A Run with the Class of Clans

Nailed a supposedly 10-miler this morning. But based on Soleus GPS Fly, the distance is 1 kilometre short. Nonetheless, the event started with an easy breezy feeling. It’s not uncommon to spot a lot of familiar faces at the race venue, and along the route. While running along Roxas Blvd., a continuous gust of cold wind was blowing from Manila Bay, the rain clouds hovering us.

Though quite a simple and familiar route, it never occurred to me that it was an easy one. A couple of fly-overs along the route, which the runners had to take on not only once, but twice, was always a challenge for me. But since I have since loved the uphills, I faced these portions of the route head on.

Coming back from the turn around point, it’s always a delight exchanging goodlucks, smiles, salutes and cheers with fellow runners. And despite having minor pain on both calves, which I felt would aggravate into muscle cramps, I kept on telling myself that it’s all about mind over body. A running philosophy that I learned from one of my mentors, Coach Mherlz Lumagbas. And when necessary, I stopped by the hydration station, took a sip and pour some on my head and on face to feel more energised. But with all due respect to the race organiser, for a such race distance, there was an ample amount of hydration station properly scattered along the route. There were even stations that had bananas!

Crossing the finish line has always been the best part of every race that I participated in. Even I have been racing for a good number of times, there’s no other kind of feeling each time I ran past the finish line arch. I know that I’m not an elite runner nor a seasoned runner, but I always feel good whenever I receive the finisher’s medal.

And to cap off the race, small catch ups with friends at the race venue is priceless. I had the chance to hang out with my fellow Pinoyfitness running ambassadors Joric Gonzales, Ja Antenor and Ryan Moral. And how can I afford to miss my Soleus family? Though I’m not part of the team, Ma’am Judith Staples and everyone at Soleus had always treated me like one of them.

And what better way to finally conclude the race? Meeting the Team TriGear kids and their parents at the Luneta Park on my way home.

What the race may have lacked in terms of the distance was compensated by how the race was organised. Personally, it was rather well-organised. It was festive. It was fun. More importantly, it was one for keeps.

Great to see you all, lads at the race! Hope you all had a great time. Congratulations!


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

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.

Stay updated by logging on to www.ironkidsphil.com.
Follow us on Twitter: @AlaskaSportshub

Alaska IronKids – Swim Race

Alaska IronKids Swim Race Winners (left to right): Gail Salonga, Drew Magbag, Julius Constantino, Tara Borlain, Sam Borlain, Jasmine Mojdeh, Jaz Villanueva, Noah Labasan and Gabriel Labasan

Alaska IronKids Swim Race Winners (left to right): Gail Salonga, Drew Magbag, Julius Constantino, Tara Borlain, Sam Borlain, Jasmine Mojdeh, Jaz Villanueva, Noah Labasan and Gabriel Labasan

The impending tropical depression Gorio was a no – stopper to the Alaska IronKids held at Marist School Marikina on June 30, 2013. By 1am, PAG-ASA (Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical & Astronomical Services Administration) announced that Typhoon Signal No. 2 has been raised over Metro Manila and nearby provinces. Strong wind was howling in the middle of the night as the heavy rain poured down. There were several inquiries from parents of the Ironkids who signed up to participate if the event was pushing through because of the weather condition.By 5 in the morning, it was confirmed that event was pushing through. 

Travelling was quite a challenge because the vicinity of the venue was known to be a flood basin during heavy downpours. Braving the rain and the winds early morning, I proceeded to the race venue. I was quite worried because I was already late for the 6am call time. By the time I reached the venue, the young triathletes were prepping up at the holding area. 

Considering the weather condition, some 174 participants showed up at the race. The participants raced in batches, or heats. While at the holding area, excitement can be seen in their faces. The covered area by the pool was cramped with parents and spectators alike, yet I haven’t heard or seen anyone complained. In fact, parents were enthusiastic in cheering up their children. 

The event was originally scheduled as a duathlon. Race Director Coach Ani de Leon-Brown confirmed that due to the bad weather, the race was reduced to a swimming competition. As always, she was hands on as the event progressed. 

While waiting for their respective race categories, the junior triathletes kept themselves busy with their PSPs.

While waiting for their respective race categories, the junior triathletes kept themselves busy with their PSPs.

As the race went along for each of the age group, some participants at the adjacent covered court entertained themselves with their PSPs. Also, an Alaska booth was set up where everyone can enjoy the refreshing and the healthy goodness of Alaska Milk. Ironkids as they are, not even a bad weather can stop them from competing. Tara and Sam Borlain, as usual, were on top of their respective game. There was even one participant who was on a competitive mode to the point of asking “Coach, what’s the time to beat?”

By midmorning, the race was already halfway and awarding has commenced as well. So, I had to toggle myself from the covered court to the poolside and back to keep abreast with the ongoing event. I chanced upon Team TriGear doing some legworks under a slight drizzle after their swim race. And yes, they were having fun. Team TriGear is one of the most represented teams in every Alaska IronKids race. 

1. IronKids at swim start; 2. IronKids at holding area; 3. IronKid enjoying the refreshing milk at the Alaska Booth; 4. Team David's Salon Belles Pia and Gaia with their triathlete moms.

1. IronKids at swim start; 2. IronKids at holding area; 3. IronKid enjoying the refreshing milk at the Alaska Booth; 4. Team David’s Salon Belles Pia and Gaia with their triathlete moms.

Debuting as IronKids, Pia and Gaia represented Team David’s Salon Belles in the swim race of Alaska IronKids. One thing that is noteworthy about the Alaska IronKids is that, children with special are welcome to join. No special treatments were given, except that they were allowed to have their coach by the pool side, which makes them feel like the rest of the other children. This is a good venue for them to enjoy their being children. 

As the morning closed to an end, winners in all of the age group categories have been recognised and awarded. 

Here is the list of winners:

13 to 14 Years Old




1st Place Drew Bennet Magbag, 05:00 River Gail Salonga, 05:26
2nd Place John Ian Guevarra, 05:11 Jaymie Marie Ortega, 05:27
3rd Place Julius Alfred Constantino, 05:12 Maria Margarita delos Reyes, 06:11

11 to 12 Years Old




1st Place Sabino Czar Manglicmot IV, 03:52 Samantha Borlain, 03:55
2nd Place Johnmar Armocilla, 04:06 Eya Jamiel Tumbokon, 04:12
3rd Place Marcus Faytaren, 04:11 Nicole Danielle Eijansantos, 04:14

9 to 10 Years Old




1st Place Sean Gabriel Cruz, 02:46 Tara Borlain, 02:53
2nd Place Raphael Henrico Santos, 02:57 Danielle Louise Laminta, 02:59
3rd Place Fernando Diaz, 03:09 Cecille Andrea Mole, 03:03

6 to 8 Years Old




1st Place Lance Rafael Cruz, 01:28 Athena Shanessa Chang, 01:28
2nd Place Noah Labasan, 01:31 Jasmine Mojdeh, 01:34
3rd Place Gabriel Labasan, 01:35 Jaz Villanueva, 01:36

In an interview with Noah and Gabriel Labasan, they confessed that their winning in Alaska IronKids races merits them a gadget of their choice, this time a tablet! 

Athena Chang, top winner in the 6 to 8 years old category went home with a back to back win. She also topped her age group category in the Alaska IronKids Aquathlon and Run Race on May 19 and June 1, 2013, respectively. 

For the Borlain sisters – Sam and Tara, winning in their respective age group category is not uncommon for them. They both grandslammed in three Alaska IronKids races this year. 

Congratulations to all the Winners and Finishers! You all did a great job! 

Junior triathletes from Team TriGear having a quick spin; Right Photo: At the holding area waiting for their gun start.

Junior triathletes from Team TriGear having a quick spin; Right Photo: At the holding area waiting for their gun start.

Catch the Alaska IronKids Triathlon happening on August 3, 2013 at Shangri – La Mactan, Cebu. For updates, please visit www.alaskamilk.com.ph and www.ironkidsphils.com. Also, please follow us on Twitter: @AlaskaSportshub

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