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.
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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.

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Junior Triathletes to Compete in 2013 Alaska IronKids Triathlon

Alaska IronKids on August 3, 2013 @ Shangri-La Mactan

Alaska IronKids on August 3, 2013 @ Shangri-La Mactan

Now on its fourth year, Alaska IronKids brings junior triathletes 6 to 14 years to the historic Cebu for the Alaska IronKids Triathlon. The event is taking place at Shangri – La Mactan Hotel Beach Front on August 3, 2013.

Considered to be one of local junior sports’ most prestigious races, Alaska IronKids Triathlon is the local franchise of the internal IronKids Series, which has many notable alumni including Olympians Hunter Kemper and Nick Radkewich, Laura Reback and Douglas Mosiniak, Jr. The multi-sport event tests the children’s skill, discipline and endurance in swimming, biking and running. The race is divided into girls and boys division, categorised according to the following age brackets: 6-8 years old, 9-10 years old, 11-12 years old and 13-14 years old. All finishers receive a specially crafted finisher’s medal.

Will this year bring more participants to surpass last year’s attendance of 134 participants? Registration is already on going for young local and internal triathletes. As of press time, a total of 165 participants have already registered. This year’s event highlights the participation of Borlain Sisters, Ildefonso Sisters, the Pangilinan Siblings, and the McCormack Sisters.

On the front end to defend her title is consistent top finisher and Alaska Milk Ambassador Tara Borlain, who at 10 years old, has remained unbeatable. Also expected to top in their respective race category are 2012 top winners Syrah Ruth Uy and Eric Almendral who dominated the 6-8 year old category; Juris Aaron Tan in the 9-10 year old category; Lauren Justine Plaza and Yuan Chiongbian in the 11-12 years old group. Let’s see who makes the cut in the top three spots for the 13-14 years old category.

Wave 1: IronKids 11-14 y/o Race Route

Wave 1: IronKids 11-14 y/o Race Route

Wave 2: IronKids 6-10 y/o Race Route

Alaska IronKids is part of Alaska Milk Corporation’s advocacy campaign “Nutrion. Action. Champion.”, which highlights the importance of nutrition and sports in the physical, mental and emotional development of the children. The campaign is very timely due to the fact that two out of 10 Filipino children below 10 years old are found to be overweight, while three out of 10 children are found undernourished in the latest survey of the Department of Science and Technology’s Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI).

Since its launch in 2010, Alaska IronKids has become a symbol for active and healthy lifestyle among children. Its successful races have encouraged children to take care of their bodies through exercise and balanced diet, and have instilled the values of determination, hard work, teamwork, discipline and sportsmanship.

Alaska IronKids has mounted four races to date: Run races at UP Diliman Track Oval and Mall of Asia, Aquathlon at Ateneo de Manila Grade School, and Swimming competition at Marist School Marikina. To cap off this year’s races, another triathlon is scheduled on October 20 at Palms Country Club in Alabang.

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