of kins and friends. It is pretty obvious that the greatest fans of these Ironkids are none other than their parents and their close relations, who, at the swim start down to the run course and up to the finish line cheered for them. Their excitement begins at the gun start, builds up as the champs transition to the next leg of the race and hits the high as they sprint towards the finish line. 

As the event wrapped up, everyone was in high spirits. Some may have not won a spot, but surely everyone had a lot of fun, looking forward to joining the next race. 

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