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Jose Alberto Martin Y. Torres – teamTBB Philippines scholarship athlete

January 11th, 2013 by Ali Fitch

Martin Torres

Martin is part of the “deadly duo” on teamTBB, along with his younger sister Nena.  As is his family’s tradition, Martin is most familiar with swimming.

At team camp in Pico de Loro (4 hr drive SW of Manila) in April Martin was a quiet achiever who made a very good impression on everyone with his athletic abilities.

Martin also teamed-up with his sister Nena in the Manila “Zombie” run in April, a community-participation race where participants get dressed up as Zombies, and have a lot of fun.

Here is a bit about what Martin was up to last year.

Age – 17

Lives – Cagayan de Oro City (“City of Golden Friendship” – around 1400km/870miles SE of Manila, on the northern part of Mindanao Island)

Family

Mother

Anna Lynn Y. Torres

Younger sister

Annabelle (Nena) Dominique Y. Torres (also with teamTBB)

Younger Brother

Juan Antonio Miguel Y. Torres

Time in triathlon – 4 years

OUR CHAT …

1       Its now the start of 2013; how was this new experience for you in 2012?

It is an entirely new experience for me.  It was an amazing experience training with the teamTBB pros and being coached by Coach Brett Sutton and Coach Matt O’Halloran with my fellow Alaska teamTBB teammates.

2       What is your favorite of the 3 sports in triathlon?

For me, my favorite of the 3 sports is swimming, because I was a swimmer before I did triathlon and I am comfortable with it.  I’ve been swimming for 8 years now.

3       Is your favorite sport your strength too?

Yes, swimming is my strength because, as noted above, I’ve had experience with swimming before I did triathlon.

4       We had a great camp at Pico de Loro earlier this year where you got to meet and spend quality time with Coach Brett and Coach Matt.  Have you had a chance since to have some training sessions/camp with Coach Matt?  What did you do?  How was it?

Yes, we did have a training camp, or how Coach Matt would say it, a “mini training camp”.  We did swimming and running every day.  We didn’t do any biking at that time because we didn’t have our bikes yet.  The training was amazing, as the sessions were challenging and aggressive.

5       I know Coach Matt shares some good recipes and nutritional information on the teamTbb website.  Does he have some favorite training sessions with you too?

Yes, it was both swimming and running.

6       How have your races gone this year?

My races have gone well I think.  Though I have a long way to go, I managed to get in the top 3 in all my races and it was an “okay” year for me so far.

7       What is your current favorite race distance?

My favorite race distance is the Olympic distance because I like long distances and it is more competitive.

8       Where was your last race at this distance, and how did it go?

The last Olympic distance I did was here in Cagayan de Oro, the NAGT or National Age Group Triathlon.  I got 3rd in my age group.

Martin & Nena as "Zombies"

9       What do you do when you are not swimming/riding/running/eating or sleeping?

When I’m not doing my usual training program or sleeping, I watch TV, surf the internet, hang-out with my friends, play video games, and spend time with my family. [... and being a Zombie! Ali]

10       What is a key lesson you have learnt as a triathlete that may be you weren’t anticipating?

I have learned that determination, endurance and dedication will eventually get you to the top.

11       What other sports do you enjoy following/doing?

I enjoy badminton.  I play badminton at our house with my family.

12       What is it like training where you live?

Its very nice training in Cagayan de Oro.  Our city is quiet and there are not that many cars in the streets.  The pool is good too.

13       What are your goals for the rest of this year?

I wanna be able to achieve more in triathlon, and also in my studies in college.

14       What is your favorite food?

I have many favorite kinds of food but I have my “most favorite foods”.  I like chicken, spaghetti, beef, pork, and salads (fruit or vegetable).

15       What music do you currently listen too?

I listen to rock, pop, and sometimes a bit of techno.

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Marc Altura – teamTBB Philippines scholarship athlete

December 19th, 2012 by Ali Fitch

Marc is the next of the Philippines scholarship athletes that we are talking with.  When I caught up with Marc he was the quiet “listener” in the group – certainly not shy, but he chooses when he speaks, and is thoughtful and articulate in his responses.

His academic studies play an important part in Marc’s life, and he is keen to do well at his studies as well as perform as an athlete.

Here is a bit about Marc

Name – Marc Altura

Age – 17

Lives – Makati City, Metro Manila

Family

Albert Altura – Father

Monica Altura- Mother

Annika Altura – Sister

Armand Altura – Brother

Maxine Altura – Sister

Time in triathlon – 4 years

OUR CHAT …

1       Its nearing the end of 2012; how has this new experience been going for you?

Being part of Alaska Team TBB Philippines has been a great experience,  I’ve been able to learn from the best athletes and coaches, aside from this, I have also been exposed to the business side of triathlon.

2       What is your favorite of the 3 sports in triathlon?

My favorite sport has to be swimming, there’s something about the water that makes training more enjoyable.

3       Is your favorite sport your strength too?

I’d say swimming’s a weakness, I only started when I got in to triathlon.

4       We had a great camp in Pico de Loro earlier this year where you got to meet and spend quality time with Coach Brett and Coach Matt.  Have you had a chance since to have some training sessions/camp with Coach Matt?  What did you do?  How was it?

I’ve had around 2 camps at Coach Matt’s place, and maybe 6-7 training sessions with him.  Training with him is pretty cool; teamTBB teammate Dhill Anderson is usually there when I train with Coach Matt, and we probably do 3-4 training sessions within a day.

5       I know Coach Matt shares some good recipes and nutritional information on the teamTBB website.  Does he have some favorite training sessions with you too?

Whenever I train with him at Nuvali (Santa Rosa City, just south of Metro Manila), I always do hill repeats!

6       How have your races gone this year?

I’ve raced 16 times this year, and have two more races coming up, the Asian Duathlon Championships, and a local off-road triathlon called eXtri.

7       What is your current favorite race distance?

Current favorite race distance is the draft-legal sprint (750m swim, 20km bike, and 5k run).

8       Where was your last race at this distance, and how did it go?

My last race at the distance was at Subic Bay ITU Asian Cup 2012.  My race didn’t go as planned, but I had fun nonetheless!

9       What do you do when you are not swimming/riding/running/eating or sleeping?

I love going to the movies!  I remember watching Argo, Looper, and Skyfall all in one weekend.  Those were all great movies by the way!

10       What is a key lesson you have learnt as a triathlete that maybe you weren’t anticipating?

Biggest lesson I’ve learnt from joining teamTBB is that you can’t have a perfectionist mindset because “magical” sessions rarely happen, and waiting around for them won’t get you anywhere.

11       What other sports do you enjoy following/doing?

I used to play competitive high school football in my previous school, and I gave it up for triathlon.  I sometimes play pick-upbasketball games.

12       What is it like training where you live?

I don’t really have to travel to train; I have a 25m pool close by – around a 2-minute walk.  There’s also a small gym where I live, so treadmill is pretty accessible.  I have a nice 1.2km loop that’s close by where I can run, and a steep 300m hill to run up too!

That being said, I can manage my time efficiently, and fit in my studies as well.

13       What are your goals for the rest of this year?

I hope to finish the year strong, train hard, and get ready for next season!

14       What is your favorite food?

Favorite food has to be a medium rare prime rib steak!

15       What music do you currently listen too?

I’m very fond of Indie music – Bon Iver, Arctic Monkeys, Young the Giant.  The top song on my playlist right now is RAC’s Remix of Theophilius London – Why Even Try.

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Annabelle (Nena) Dominique Y. Torres – teamTBB Philippines scholarship athlete

December 4th, 2012 by Ali Fitch

Nena at teamTBB camp, Pico de Loro, Batangas, Philippines

Nena is the youngest recruit to teamTBB at only 15 years of age.  Of the three triathlon disciplines, Nena is most familiar with swimming, but her first triathlon with teamTBB was completing the 10 km run leg at the Subic Bay 5150 in June.  She had never run that far before!

At team camp in Pico de Loro (4 hr drive SW of Manila) in April Nena was always eager to learn and listen when we spoke.  She has a lovely, quiet, friendly disposition, and loves a good laugh just as much as training hard for her dreams.

Nena also raced in the Manila “Zombie” run in April, a community-participation race where participants get dressed up as Zombies, and have a lot of fun.

Here is a bit about what Nena’s been up to this year …

Age – 15

Lives - Cagayan de Oro City (“City of Golden Friendship” – around 1400km/870miles SE of Manila on the northern part of Mindanao Island)

Family

Mother                            Anna Lynn Y. Torres

Older brother                Jose Alberto Y. Torres (also with teamTBB)

Younger brother           Juan Antonio Y. Torres

Time in triathlon 4 years.

OUR CHAT …

1       Its nearing the end of 2012; how has this new experience been going for you?

Since the offer of being an athlete of Alaska teamTBB Philippines, I’ve always felt blessed because this is such an amazing opportunity, to be a part of the world’s number 1 triathlon team.  And I always have fun training, competing, and hanging out with my teammates.

2       What is your favorite of the 3 sports in triathlon?

My favorite sport of the three sports is the swim because I have been doing it longer than the other two.  Ridding and running are great too but I am still in the process of getting comfortable with them.

3       Is your favorite sport your strength too?

Yes, my favorite sport is my strength too.

4       We had a great camp in Pico de Loro earlier this year where you got to meet and spend quality time with Coach Brett and Coach Matt.  Have you had a chance since to have some training sessions/camp with Coach Matt?  What did you do?  How was it?

Yes, after the camp and the launch, Coach Matt invited back to his house for a small training camp that lasted for more than a week.  We learned so many things about triathlon and the do’s and don’ts of the sport.

5       I know Coach Matt shares some good recipes and nutritional information on the teamTBB website.  Does he have some favorite training sessions with you too?

Coach Matt always makes his own healthy snacks & meals, and he also lets us watch him make them.  Well, there was this one time that he made us pizza and it was delicious.

6       How have your races gone this year?

So far this year I have joined 3 races already.

The first was the 5i50 in Subic Bay in June.  I was part of the relay team along with my teamTBB team members Marc and Loren; I did the run leg.  It was great new experience because it was my first time doing a 10k run.

The second was the Century Tuna National Age Group Triathlon (NAGT) in July at Chali Beach, Cagayan de Oro, Mindanao, where I won 2nd place overall in the women.

For my third race I joined a sprint triathlon in Davao City in the southern part of Mindanao, in late September.  Fortunately I won overall champion for the women’s category.  It was a lot of fun seeing all those smiling faces cheering for you until the finish line.

7       What is your current favorite race distance?

My current race distance is the “sprint” distance.  Which is 750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run.

8       Where was your last race at this distance, and how did it go?

I joined a sprint triathlon in Davao as noted in #6 above.  I was leading from the swim ‘til the end of the race.  I did my best to maintain my lead in the bike for there were some fast bikers out there.

9       What do you do when you are not swimming, riding, running, eating or sleeping?

Usually when I am not doing those things I read books and sometimes I listen to music.

10       What is a key lesson you have learnt as a triathlete that maybe you weren’t anticipating?

That you will never reach your goal if you never work hard for it.

11       What other sports do you enjoy following/doing?

I also enjoy playing badminton.

12       What is it like training where you live?

In Cagayan de Oro, the pool is fine, it’s a bit shallow but I am used to it now.  There are a lot of hills here so my bike workouts are challenging and fun at the same time.  We also have smooth roads and a track to run on. so all in all, training here is okay.

13       What are your goals for the rest of this year?

My goal is to end this year with a very good performance in my competitions and to do the best I can do.

14       What is your favorite food?

I really like pasta, any kind of pasta.

15        What music do you currently listen too?

I listen to pop and some rock music.

Nena made up as a Zombie, at the Manila Zombie Run in April

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Dhill Anderson T. Lee – teamTBB Philippines scholarship athlete

November 25th, 2012 by Ali Fitch

Dhill Anderson T. Lee

Age – 21

Lives – Manila, Philippines

Family

Family of 4 – Mom, dad, me and my lil bro

Time in triathlon – 7months.

Dhill is the oldest member of the team.  He comes from a competitive swimming background and is VERY good in the water!

I first met him at the Pico de Loro triathlon in April.  He was competing in a relay doing the swim leg and the first impression he left with me was a huge big cheesy smile, and a consuming passion for the sport of triathlon.

Dhill has faith that this is the path God has chosen for him, and he couldn’t be happier.

OUR CHAT …

1       Its nearing the end of 2012, how has this new experience been going for you?

Great!  Seeing a lot of improvement.  Gonna work hard for my dreams.

2       What is your favorite of the 3 sports in triathlon?

Now I enjoy running.

3       Is your favorite sport your strength too?

Nope, swimming is.

4       We had a great camp in Pico de Loro earlier this year where you got to meet and spend quality time with Coach Brett and Coach Matt.  Have you had a chance since to have some training sessions/camp with Coach Matt?  What did you do?  How was it?

Yes, I’ve had 5 training camps with Coach Matt now.  Just got back from a 10-day camp.  Learned a lot not just in the sport, but also in life.  Saw a lot of improvement within the sport as well.  Always great!

5       I know Coach Matt shares some good recipes and nutritional information on the teamTBB website.  Does he have some favorite training sessions with you too?

I’m not sure, but I believe that he likes it when he sees us doing a good job in training, giving it our best and whenever he sees us improve.

6       How have your races gone this year?

Fantastic, learning from every experience and trying to get to my goals and the purpose God gave me.

7       What is your current favorite race distance?

I have done 2 triathlons, 1 Olympic distance and 1 half Ironman.  Don’t know myself which one weighs better, but I like them both.

8       Where was your last race at this distance, and how did it go?

The 5150 at Subic Bay Philippines in June was my first triathlon, I placed 3rd in my age group.  Was happy coz just learned how to bike a week before that race!  Did Whiterock triathlon (near Subic Bay) just recently in October.  Happy to see where I’m at right now, and how much I improved.  It’s a half Ironman race though. Thank God for the results, placed 2nd in my age.

9       What do you do when you are not swimming, riding, running, eating or sleeping?

Draw portraits, chill inside a café store.  Just enjoying the peacefulness.

10       What is a key lesson you have learnt as a triathlete that maybe you weren’t anticipating?

I’d say that triathlon taught me a lot in life, with the guidance of coach Matt.  I learned how to be more independent and have a wider view in life.

11       What other sports do you enjoy following/doing?

Swimming, football (I don’t do football though).

12       What is it like training where you live?

Not the best coz I live in the city, but we’re making the most out of what we have and I’ve been training in an open space, so, All good.

13       What are your goals for the rest of this year?

To improve my skills in biking, and get much stronger in the run, but overall do my best day in day out to get closer to my purpose, dreams, goals.

14       What is your favorite food?

Pasta and PIZZA!!

15       What music do you currently listen too?

Lawson – Standing in the Dark, and Fun – Some Nights.

16       Have any good jokes for your fans/teammates?

Hmmm … learning how to bike at the age of 20??  That’s me! HAHA!

Dhill riding strongly to an AG second at Whiterock

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ALASKA teamTBB PHILIPPINES – SCHOLARSHIP TEAM

November 25th, 2012 by Ali Fitch

From L to R – Marc, me, Dhill, Martin, Nena and Banjo – Manila, April 2012

The Alaska teamTBB  Philippines Athlete Scholarship Program aims to support and assist selected grass-roots athletes to develop into the next generation of Filipino triathlon champions.

Our scholarship athletes have now been part of the program for most of this year.  I interviewed them recently – their thoughts about triathlon, training and how they have enjoyed this year will be posted in blogs over the coming weeks, starting today with Dhill Anderson.

Enjoy!

ALI

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Travels and Pennsylvania

September 19th, 2012 by Ali Fitch

Now in Stroudsburg Pennsylvania, preparing for Pocono 70.3 at the end of the month.  It has been a frustrating  couple months of rehabilitation following three painful disc bulges that stopped me completing both IM Lake Placid and Cebu 70.3 (boooo!).  Now my back is recovering  and I am keen to get back to racing.

I used my rehab constructively – Coeur d’Alene was a tough period with my injury as although the pain subsides, the disc remains unstable and can easily be aggravated if you do the wrong thing or too much of the right thing.  It took a lot of discipline to hasten slowly!  So after a couple of initial ‘rest’ weeks   Stuey and I went down to Pasadena and caught up with on old friend of my mum’s (from the 1950’s!), then to San Diego to catch up with Stuey’s 91 year young uncle, and some of his cousins.

Then we flew over to Pennsylvania where we caught up with my uncle in Harrisburg, my aunt in Huntingdon (where we spent a very pleasant week gradually riding, running and swimming again), then on to Stroudsburg here to prepare for my next event.

Weather here is cooling quickly to us tropical types, but the pre-autumn (fall) scenery around eastern Pennsylvania is stunning, and very different to what is “normal” to us in Australia.  The hilly terrain is relentless.

Today is it raining but off to pool for swimming session.

Picture of Stuey and me on footbridge over the Delaware River between Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Stuey is feeling very cocky, as we raced across and he won, cheating of course.

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Ironman Lake Placid – Sunday July 22, 2012

July 23rd, 2012 by Ali Fitch

Me loving a really fast descent at IM Lake Placid

Photo with thanks © Dave Erickson is a nice bloke

Well today was crunch day – my first Ironman since IM Moo in 2009, several accidents, horrible injuries, several operations and now a return to IM competition under the patient development and brilliant encouragement of Coach Brett Sutton as a member of Alaska teamTBB Philippines.

“Alaska” evokes lots of patriotic positives and questions amongst my many US friends and followers, whilst it is in fact a leading brand of milk and milk products sold in the Philippines, where my team is based.  Cheer me anyway – I love your support!

For Lake Placid I was keen, focused, and motivated to get back to Ironman racing.  Today was going to be a voyage of discovery for me, but it wasn’t to be my day.

The problem was my left leg, and without recounting the ghoulish clinical history the problem started in the swim with cramping, leading to an average swim some 3 or 4 minutes off my usual pace.

Putting this behind me on the bike, problem leg replaced cramping with excruciating pain, then numbness.  I pushed on, denial sort-of working with the pain, but numbness is hard to ignore as you have nothing to work with.  I ended up doing most of the power work on the bike with my right leg, managing a time off the bike just over 6 minutes behind the lead girl.

But a triathlon is not only a swim and a bike.  Off the bike my leg simply did not work on the run – the pain was too great, and my numb leg did not respond to commands – I ran barely a mile before further progress was impossible.

Any race that you cannot finish is devastating as a professional – this no less so as it was my return after injuries that I had hoped I was on top of, although in truth the race was in part to discover where I was up to in Ironman competition.

Back to the drawing boards with the Doc, as this race has made me even more determined to beat the greatest challenge that I have ever faced as a professional Ironman – the battle with my own body, and my mind.

Huge thanks to my sponsors Cervelo, Alaska Milk, Ignite Naturals, On Running Shoes, 2XU, Campagnolo, 3T, Cobb Cycling, Louis Garneau, Solrx sunscreen, Beaker Concepts and Timex.

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Hayden sprint triathlon, Idaho USA Saturday July 14, 2012

July 16th, 2012 by Ali Fitch

Me on the winner's podium, Hayden sprint tri

A fun sprint tri today racing a local non- profit event in support of local sporting teams, especially the swim team.

A poor swim start in very rough conditions where I got pummeled, but led out of the swim, held my overall lead through a very windy bike, and got “bloked” with just a mile (1.6kms) to go on the run.  Placing first female and third outright in an exciting sprint finish, with just 0.7/second separating me from second.

A nice vignette in preparation for my first IM this year, at Lake Placid next Sunday.

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Coeur d’Alene, Idaho USA

July 16th, 2012 by Ali Fitch

Chatcolet bike bridge, Lake Coeur d'Alene, on the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes

I arrived with Stuey in Coeur d’Alene Idaho USA on June 25th,  the day after 5i50 Subic Bay Philippines where I placed 2nd.  An impressively organised event which should attract a lot more international interest in future years.

Subic Bay 5i50 trophy

First week in Coeur d’Alene was sick (booo!) but took the opportunity after several “down” days to ride part of the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes (see pics top & below) with Stuey and good friend/host Paul Burke – have wanted to ride this trail for years.  Leisurely ride with coffee stop and pics.

Stu & me, Chatcolet Bridge, Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes

Me tormenting friend Paul Burke

Then a bush-bash (walk) in the forest up behind where Paul and his wife Katie live, to keep up the exercise but the heart rate down.  Amazing lush country as you can see in the photo compared with the harsh landscape around Darwin in Australia.

Me & Katie, gone "bush"

Off to celebrate US Independence Day 4 July that night with lots of fireworks down at Lake Coeur d’Alene.

4 July fireworks, Lake Coeur d'Alene

As I recover from my bug I am enjoying swimming in Lake Coeur d’Alene (especially as it warms up), and getting lost around Idaho & Washington in the hills on my Cervelo P3.  I now have maps from the Chamber of Commerce.

The Centennial Trail, a paved multi-purpose track, runs 21 miles (34kms) in Idaho and another 37 miles (60kms) along the Spokane River in Washington State.  I plan to explore all of it while I am here.

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Ignite Naturals

July 15th, 2012 by Ali Fitch

An exciting new sports nutrition product ...

Exciting news for my Team is a new partnership with Ignite Naturals, a 100% all-natural sports nutrition company.

The new product covers the foundational elements of sports nutrition: pre-workout, performance & fuel, recovery, and maintenance are found in Ignite Naturals innovative product line – a product line that is formulated with 100% natural ingredients.

More details coming plus the opportunity to purchase Ignite Naturals directly through my web site alifitch.com.

Watch this space ….

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