Last weekend was the Cebu 70.3! While it wasn’t my best performance this year…I did get a solid result and learned a very valuable lesson.
In short, after some troubles on the bike and run, I found myself in a dark/negative state on the run…But managed to turn it around and run the FASTEST 2nd half of the run leg by over 2 minutes !
As an active player/coach I find it imperative to lead by example both in training and racing. Last Sunday simply reinforced those clichee theory’s to “never give up” and “do your best regardless” until the finish line.
Now, bellow is a whole bunch of randoms pictures I collected from FACEBOOK with some brief captions to give an entertaining weekend report!
Local Cebuano and world renowned artist Kenneth Cobonpue was the creator of the very unique medal/trophy!
Me at the top of Marcelo Fernand bridge – the highest point of the bike course!
As I went down the fast and bumpy downhill. I quickly started to feel the head set of my stem coming loose! I could not believe it, such a rookie mistake as I had re-build my own bike!
Soon after I went into a technical section and it got pretty dangerous.
I had to turn right very gradually and then left very aggressively to get my bars lined up with my front wheel!
Soon after, Cam Brown came by me at a steady pace – I went with him for a bit but knew I needed to prioritize fixing my bars. As he rode off a motor cycle came by and heres the exchange:
Me: PUNTA PUNTA (jeepney calling hand motion) yung problema ako!
Motor cycle guy: Anon problema?
Me: I NEED AN ALLEN KEY MY BARS ARE LOOSE!
Motor cycle guy: What size sir?
Me: I dont know!?!?!?
Motor cycle guy disappears for a few minutes.
Suddenly shows up with a full set of long rusty allen keys!
I ripped on the brakes while in my 54X12.
Then grabbed the tools and tighten by stem LIKE A BOSS!
SALAMAT – THANKS – MERCI – OBRIGADO – GRACIAS – ARIGATO!
And remember, I stopped in my 54X12 gear.
Im sure you can imagine the next few seconds hehehehehehe!
Back at it and soon after I see the race leader and defending champ Pete Jacobs coming back with Cam Brown not to far behind. At the turn around I grabbed by first bottle of the race and then saw the gap to the others behind me.
Now new plan, limit the damage to the guys in front and keep the chasers as chasers.
Apart from briefly following a media motor cycle off course and having some back/neck pains due to the bumpy road and the fact that I rode on the trainer most of my preparation of which made me un-accustomed to vibrations, the rest of the bike was un-eventful and I finished it strong while arriving in T2 in clear 3rd position!
The impact of the ground just made it worst…I walked all the aid stations to cool myself off, regain focus and see if there was a porta-loo somewhere…
Soon after I could not hold it no more and went to the bushes and passed a nasty wet one! I definetly felt better and then I got going soon after only to be past quickly by age groupers, pro’s and by our very own Xena!
The next aid station I walked again to ‘wash’ my tri shorts and fuel up…Only to over do it and spew all over soon after…ARG!!!
At this point, I was not even 5k into the run leg. I saw the race leaders coming back the other and I felt shattered physically and mentally.
Not to long after American pro Bree Wee came by cheering me on and telling me to run with her. I was pretty grumpy at that time but the magic phrase that she said was “only 1 hour to go”.
So I got jogging with her, the pace was quite casual and steady! We introduced each other and chit-chatted a bit! I re-hydrated carefully as well to slamming down a few Ignite Natural Gels!
At the half way point I grabbed a can of coke and slammed it down and I really felt it in my blood stream!
Bree asked me how I was feeling – honestly I felt pretty good! She told me to go for it and that I did not need to keep running with her!
Just like that I went for it in full stride!
The rest is a bit of a blur.
I passed all but 2 of the athletes who had passed me.
Which are 2 very strong age groupers who could cut it as pro’s!
And a testament that triathlon training is NOT about volume.
But rather quality and intelligent training!
To conclude, the overall race was well executed.
Especially considering it was a first year venue.
Growing pains are imminent!
When I heard that Cebu was going to host the 70.3.
I was skeptical about the FULL road closure.
But come race day, there was no cars whats so ever on the road!
Simply tones of locals on the side’s of the roads cheering us on!
Just one look around the race venue/course.
Its clear that A LOT of effort, time and thinking went into the race.
Because putting up a race in a developing country.
Has a whole lot of possible problems!
In the end I was in awe by the friendliness of everybody. As well to the encouragements. I heard GO MAT! or was congratulated, thanked or ask for a picture countless times before/during/after the race!
It really touches me as a foreigner…I have been very lucky to all these opportunities that living in the Philippines as given me and well sometimes am not very grateful of it!
Finally, as this blog is getting long and emotional. I would like to congratulate all the finishers out there, this was a hard 70.3 with the heat, humidity and wind! Definetly an accomplishment if this was your first 70.3 and you will know what im talking about if you do one elsewhere – just dont expect the crowds and competitors to be as friendly!
Which is one point that came up often, especially since it seems that its the same pro’s and foreign age groupers that come back to the Philippines to race!