On Spotlight: Lucian Antonio Alejo – The Champion Unleashed


Tonito Alejo at the ASTC Singapore Internal Marathon. Photo Credit: Lucian Antonio Alejo

Tonito Alejo at the ASTC Singapore Internal Marathon. Photo Credit: Lucian Antonio Alejo

It was a fine morning of June 6, 2016. I was on my way to Capitol Commons to meet the Alejos, who just arrived in Manila from their week-long vacation in Singapore. It was the first time that I would meet the whole family. Right outside the Pancake House in Capitol Commons, Ton approached me and led me to their table. There I met his sister Alex, his mom Tita Charis and a bit later, his dad Tito Boyet.

I met Lucian Antonio Alejo, or Tonito or Ton, back in 2014 when I did the on ground coverage of Alaska Ironkids in Cebu.

Unlike most junior triathletes, Tonito joined triathlon at a later age in his hometown in Iligan City. Having no background in swimming, he fast-tracked his swimming lessons so he can make it to his first triathlon race a few months away.

After finishing his first race, Tonito developed his love for the multisport and at the same time he wanted to attend the regular school. However, he had to make a tough and wise decision and a few considerations have to be made. Because when he chooses to attend regular school, he won’t have much time to train for triathlon. And for someone who had the passion for the sport, Ton chose the home study program so he can have more time to train and even join triathlon races without compromising his education.

Ton was 13 when he had his first taste of the Alaska Ironkids race which was held on April 13, 2014, in La Stanza, Marikina, where he ranked ninth among the boys in the 13 to 14 age bracket, completing the course in 45 minutes 13.67 seconds (Swim 400m, Bike 12km, Run 3km). He then joined the Alaska Ironkids in Cebu on August 2, 2014, where he ranked sixth in the Boys 13 to 14 age group, with a finish time of 35 minutes and 20.7 seconds (Swim 300m, Bike 9km, Run 2km).

Tonito Alejo during the run leg of Alaska Ironkids Subic, March 2015.

Tonito Alejo during the run leg of Alaska Ironkids Subic, March 2015.

Back home, Ton trained doubly hard and joined other triathlon races. During the Alaska Ironkids held in Subic on March 7, 2015, he missed to bag the third spot by just a second, placing fourth with a finish time of 32 minutes even (Swim 300m, Bike 9km, Run 2km). I can still vividly see him sprint to the finish line.

At 14, Ton had only one shot left to make a mark in the Alaska Ironkids triathlon race. The Alaska Ironkids Cebu held on August 1, 2015, was his last race in the local franchise of Ironkids. Confident with his training, and with his sister Alex and parents in mind, Ton was ready give all the best that he had. His determination to bring home his first Alaska Ironkids trophy and mascot didn’t falter. Not a single bit, as he had always wanted to give Alex that stuffed toy.

When I got off the service car (provided by Ford) straight from Mactan International Airport, I bumped into none other Lucian Antonio Alejo, who had the good news for me!

Among the 36 boys in the 13 to 14 year old category, Ton made a bang with his second place finish in 45 minutes 51.4 seconds, which put John Caleb Barlin in the third spot. His race stats: Swim (400m) – 00:08:13, Bike (12km) – 00:22:34, Run (3km) – 00:15:06. Very impressive! Now, this one’s off his bucket list.

I remember telling him, “What a great way to cap off your final year in the Alaska Ironkids program!” Indeed! Personally, I am so happy to see him achieve his goal because I knew that he worked hard for it. And I can only see a modest grin in his face whilst he said “Thank you po.” Such a fine kid.

Looking at his past Alaska Ironkids races, he improved tremendously from his 9th place in April 2013 to an awesome Second Place finish in August 2015. Yet, Ton has always remained grounded. Still calls me Kuya even when he’s way taller than I am!

Meeting the Alejo Family: Tita Charis, Tonito, Tito Boyet and baby Alex.

Meeting the Alejo Family: Tita Charis, Tonito, Tito Boyet and baby Alex.

Tonito Trivia
  • He can mimic an accent. He can talk in an Indian accent. Though his favourite is Craig Alexander’s Aussie twang.
  • He looks up to Crowie Alexander.
  • One day, he wants to join a Kona Ironman World championship race.
  • He can sing.
  • He can dance.
  • Awarded Athlete of the Year by City Sports Office, Iligan City Government
  • He saved up his cash awards to buy his gears.
  • He is under a home study program through SEIBO College
On Life After Alaska Ironkids
Tonito Alejo at the Dipolog Triathon 103. Photo credit: Dipolog Triathlon 103

Tonito Alejo at the Dipolog Triathon 103. Photo credit: Dipolog Triathlon 103

After his stint at the Alaska Ironkids, Tonito continued his triathlon journey joining sprint distance races like SUBIT, NAGT CDO Leg 3 (First Place) and in the most recent ASTC Singapore International Triatlon, which was also his first international race.

Currently, Ton is part of ActiveHealth Junior Elite Team (Unilab) under Coach Ani de Leon-Brown and Coach Dan Brown. Speaking to Coach Ani, she only has encouraging words for Ton. Whilst his good form is a big plus, he needs to fine tune his focus on training and in his races. With his abilities and talent, there’s a big world of opportunities waiting for him.

Ton, always put your best foot forward in everything that you do. I’m glad to know you’ve found your passion and it’s where you heart belongs to, and you have amazing parents and sister to always motivate you. Continue to be an inspiration to everyone as you’ve found your strength in your weakness! Cheers!

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Run United 1 2016


Run United 1Active Health, in partnership with Runrio, continues its commitment to every individual who wants to exceed himself. Get ready for this year’s edition of the Run United trilogy as your proving grounds are being laid out.

I’m inviting you all, dear runners, to register for the upcoming Run United 1 happening on March 13, 2016. Check out the race details below and secure your slot to the race by registering today.

Run United 1
13 March 2016, 3am
SM MOA Concert Grounds, Pasay City

Registration Details:

Registration Details Run United 1 2016

How to Register:
Online: January 22 – February 21
Log on to www.activehealth.ph or www.runrio.com
Runners have the option to have their race kits delivered of picked up at their chosen registration site.
Delivery of race kits is on March 7.
An additional delivery fee of P150.00 and web admin fee of P50.00 will apply.

In-Store: January 30 – February 29
Purchase prepaid cards at the following stores betweem 12 noon and 8:00pm, Monday to Sunday.

  • Runnr – BGC, Trinoma
  • Toby’s – Robinson’s Galleria, SM MOA

Race kits distribution will be on March 5 – 11, at the registration site of your choice.
Singlet sizes availability is on a first come, first served basis.

Note: For a minimal amount of P100.00, you can avail of Active Health Kit which comes along with a customised training program by Coach Ani de Leon – Brown. Inclusions of the Active Health Kit are as follows:

  • 5k, 10k or 21k Exceed Yourself Training Plan by Coach Ani de Leon-Brown to be sent by email
  • Personalized Race Bib
  • Race Belt (for 21k runners only)
  • FREE Sports Nutrition Solutions
    – One (1) capsules of Enervon Activ – Daily for training to help built stamina
    – One (1) 40g pack of Enervon HP – After Work out for faster recovery
    – One (1) ActiveHealth Carbgel Banana flavor – during work out for sustained energy

Bundle Packages are available, too!
Run United 2016 Bundle PackageNote: Bundle cost is INCLUSIVE of P450.00 delivery & processing & one-time P50.00 web admin fees for online registrants using credit card.

Run United 1 Singlet:

Run United 1 singlet

Finisher’s Shirt.

Run United 1 Finisher's Shirt

Medal:

Run United 2 Singlet:

Run United 2 Singlet

Run United Philippine Marathon Singlet:

RUPM Singlet

Singlet Size Chart:

Run United 2015 Singlet Size Measurements
Finisher’s Shirt Size Chart:

Run United 2016 Finisher's Shift Size Measurements
Race Results:

Race results will be available within three (3) days after the race at the following websites: www.activehealth.ph and www.runrio.com.
For Timing and Race Results concerns: feedback@runrio.com

For enquiries:
Telephone No.: (+632) 463 4813
Mondays to Fridays, 10am to 6pm only, except holidays.

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.

For more updates, please log on to http://www.ironkidsphil.com.
Twitter: @AlaskaSportsHub

Junior Triathletes Win Big at the Alaska Ironkids Cebu


Standing: JB Sarmiento, Brent Valelo, Arno Baetz, Lauren Plaza, Aaliyah Mataragnon, Juris Aaron Earl Tan Sitting: Justin Christopher Yu, Justicia Mariearl Tan, Eduard Russell So, Everly Macalalad, Tara Borlain and Sam Borlain

Some 160 junior triathletes from the national and international triathlon communities geared up for the Alaska Ironkids held on August 2, 2014 at the Shangri-La Mactan in Cebu. The beach front of the Shangri-La Mactan was jampacked with parents and spectators as the participants, as young as 6 years old, were getting ready for the race.

The race kicked off with the gun start for the 13 to 14 and 11 to 12 year old groups. These older groups of boys and girls started off with the leg swim of the race competitively, with last year’s defending champion Arno Baetz coming out of the water first. The groups of 9 to 10 and 6 to 8 year olds followed simultaneously. Despite being young, the participants showed very remarkable and even top notch race performance from the swim leg, to the bike and to the final phase of the race which is the run leg.

Lightning doesn’t strike the same spot twice. It’s true. But not for the 14 year old Arno Baetz, who took home the Cebu championship title twice in a row. Homegrown triathlete Justin Chiongbian finished second, with Brent Valelo completing the line up.

From top right clockwise: Race Dir. Coach Ani de Leon-Brown conducting the race briefing to Alaska Ironkids participants; TriClark Team: Nathan Nalo, JB Sarmiento, Justicia Mariearl Tan, Juris Aaron Earl Tan & Brent Valelo; Tara and Sam Borlain; Team Tri-Gear: Lauren Plaza, Everly Macalalad, Juan Francisco Baniqued & Una Sibayan

Nicole Eijansantos took the top stop, but had to battle it out with last year’s champion Lauren Justine Plaza, who came in at the second place. Cebu’s Aaliyah Mataragnon settled with the third place.Consistent podium finishers ruled the 11 to 12 year old group. Juan Francisco Baniqued, who made the rounds of top finishes in this year’s Alaska Ironkids races, placed first. JB Sarmiento, who has a condition called G6PD deficiency (which may cause a hemolytic anemia to a patient) came in second, barely 10 seconds ahead of the third placer Juris Aaron Earl Tan.

The Borlain Sisters – Sam and Tara raced for the Championship title. Sam Borlain greeted everyone at the finish line with a sprint finish, one minute and 41 seconds ahead of Tara. Though she placed second, Tara Borlain still has very good words for her sister. “I’m just really happy that my sister experienced winning over me. This really happens in real life. You win some and you lose some. So I’m very happy for my sister,” Tara shared during the Alaska Ironkids Champions press conference. Completing the block is Everly Janarie Macalalad.

Coming all the way from Sendai, Japan, Hyonde Keum topped the 9 to 10 year old boys’ division, Cebuano Eduard Russell So came in second, and the Abel Te Riele of the SunLife Tri Team placed third. In the girl’s division, Cebu-based Syrah Ruth Uy was the first to finish among her race playmates, followed by Samantha Nalo for the second place. Danica Alba sneaked in the third spot.

Tayag twins – Juan Miguel and Jose Maria Tayag, proved indispensable in the 6 to 8 year old boys’ division, who finished first and third, respectively. Justin Christopher Yu finished in betweet the Tayag twins as he placed second. Justicia Mariearl Tan championed in the girls’ category, Dhexia Myle Bersabal made it to the second spot, and Alethea Paige Gaccion completed the podium roster.

From top right clockwise: The Ironman Pros: Justin Granger, Belinda Granger & Casey Munro; Alaska Ironkids Finisher’s Medal; Jose Maria & Juan Miguel Tayag, Eduard Russell So, Alaska VP for Mktg. Ms. Blen Fernando, RG Gabunada, Caroline Steffen, Belinda Granger, Justin Granger, Joanne Angeles, Brent McMahon, Pete Jacobs, Sam Betten & Dimity-Lee Duke.

This year’s Cebu Alaska Ironkids had a new race route, where all participants took the long stretch of Punta Engaño Road for both the bike and run legs of the race. In addition, two non-competitive categories were also included, the Long Distance and the Short Distance Play Categories, for those who want to participate in the event, but don’t want to feel the pressure of “racing”.

Whilst the overcast made racing very conducive to all participants, the event was made more spectacular as the Ironman Pros took the task of handing over the medals and trophies to the top finishers.

All finishers received a finisher’s shirt and a finisher’s medal, plus gift packs from Alaska and race partners.

Congratulations to all the winners and finishers, and to the very hands-on Race Director Coach Ani de Leon-Brown for another successful Alaska Ironkids!

For complete race results, please head over to http://www.ironkidsphil.com.
On Twitter, please follow @AlaskaSportsHub.

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