Jana Charisse Pedro | June 14, 2017
The triathlon community awaits the opening of what is dubbed as the ‘race-cation’ of the country, the Aboitiz Tri2017. It is known for its challenging course from the open waters of Hamilo coast to Nasugbu’s hilly terrain. The upcoming race in September will be the fourth run and it has seen the steady increase in the participation from no less than the team members of Aboitiz Group, others banding together to form a triathlon group like the AboitizPower Tri Team.
AboitizPower Tri Team
The AboitizPower Tri Team debuted at the Tri United Exceed Standard in Subic Bay, Olongapo last February 26. The team ranked 10th out of 224 teams competing in the country, alongside other strong triathlon groups such as Herbalife, Sante Barley, Fitness First and Century Tri Hard among others.
What’s keeps us busy is the month-from-month lineup of races across Asia Pacific, starting from the Tri United Exceed Standard in Subic Bay (Olympic distance), NTT ASTC Subic Bay International Triathlon (Olympic distance), 70.3 Iron Man in Da Nang, Vietnam (half IM – 1.9 km swim, 90 km bike, 21 km run), Iron Man in Cairns, Queensland, Australia (3.8 km swim, 180 km bike, 42 km run), Tri United Exceed Long Distance in Subic Bay (2 km swim, 60 km bike, 15 km run), 70.3 Iron Man in Mactan, Cebu (half IM), Mt. Mayon Triathlon in Legazpi, Albay (Olympic distance), and Aboitiz Tri 2017 (Olympic distance). This is alongside the number of Duathlon races including Powerman (10km run-60km bike-10km run), Pilipinas Duathlon, Duaman (short), running events like the 21km PSE Bull Run and Run United, 42km Cebu Marathon and Singapore Marathon, and open water swimming events such as the 4km El Nido Open Water Swim.
The training program
Training isn’t easy. The team is privileged to be under the program of Mathieu O’Halloran, 2014 AsiaTri Coach of the Year. It is also a big responsibility. “Carrying the team name and our coach’s reputation is a lot of pressure itself. That’s why we can’t take the program and the support for granted” tri team member Rienzi Zaño shared.
“Our coach is amazed by the devotion we put into our training. He told us that this is an incredible feat for us, age groupers with actual day jobs,” shared another TAri team member David Berba.
The program is a balance of endurance, strength, and speed but most importantly, it is focused on the fundamentals. Time management is key. We wake up at 4:30 in the morning on weekends, do a 2-hour workout before or after office hours. There are no excuses.
We have to do two-hour workouts on weekdays, perform long routines on weekends, and only get one rest day every two weeks. On long weekends, we would do long rides, long open water swims, and SBR (swim-bike-run) workouts just to name a few. Our usual training ground is in Nuvali, Sta. Rosa Laguna, where the group can train with AboitizPower cycling team. We also go to Subic Bay, the triathlon capital of the country.
Why we keep ‘tri-ing’
Some of us began with one single sport, other pursued triathlon to fight a physical condition. Dixie Dugan rose up to the challenge after being diagnosed with lumbar stenosis in 2013. She wanted to prove that she can still do triathlon despite her medical condition. Neil Mamac just wanted to know how it feels to put on a trisuit, and never expected he’d get addicted to the sport, and would even embed it in his lifestyle.
What drives us? It may be the winning streak but it also the joy of overcoming our own limitations. What triathlons teach us is the discipline of both body and mind. It also fuels our passion, allowing us to pursue the finish line now matter how long or what it takes. In life, as in our aspirations, the goal is to break the barrier and cross over to the finish line. Remember that Olympics motto that says Citius, Altius, Fortius? It means aim faster, higher, and stronger. For us in the team, this is about making better versions of ourselves.