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Up.To.Date. « Mathieu O'Halloran's Blog

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Up.To.Date.

Hey well its been a while since my last blog as I have been ‘flat-out’ busy with my scholars who where on their ‘sem-break’ from school some of them came to live with me! In short, we had a 2 week training camp with The White Rock Half Ironman in the middle =)

I spent the past 26 years looking out for me, myself and I. But since the start of Alaska Team TBB my outlook has had to change. Now, I am responsible for the athletic careers of teenagers and young adults – sometimes I  feel like a big brother and other times, like some bossy triathlon know it all!

While many believe that Filipino’s have some sort of physical/genetic disadvantage in sport – I beg the differ. Name me a sport, and I will probably find you a short, driven and successful athlete who’s spirit outlasted their physicality.

I like to use Muggsy Bogues as an example because Pinoy’s are Basketball crazy!

Filipinos are small, strong and stubborn – they are used to the heat and eating lots of banana’s! Sounds to me like the qualities needed for being successful @ the Ironman Distance.

Anyway, my home turned into a small training camp and I was a coach from 7am to 7pm – then I would get on my computer and coach my TeamTBB Online athletes!

I felt like an age grouper – trying to squeeze bits of training BEFORE and/or AFTER my day as I had to prioritize and put myself 2nd. While I coached their young bodies, I also make sure to coach their young minds. ATTITUDE often is the differ in performance or lack off  in work, life and sport. It can trump genetics, wealth, education and circumstance – sometimes all @ once!

And @ TeamTBB we have our very own outlook about triathlon ;)

Here are some pics:

Race day came, it was Banjo’s (19 years old) 2nd Half Ironman and Dhill’s (21 years old) 2nd triathlon and first Half Ironman. I knew the course quite well, I gave them a few pointers, they rode part of the run and that was it as theres not much else to do when you get to the race site less than 24 hours to the gun start.

The last thing I want is my athletes to depend on being familiar with the race course to feel ready or to have a good race – it will only make then weak once they race overseas. They must learn to take races as they come, improvise and visualize the un-known.

I took responsibility of educating them on nutrition, tactics and wise equipment choices.

They would be taking on a small but experienced field, many of which have done this race multiple times since its start in 2004, making it the longest running Long Distance Triathlon in the Philippines!

The swim was long, the bike course was technical and windy but flat and then run had some nasty hills with some moderate weather!

Dropping off their transition bags moments before the start.

As expected Dhill had a sizable gap out of the water!

The transition was weather proof - important factor when you leave your bike overnight!

Both Scholars stuck to the plan, ride steady, fuel-up and stay patient.

Banjo was 2nd out of the water, 1st off the bike where he would remain until the finish line!

Dhill learned to ride a bike from scratch earlier in June. He rode well on the technical course, was in the top 5 off the bike and ran well until the final 5km where we started to cramp up on the hills...

One of the interesting twist to this race was that their where NO CUPS out on the run course – the race organizer Eric Imperio loves his country and planet so much he gave every athlete a Hydra Pouch for the run!

Watching from the side lines this appeared to be a great idea – I have been to a few events where their where literally carpets of cups/sponges on the ground! While it can work for smaller and well organized races as its a  practical, economical and green concept. How-ever, in a bigger race with more participants, it might be a bit more tricky…

Panalo!

Dhill's races used last a few seconds in the pool - now they last for a few hours out in the open ocean/road. He handled it much better than 99% do in their 2nd triathlon.

They made me a very proud coach!

All in all winning a race or coaching an athlete to win a race are similar. Both need to trust, sacrifice and prepare. And one thing is for sure, supporting triathletes in a race is very tiring!

Both recovered from the race very quickly as they are fit, ate healthy and took the right measure to shake out the race!  I firmly believe that after a successful race, the body and mind are always stronger, given they come down properly with the right training MIX.

Now life is back to normal, the athletes have return to their homes and routine. Joyette is back from a 3 week trip in Hawaii where she competed @ the X-Terra World Championships.

This weekend I will be fulfilling a life long ambition and be competing in a X-Country MTB race! Its part of the Dirt Weekend held in Nuvali (my training grounds) which is composed of 7 cycling centric events! I will be doing the 40km X-Country race on Saturday and then the off road Duathlon on Sunday!

This will promote a tone of domestics sports tourism!

Please leave your comments on the forum.