XTerra Albay Champion Bradley Weiss Returns to Defend Title


XTerra Albay 2015 Men's Pro Champion Bradley Weiss of South Aftrica returns to defend title.

XTerra Albay 2015 Men’s Pro Champion Bradley Weiss of South Aftrica returns to defend title.

Defending champion Bradley Weiss seeks to dish out another explosive performance around majestic Mayon Volcano as he banners a stellar field in the XTERRA Albay 2016 on February 7 in the Province of Albay.

Weiss struck gold last year when the prestigious off-road triathlon race had its maiden run in Albay with the South African ace determined to set another coronation for himself with the world’s most perfect cone as backdrop.

Out to foil Weiss’ bid are 2015 male pro third-placer Ben Allen of Australia, 2015 fourth placer Brodie Gardner also of Australia, Charlie Epperson of Guam, Joseph Miller of the Philippines and Michal Bucek of Slovakia, who are all returning to Albay.

The women’s pro crown, meanwhile, is up for grabs are 2015 winner Flora Duffy, the world titlist from Bermuda, has opted to skip this year’s event to concentrate on her campaign in the Rio Olympics.

Australians Jacqui Slack, the runner-up last year, and third placer Dimity Lee Duke head the contenders in the distaff side along with Mieko Carey of Guam, who placed fourth last time.

Pros Lizzie Orchard, Taylor Charlton, Cameron O’Neal, and Hsieh Chung Sing are making their debut in the 2016 edition of the event organized and produced by Sunrise Events, Inc. and backed by official venue partners Province of Albay, City of Legaspi, Municipality of Daraga, Bayan ng Sto. Domingo, Official Courier and Logistics Partner 2Go Express, Cetaphil, Columbia, Finisher Pix, Shotz Sports Nutrition, Timex, David’s Salon, Department of Tourism + Tourism and Promotions Board and media partner The Philippine Star.

The race tests the participants in challenging environs in courses around Mayon.

The 1.5K swim starts in the shores of Lidong in Mayon Rivera, where the water is calm and deep and the sands are black.

The 35K bike course features wide and open trails and provides breathtaking view of Mayon. It is a single loop point to point race passing through fire roads, grass roads, sands and rocky trails.

The 10K run follows the ATV route in Mayon passing through rocky and sandy areas, river bed, and grasslands with the finish line set at the famous Cagsawa Ruins.

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


At  the Marcelo Fernan Bridge, Lapu-Lapu City

At the Marcelo Fernan Bridge, Lapu-Lapu City

Despite coming to Crimson Resort and Spa a little late the previous night and having a few hours of sleep, I still have a good sleep. Thanks to the very comfy accommodation at the resort. I woke up around 3am to get ready for the big race. The warm shower and the oh-so-mouth-watering breakfast buffet sumptuously prepared at Saffron Café jumpstarted the day. I was later joined by Tin, Rudnie, and Rone.

It was a cold rainy morning. While waiting for the van, rain was drizzling as gusts of wind occasionally send ruffles of leaves and branches nearby. We boarded the van as soon as it arrived and we headed off to the race venue at Shangri – La Mactan. Roughly a kilometer or so from the venue entrance, traffic was already building up, not to mention the continuous drizzle. Race participants and non – participants have decided to go on foot instead. The weather wasn’t really good to reckon with.

I knew that it’s gonna be a long and tiring day. But then again, I knew that it’s gonna exciting and a whole lot of fun. After the short briefing, I met up with my rider and took the early grayish, cold, rainy and deserted road of Lapu – Lapu City down to the turn-around point in Talisay. Droplets of rain felt like cutting through my skin and the cold wind numbing my skin. At half past 6 in the morning, we drove past groups of people who lined up along the streets waiting for the racers to pass by.

Students in their PE uniforms, CAT uniforms and in civilian clothes have already filled the sidewalks. Children and adults alike mingled with the rest of the crowd.

In the photo (left to right): Top - Jacqui Slack & Ben Allen, with IM World Champion Pete Jacobs, with IM World Champion Chris McCormack; Bottom - with Belinda Granger; with Luke and Meg Gillmer

In the photo (left to right): Top – Jacqui Slack & Ben Allen, with IM World Champion Pete Jacobs, with IM World Champion Chris McCormack; Bottom – with Belinda Granger; with Luke and Meg Gillmer

Soon, the lead pack of triathletes came rushing at the first turn around point. Courtney Atkinson was leading the male pros, Banjo Norte of Alaska Team TBB was leading the Filipino Elites, Caroline Steffen, also of Alaska Team TBB was leading the female pros. The crowd never failed to give the racers a boost with the loudest cheers, giving them a push. As it has been the talk of the town, young and old alike were anticipating for celebrity triathlete Piolo Pascual to pass by. And whether you would like it or not, despite the murmurs hounding his preference, he still got the loudest cheers ever. Tessa Prieto-Valdes was in her usual flamboyant outfit. Well, I guess she won’t be a Tessa if she doesn’t dress up like the way she always does.

The 90 – kilometre bike ride seemed like a breeze for the pros and the elites. However, along the route, there were racers who had to go off road due to a broken chain or a flat tire. From the bike course, we moved to the run course to catch up with the lead pack. We were driving at around 60-80 kph! When I got to the race venue, I proceeded to the run course. I had to go on foot as all motor vehicles were not allowed along the run course.

I was running along with some of the triathletes – with a backpack, a mobile phone on my hand. And yeah, I was in my running gear the whole time so I was kind of prepared for it.

While at the run course of the race, I witnessed a lot of really good and positive things. One – Bree Wee who is a female pro triathlete, gave one male participant a really good push when she saw him walking. Caroline Steffen, also a female pro, gave her team mate Filipino Elite Jenny Guerrero a push that she needed. Sometimes, a light pat on the back is all someone would need to keep going. Later that day, I had the opportunity to speak with Jenny, who placed second in the Filipino Elite W Category. She shared that at some point during the run, she felt almost giving up and she her family was her source of strength to make it to the finish line. Ironman World Champion Pete Jacobs, at one time, was pacing with Alaska Team TBB mate David Dellow. They were in a chika-pace. You could see either men grinning.

It was a pretty tough competition for the male pros. Towards the last 2 kilometres of the race, Courtney Atkinson was way ahead, and Pete Jacobs was catching up. Pete could have sprinted the last 2 kilometres or so to make it to the second spot, just a few seconds behind Atkinson.

In the photo (left to right): Ramon Pestaño, Nylah Bautista, Jeff Lo & Coach Ani de Leon-Brown

In the photo (left to right): Ramon Pestaño, Nylah Bautista, Jeff Lo & Coach Ani de Leon-Brown

I had the opportunity to cheer for my triathlete friends like Tess Leono, Ramon Pestaño, Jonah Rivera, Tito Don Causing, and pros like Jacqui Slack and Ben Allen, Belinda Granger and Justin Granger, Elite triathletes like Jenny Guerrero and Dhill Anderson Lee.

Having grown up in Cebu and being a Cebuano himself, Matteo Guidicelli had a huge following as well. People holding flaglets printed with his name were lined up along the run course.

The race was very festive. Students cheerily chanted everytime a racer passes by. Their positivity and their happy disposition radiated that you would feel energised. Indeed, the Cebuanos love the festive ambiance of the 70.3 Cobra Ironman Philippines.

Back at Shangri – La, we took our lunch after a pumped up race. It was only then that I felt tired. While waiting for the press presentations and the awarding, I can’t help it but take a power nap.

Later that afternoon, the awarding was held at the Shangri – La Mactan grounds, recognising the top five men and women in the Pro category, top three in the Filipino Elite, Age Group and Relay categories. Winners deserve the medals and trophies created by world – renowned designer Kenneth Cobonpue.

AMC Media Team

AMC Media Team

That night, we stayed at Be Hotel. Before retiring, I packed my bags just to be ready for the flight back to Manila early morning.Our flight was scheduled an hour later due to a long queue in the check in counter. I took the chance to pick a couple of baggage tags and a souvenir shirt at the Island Souvenir Shop before heading to the boarding area. The four day event was pretty hectic but it was worth all the efforts. The experience was one for the books. Tired but I had fun. I learned new things. I met new people. I rendezvoused with good friends. Can’t ask for more. And I can afford a really big Smile.

Big Thank You to AMC Team!

Steffen, Atkinson Dominate the 2013 Cobra Energy Drink IronMan 70.3 Philippines


2013 Cobra Energy Drink Ironman 70.3 Philippines WPro and MPro Champions Caroline Steffen and Courtney Atkinson

2013 Cobra Energy Drink Ironman 70.3 Philippines WPro and MPro Champions Caroline Steffen and Courtney Atkinson

It’s a run away win for both the Alaska Team TBB’s Caroline Steffen and the Australian Courtney Atkinson who took the 2013 Cobra Energy Drink IronMan 70.3 Philippines WPro and MPro Division top spots by storm. 

Caroline Steffen clocked in at 04:16:12, crossing the finish line with an 11 minute lead against the second placer Bree Wee, while Courtney Atkinson finished off the race in 03:58:07, with just a little over a minute lead from the 2012 Champion Pete Jacobs.

The swim start was literally bumpy due to heavy rains and winds the entire night prior to the race. The inclement weather that Sunday morning of August 4 did not deter the strong – willed champs, Filipino elites, age groupers and celebrity triathletes from taking on the challenge of the much awaited IronMan 70.3 Philippines. Coming to the race venue, a lot of them had to be on foot because of the traffic build up leading to Shangri – La Mactan. 

In the Photo (from left): WTC CEO Andrew Messick,2nd Place Bree Wee, 5th Place Monica Torres, Champ Caroline Steffen, 4th Place Jacqui Slack, 3rd Place Belinda Granger; Lapu Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza, SEI CEO Fred Uytengsu & Cobra Energy Drink Brand Mgr. Jeff Mendoza

In the Photo (from left): WTC CEO Andrew Messick,2nd Place Bree Wee, 5th Place Monica Torres, Champ Caroline Steffen, 4th Place Jacqui Slack, 3rd Place Belinda Granger; Lapu Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza, SEI CEO Fred Uytengsu & Cobra Energy Drink Brand Mgr. Jeff Mendoza

Coming off from the swim course, the windy bike ride may have been a challenge for the racing champs because of wind resistance, but Atkinson made his first U – turn at the 29th kilometre way ahead of the other pros. The second pack of racers included Pete Jacobs, Chris McCormack, Brent McMahon, David Dellow, Josh Rix, Anthony Devos, Ben Allen, and Frederik Croneberg. The powerful quads of Steffen were all she needed to make the great lead on from her contemporaries. She was in the third pack of racers, who were all males. She was indeed living up to her monicker, Xena. Racing up on the second spot was Bree Wee, followed by Belinda Granger, Jacqui Slack and Philippines’ Monica Torres, who was competing in her first ever 70.3 as a Pro. The 90-kilometre bike ride transitioned to the 21 kilometre run course along the Punta Engaño Road. 

In the Photo (from left): WTC CEO Andrew Messick, 2nd Place Pete Jacobs, 5th Place Brent McMahon, Champ Courtney Atkinson, 4th Place Chris McCormack, 3rd Place David Dellow; Lapu Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza, SEI CEO Fred Uytengsu & Cobra Energy Drink Brand Mgr. Jeff Mendoza

In the Photo (from left): WTC CEO Andrew Messick, 2nd Place Pete Jacobs, 5th Place Brent McMahon, Champ Courtney Atkinson, 4th Place Chris McCormack, 3rd Place David Dellow; Lapu Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza, SEI CEO Fred Uytengsu & Cobra Energy Drink Brand Mgr. Jeff Mendoza

All participants had to make a couple of loops to complete the run course. Courtney Atkinson consistently held his position in the top spot after completing his second U – turn, up to the finish line. Catching up for the second place was Pete Jacobs, Alaska Team TBB’s David Dellow ended up on the third spot, followed by Chris McCormack and Brent McMahon for the fourth and fifth places, respectively. Caroline Steffen remained strong maintaining her lead among the WPros, and even gave Jenny Rose Guerrero, Alaska Team TBB’s Filipino WElite, a little push at some point along the run course. Bree Wee locked in on her second spot. And even while on the race, she gave one participant who was already walking some boost by telling him to keep going. Belinda Granger was also holding on to the third spot, with Jacqui Slack and Monica Torres taking the fourth and fifth spots, respectively. Each of them maintaining a significant lead from the other.


Filipino Elites

Filipino WElite 2nd Place Jenny Guerrero and Filipino MElite Champion Banjo Norte (rightmost), with Alaska Team TBB Manager Alex Bok (middle)

Filipino WElite 2nd Place Jenny Guerrero and Filipino MElite Champion Banjo Norte (rightmost), with Alaska Team TBB Manager Alex Bok (middle)

Despite being relatively new in the Filipino Elite Men’s category, Banjo Norte of Alaska Team TBB clocked in at 04:26:44, beating the more seasoned Filipino triathletes – 2012 Champion August Benedicto, and John Phillip Duenas, with a finish time of 04:32:38 and 04:33:18, respectively. 

Among the Filipino Women Elite, Allesandra Araullo – Gonzalez emerged as the top finisher with a time of 05:05:33. Taking the second place was Jenny Rose Guerrero, crossing the finish line in 05:20:02. Ani de Leon – Brown filled the third spot with a finish time of 05:22:43. 


Alasaka Team TBB

Alaska Team TBB, which was formed in 2012, was well represented in both the Pro and Filipino Elite categories. The Pros category was participated in by Caroline Steffen, David Dellow and resident coach Matt O’Halloran while the Filipino Elite was joined in by Jenny Guerrero, Dhill Anderson Lee and Banjo Norte.

Coach Matt is proud of the protegés for standing out among their contemporaries. Though not winning any spot in the Filipino Elite category, Dhill Anderson Lee won the Swim Time bonus, and he is set to work more on his runs. Jenny shared that she was already on the verge of giving up and would already wanted to walk during the last leg of the race. Teary – eyed, she shared, “My family was my motivation to keep going.” And her perseverance really paid off.

Banjo Norte, on his first IronMan podium finish, was “really grateful for all the children who lined up along the streets cheering for the triathletes.”

Alaska Team TBB (from left): Professional Triathlete and Coach Matt O'Halloran, David Dellow, Caroline Steffen, Filipino Elites Banjo Norte, Dhill Anderson Lee & Jenny Guerrero

Alaska Team TBB (from left): Professional Triathlete and Coach Matt O’Halloran, David Dellow, Caroline Steffen, Filipino Elites Banjo Norte, Dhill Anderson Lee & Jenny Guerrero

World-famous and the Philippines’ pride apl.de.ap of The Black Eyed Peas participated in this year’s Ironman 70.3 Philippines, who competed with his relay team. Though considered as legally blind (in US standards), he went out to show that physical challenges can’t stop a person from achieving his dreams. Other celebrities who participated in the event were Piolo Pascual, Matteo Guidicelli, Isabelle Daza, Erwan Heusaff, and Drew Arellano. Tessa Prieto-Valdes, who competed in the relay category last year, was back in the game in the individual age group category.

The awarding ceremonies followed at the Shangri-La Mactan grounds, where Top Finishers in the Pro, Filipino Elite, CEO, Age Group and Relay categories were recognized. World – renowned furniture designer Kenneth Cobonpue designed this years Winners’ Trophies and Finisher’s Medal. The even wrapped up with an after-event party held at Mövenpick Hotel.

Here are the Top Winners:

Top Winners

MPro

WPro

1st Place Courtney Atkinson 03:58:07 Caroline Steffen 04:16:12
2nd Place Pete Jacobs 03:59:09 Bree Wee 04:27:49
3rd Place David Dellow 04:02:22 Belinda Granger 04:33:50
4th Place Chris McCormack 04:03:15 Jacqui Slack 04:39:31
5th Place Brent McMahon 04:04:05 Monica Torres 04:52:08

Filipino MElite

Filipino WElite

1st Place Banjo Norte 04:26:44 Allesandra Araullo-Gonzalez 05:05:33
2nd Place August Benedicto 04:32:38 Jenny Guerrero 05:20:02
3rd Place John Phillip Duenas 04:33:18 Ani Karina Brown 05:22:43

For a complete list of winners in the Individual and Relay categories, please visit the following links:
Cobra Energy Drink 70.3 IronMan Philippines Individual Official Results
Cobra Energy Drink 70.3 IronMan Philippines Relay Official Results

Cobra Energy Drink IronMan 70.3 Philippines 2013 was participated in by 2,150 triathletes from 35 countries. Ironman 70.3 is a triathlon event with a total distance of 70.3 miles (113km) covering 1.2 mile (1.9km) swim, 56 mile (90km) bike ride and 13.1 mile (21km) run. It was a race with a feel of a festival. An event that the Cebuanos and the global triathlon community is looking forward to.

For more race details, please log on to: http://www.ironman703phil.com/

Follow Alaska Sports Hub on Twitter: @AlaskaSportshub

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

Boys

Girls

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

 

Boys

Girls

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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