I always make it a point to join as many triathlon races as possible. In fact, I only forego the ones held in the Visayas and Mindanao, aside from the ones that conflict with family schedules. But if the calendar is free and race is held somewhere in Luzon, count on me being there🙂 Which is why I was at UPLB last Saturday for the 5th NAGT series.
One thing I like about the races at UPLB is the fact that it starts in the afternoon. That way you get a good night’s sleep the night before. Another good thing is the fact that it is hosted by the Trantados team which is the most fun-loving sports team/group that I’ve come across🙂 They are the ones responsible for hosting a lot of fun and wacky races in the past like triathlon races in costume or races that end at midnight🙂 Trantados make triathlon FUN. Last Saturday’s race was no exception.
Philip (Foreign Runner) and I got to UPLB at around 12noon. According to the latest notice, the race was supposed to start at 2pm. But with the horrendous traffic at SLEX, I kind of expected that the race will start at around 3pm. No worries though as the sky was overcast and I was just excited to race in a different environment this time and see if I can improve on my time from last year. Saw Marga (Changeling Child) and Jeremy who’s doing his first Tri – and made a good account of himself as he did a sub-2 with a mountain bike! Galing! Also it was great seeing my schoolmate, Jake, who introduced me to Drew, Paolo and Suzi. (feeling showbiz na, haha) Now on the actual race and the times I posted based on my watch:
Those in the 30’s and 40’s were sent out as part of the last wave. The swimming pool at UPLB is only 25 meters short, so the organizers divided the pool into 4 lanes to make 100 meters. The participants were then required to do 8 loops around the pool to make the 800 meter distance. While the Trantados did try to demonstrate how to make a perfect dive into the pool, I knew this was going to be a problem for me because I just can never do a decent Nestea Ice Tea plunge🙂 It was always feet first for me when it comes to diving. In this pool however, that strategy will not work as one end of the pool is about eight to ten feet deep and precious seconds will be lost while waiting to resurface. I just thought, what the heck, I’ll just do my own version of what a dive should look like and just finish the course. It was a real challenge trying to swim in a short pool. There are always swimmers around you, kicking you, pulling you down, etc. It was also tiring getting out the pool and diving again for 8 times. It was a good thing my wife, Ellet, was with me as she counted the loops for me. After the swim, I was a bit exhausted from all the jostling and was quite surprised that I was sub-17min coming out of the pool🙂 Last year, I did a 20min something and almost threw up after the swim because I was just so tired swimming through the crowd.
Transition 1: 1:15
Smoother transition this time with the clipped-on shoes.
It was a different bike course this time from last year. From what I remember, last year’s course measured only 27 kms but had a bigger loop. This time, the participants were required to do 4 loops of an 8km course. It was a fast but dangerous course. The roads were not closed off so we had to share our route with taxis, jeepneys and other cars. But even without these other vehicles, I found the course a bit cramped because the lane that the participants occupied was too narrow for comfort. But the race marshalls did a very good job managing the traffic at the turns so accidents were avoided. One good thing about racing in multiple loops is that you can see where the other participants were with respect to your particular position in the race. Also, it was great that the turnaround was placed right before the transition area, it really felt good to hear the cheers and encouragement from Ellet and Vina (Philip’s wife) each time I passed the turnaround. I averaged around 32.9 km/hr for the entire course🙂 Only because it was basically a flat course with a very-gradual-hardly-noticeable incline. Couldn’t compare it though with last year’s time because the course was different. My odometer showed that the course measured 31 kms.
Transition 2: 1:33
Took a swig of gatorade and put on the running shoes. I’m thinking of getting those laces where you don’t have to tie your shoes. I think they call them boa laces?
Philip has been giving me a lot of grief with running. Because he can run so damn fast🙂 I always felt embarrassed when he asks what my time was in certain distances because he’ll have this smirk on his face🙂 Also, we have this friendly (at least, I still think it’s friendly) competition between us to see who gets to finish first. Philip is still struggling with his swimming, we cancel each other off on the bike and it is in the run where he’ll try to make up for whatever lead I had on him in swimming. Should make for an exciting finish🙂 From what I saw in the bike course, I thought I was maybe half-a-loop ahead of him going into transition 2. Knowing how fast Philip runs, I just had to make a go for it and suffer along the way😦 Ran the same course as last year where there was just this short climb at the beginning of the loop, but it’s all downhill and flat afterwards. Participants were required to do 4 loops, each loop measuring 1.5k (but was shorter according to Philip’s Garmin). After my first loop, I saw Philip coming out of transition and I finally saw firsthand how the man can really fly while running. Oh man, I thought, I still have to do 3 loops with this maniac running after me. Tried my best to push myself, short and fast turnovers in the small climb and longer strides during the downhill. Also was thinking of saving some energy in the event that Philip catches up and I would have to sprint. I remember thinking that for the first time, I was in a race :-0. Triathlons used to be fun where the goal was simply to finish🙂 Now, because of Philip, I was suffering. Finally crossed the finish line and no Philip in sight. Whew! Nothing like Ellet’s embrace to take away all the suffering I was feeling at the end🙂 Glanced at my watch and was so happy to see that I finished with a time of 1:42:48. Met my goal of improving on last year’s time🙂 Swimming improved by 4 minutes and the run by 8 minutes thereabouts.
Finish: 1:42:48 (unofficial) 1:43:03 (official, according to TRAP)🙂
Philip came in after a few minutes and I congratulated him for finishing his first official triathlon race. He improved a lot on his swim as he did a 20min something split!!! I know it’s just a matter of time before this cheetah will find other prey to devour. I’m just happy to say that, at least, for this one time, I did beat Philippus Le Roux in a triathlon race🙂
Would have wanted to celebrate with the Trantados in IC’s but the kids were waiting back home. Couldn’t leave without having pictures taken with Drew, Iya, Paolo, Suzi and Leo Oracion though🙂 I’d like to congratulate the Trantados for hosting another fun triathlon race at UPLB. Biggest Cheers to Leo Oracion for being the overall winner and to Drew as well for topping his age group even though he swam an extra 100 meters. Marga placed second in her age group. Unfortunately, she wasn’t around anymore to claim her medal. No worries though as I’m sure there are a lot of medals in store for her in the future.
Next race: Alabang on Oct. 12