Champions Reunite at the Alaska Ironkids Aquathlon


Having missed the second instalment of the Alaska Ironkids Aquathlon back in May, I was excited to once again witness the up and coming young triathletes take on the swim and run courses of the Alaska Ironkids Aquathlon in Subic on June 4, 2016.

The race venue was already packed with the participants and their parents as early as 6am. While everyone was busy preparing, I bumped into familiar faces like the Borlain sisters – Sam, Tara and Chezka, Wacky Baniqued, Jana Macalalad, Luigi Crisostomo with their parents in tow. Yes, whenever you see them in any event, you can expect that the parents are just somewhere. There’s no way that I can overlook the presence of these people. Except for Josh Ramos, Chantal Macalolot and a few new entrants to the race, they are the prominent personalities in the Alaska Ironkids races since I started doing live coverages of the event in 2012!

Triathlon Trio: Luigi Crisostomo, Wacky Baniqued and JB Sarmiento.

Triathlon Trio: Luigi Crisostomo, Wacky Baniqued and JB Sarmiento.

The Alaska Ironkids Aquathlon was a reunion of these young and promising triathletes. It is a culmination of their months-long training and preparation, their stage where they shine, their turf where they can be invincible.

Competition is inevitable among the participants even there are no cash prizes to speak of. The top three winners take home a medal, a trophy, the Ironkids stuff toy and the pride that their hardwork had paid off.

The pool side at the Wow Recreation & Activity Center was starting to be filled with spectators as Alaska Ironkids Race Director Ani de Leon-Brown conducted the race briefing a few minutes before the gunstart for the 13 to 14 year olds. As expected, the morning just got a lot busier as soon as the first wave of participants took off for the swim. Exciting twists happen during the race. Some participants can be strong in swimming while others can be faster in the run course.

Wacky Baniqued, 2014 Grand Slam Champion in the 11-12 years old category, came out of the water on the second spot. He gave his best in the run course which placed him on the first spot ahead of Marco Austriaco, who was the first out of the water. Wacky cross the finish line 19 minutes 21.6 seconds. Josh Ramos came in second at 19 minutes 30.5 seconds. Luigi Crisostomo completed the podium list with a time of 19 minutes 32.3 seconds.

This year, it’s another classic race for the Borlains sisters Sam and Tara, as they compete in the same age category. I have seen these two compete and of the two, Sam is a faster swimmer and Tara is the faster runner. But I honestly didn’t consider these two wonderful girls competing against each other. More than the competition, Sam and Tara race to win against themselves. And it was a speedy race for these two. Tara took the spot with a finish time of 19 minutes 44.7 minutes and Sam closely followed at 19 minutes 51.9 seconds. Everly Janarie Macalalad completed the list with a time of 20 minutes 49.6 seconds.

Top Photo: Sam Borlain, Tara Borlain and Jana Macalalad at the 2016 Alaska Ironkids Aquathlon Subic. Bottom photo: Sam Borlain, Tara Borlain and Jana Macalalad, and Ironman Pros at 2012 Alaska Ironkids Cebu.

Top Photo: Sam Borlain, Tara Borlain and Jana Macalalad at the 2016 Alaska Ironkids Aquathlon Subic. Bottom photo: Sam Borlain, Tara Borlain and Jana Macalalad, and Ironman Pros at 2012 Alaska Ironkids Cebu.

And just a little trivia for you, dear readers. Sam, Tara and Jana have been racing in the same age group category since 2012 and have taken the top three spots for four times. These races were Alaska Ironkids Cebu 2012, Alaska Ironkids La Stanza (Marikina) 2014, Alaska Ironkids Cebu 2014 and Alaska Ironkids Subic March 2015.

Though JB Sarmiento didn’t make the Top 3 in the 13-14 age group, he championed among the boys when he recorded the fastest run split with a time of 12 minutes 31 seconds. Among the girls, Tara Borlain completed the run course in 12 minutes and 56 seconds.

In the 11 to 12 age group, Joco Miguel Delizo and Zedrick James Borja made a remarkable finish. Glendwyn Mariscotes came in the fourth place. Back in 2012, Glendwyn topped his age group.

It’s Aubrey Tom’s time to shine as she topped the girls in the 9 to 10 year old age group. The Tayag Twins – Jose Maria and Juan Miguel, are both podium finishers. This time, it’s Jose Maria who landed on the third spot.

Franchezka Borlain apparently takes the same path as her sisters as she consistently makes impressive finish in her races. Chezka placed second in the 6 to 8 year old age group with a time of 7 minutes 44 seconds, four seconds shy of Zurielle Kenzie Galo, who placed first in 7 minutes 40 seconds.

I would like to personally mention Justicia Mariearl Tan. Whilst she didn’t land in the top 3, Isha had her own share of the podium moments in the past races.

The upcoming breed of triathletes in the country (from left): Jusiticia Mariearl Tan, Chezka Borlain, Anika Savet, and Twins Jose Maria and Juan Miguel Tayag.

The upcoming breed of triathletes in the country (from left): Jusiticia Mariearl Tan, Chezka Borlain, Anika Savet, and Twins Jose Maria and Juan Miguel Tayag.

Aside from the Race category, Alaska Ironkids has created a category for enthusiasts who want to have a feel of the multisport events , the Play category. Though participants in this category are not eligible to win, yet, their ranking can can be an indication how well they do in the race. Impressively, at the age of 4, Anika Savet topped the girls in the Play Short Distance event with a time of 8 minutes and 41 seconds tying with the 9-year old Dani Tengco.

The title Champion not only applies to the top finishers but also to everyone who finished the race as each one of them had trained and prepared well for the event. Some may not be as fast and strong as the others, but for sure, they did way better than their last race, recorded a new personal best, or simply feeling good about finishing the race. More than the awards and the trophies given to the top finishers, Alaska Ironkids is a venue to further encourage the children to live a healthy and active lifestyle through sports and proper nutrition.

Congratulations to all Finishers of the Alaska Ironkids Aquathlon!
For a complete list of the winners, please log on to www.ironkidsphil.com.

What’s your Alaska Ironkids story?

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Borlain sisters rule Alaska IronKids Triathlon in Subic


Sam, Chezka and Tara Borlain made podium finishes at the #AlaskaIronkids Triathlon Subic on March 7, 2015

Sam, Chezka and Tara Borlain made podium finishes at the #AlaskaIronkids Triathlon Subic.

Tara and Samantha Borlain again finished one-two in the same category (Girls 11-12) during the 2015 Alaska IronKids Triathlon held in Subic over the weekend. Open to children 6 to 14 years old, Alaska IronKids is the local junior version of the international triathlon series, Ironman.

Tara trailed sister Samantha in the swim and bike part of the race but relied on her strong finishing run to prevail. Other 1st place winners in the girl category are Nicole Danielle Eijansantos (13-14), Alison Ann Noble (9-10) and Justicia Mariearl Tan (6-8).

Brent Valelo also relied on a strong run to rule the Boy 13-14. Other 1st place winners in the boy category are Juan Francisco Baniqued (11-12), Mark Grist (9-10) and Dayshaun Karl Ramos (6-8).

Christine Levi Gaspar and Una Janus Sibayan placed second and third in the Girls 13-14. Everly Janarie Macalalad finished third in the Girls 11-12. Patricia Tolentino and Ana Maria Mempin placed second and third in the Girls 9-10. Franchezka Borlain, youngest of the Borlain sisters, and Caitlin Gaw finished second and third in the Girls 6-8.

Sabino Czar Manglicmot IV and John Caleb Barlin placed second and third in the Boys 13-14. Jose Manuel Arao and Karl Rafael Pamakid placed second and third in the Boys 11-12. Matthew Thomas Alumbres and Juan Miguel Tayag placed second and third in the Boys 9-10. Jabrielle Marcos Delizo and Reggeal Victoria placed second and third in the Boys 6-8.

Brent Valelo won another  championship title as he edged out other participants in the #AlaskaIronkids Triathlon 13-14 boys.

Brent Valelo won another championship title as he edged out other participants in the #AlaskaIronkids Triathlon 13-14 boys.

Four races are lined up for 2015— two aquathlons and two triathlons. The next races will be the Alaska IronKids Aquathlon Apr. 19 at The Village Sports Club; the Alaska IronKids Aquathlon in Subic Bay; and the Alaska IronKids Triathlon Aug. 1 in Cebu.

The races will have three categories: Race Category (with Podium Medals) with four age groups; Play Category (with finisher’s medal but no age categories) with short and long distances to promote outdoor play and increase participation for non-competitive participants; and the Relay Category (with Podium Medals) with two mixed age groups.

Alaska Milk Corporation President/CEO Wilfred Steven Uytengsu said he is ecstatic with the huge turnout.

“It’s really nice to see the parents supporting their kids promoting a healthy lifestyle, a lot of kids today spend a lot of time on their iPads or playstations. It’s important to develop your technical skills but you also have to be physically fit,” said Uytengsu.

Alaska IronKids Philippines is an annual sporting event that aims to promote the healthy and active lifestyle among children through the winning combination of proper nutrition and physical activity. The Alaska IronKids Race Series is just one of many sports development programs that Alaska conducts yearly to engage children to come out and play.

Pioneering athletic programs like the Alaska IronKids Philippines Triathlon has managed to take children away from their video game consoles, cellphones and cable TV remotes and out into the sun to swim, bike and run in triathlon races. Alaska’s sports programs hope to encourage children to get into organized sports while learning positive values like hard work, discipline, determination and teamwork. The program for 2015 will continue to bring excitement as it helps future athletes realize their dreams.

Become an inspiring athlete too and join Alaska’s sports programs now! NUTRITION. ACTION. CHAMPION.

For general information about the Alaska IronKids please visit http://www.ironkidsphil.com. For live Twitter updates follow @ALASKAsportshub #AlaskaIronkids.

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