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EXTRI race report. « Mathieu O'Halloran's Blog


EXTRI race report.

Hey readers – last Saturday I competed in my last race of the 2012 season! It was in fact my 5th off road race in the past 3 months as I rigoursely prepare for X-Terra Cebu next year in Liloan where I had multiple problems on the bike leg earlier this year, see —> here <—

I actually won this race last year! How-ever, Joyette had crashed her MTB 2 weeks before and missed the race so she wanted to get redemption and race it this year!

Modern triathletes are prone to quantify the challenge of a race by the total distance. While it might be a good mistake to do, its not always the case. This race, organized by the Extribe is actually one of the longest running triathlons in the Philippines!

Based out of the beautiful La Luz Beach Resort near San Juan Batangas the 1k swim – 23k MTB and 4k XC run pacts a serious punch! The race start is at 13h30 so you can just imagine the waves coming from the Philippines Sea. The MTB leg has un-fortunately been a victim of progression over the past few years and has a lot, even to much concrete sections, of which incidentally makes it very friendly for the road triathletes who wish to make the jump into off road!

And now comes the 4k run – ahahaha 4k run right? Well this is without a doubt the hardest run course I have ever done in my career! The ‘stair-master’ leads into back-2-back uphills nearing 20% in grade and then loops around so that we can comeback to the finish line running on the edge of the ocean! Well, running in deep/loose sand and over big rocks is quite the challenge when done off the bike, amplified by the mid-day sun and the fact that we are required to run with our bike helmets (due to past accidents) really makes it the hardest run per kilometer I have done!

This event requires true athleticism, superior ’in the moment’ thinking and of course, recruiting explosive/powerful motions to cleanly get over the modulating terrain.

Definitely an event that will help with my efficiency, perception and my speed-endurance for next years Cebu 70.3 (which sold out in 4 days)  especially as I go over Marcelo Fernan Bridge on the bike leg and go over the undulating on the hot run leg.


In brief, I lead from start to finish with the fastest swim/bike/run splits and had a ‘ding-dong’ battle with the lead motor cycle (motor-cross) out in the trails – it was fun and dangerous @ the same time =)

Race results can be found *HERE*

To make things sweeter, Joyette also took won the race and was quite competitive with the men even although she did loss time when she had the urge to go to the bathroom on the run! Good thing she races with a 2 piece tri-suite!

Bellow is my transition, thanks to Ignite Naturals for the pre-race fuel, mid-race fuel and post race fuel! When a race starts AFTER lunch and will require my heart-rate to go up in my throat, what I eat before is very important! Also thanx to ON-Running which allowed my to bounce over the rocks and absorbe the impact on the harsh down hills. And to Spyder for keeping my head and eyes safe!

Even thought this was a small event - no stones where left un-turned for quality!

Now this is a funny one - an MTB with clip-on aerobars and a cock-pit mounted hydration - only in triathlon!

Swim start/exit. transition chute and finish line all in the pristine white sand that is stereotypical of local races!

Top placers @ the awards - there is no other was I would like to spend my Saturday after-noon than doing this!

Last put not least, this event serves as a charity to the local schools here in this area as a HUGE majority of Filipino’s struggle with day-to-day expense and live a ‘hand-2-mouth‘ lifestyle while smaller, but significant groups live more than comfortably and often, have lavish life-styles often thanx to who came before them in their family tree.

Erick Imperio, the race organizer donates a big part of the entry fee to the education of the local ‘nenes’ and ‘totoys’ so that they have a chance to develop just the same as other kids in the Philippines and around the globe.

After the award ceremony, local school teachers where given a stack of fans (its really hot here), a computer and printer which where all purchased with our entry fee's!

While some might be deterred from registering for this event due to the ‘expensive’ entry fee – they ignore or dont care about where the entry fee will go, all the while buying over priced gear or on upgrades, not because its no longer functional, but rather because its out-of-style…

As a foreigner, seeing such polarization in lifestyle is shocking – I owe so much to triathlon and being Canadian gave opportunities and privileges that many will never get to have. Not because their is no money or resources, but because in this modern era, the poor seem to get poorer and the richer seem to get richer.

Not to ‘knock’ anybody in particular as I am also guilty but WE can make a BIG difference with SMALL gestures so that ALL CHILDREN may have a chance at equal developmental, regardless. And lets me honest, the future progression of most developing countries lies not in the small, educated and wealthy minority, but rather in the large masses that do the day-to-day labor that makes society has whole function effectively.

So the more of these ‘Juan-De-La-Cruz’ are educated properly in their youth, the better the WHOLE of society will benefit down the road – that you can all be sure of.

Now, something might be cooking up in trying to get some bikes, various equipment and cycling education to these young children. Because many of them DONT go to school regularly because of distance, or the weather and when they do walk/run/hike to school, they are so hungry,   that they struggle to abosrbe what is tough to them…Or simply spend on public transport which in return nibbles on their overall funds for a better life.

A bike can make such a huge difference in a child life – it make a HUGE difference in mine, it gave me good health, independence, a sense of adventure and the chance to see places I would not see by foot or vehicle.

Here in the Philippines, we can ride bikes 365 days a year – the traffic is getting worst and worst each year so commuting by pedal-bike, and not by jeepney or tri-cycle or decrepit vehicle will help to reduce the amount of space taken on the narrow local/provincial roads and allow an individual to be healthier than those using sedentary public transportation. And finally, carbon emission release of vehicles into the atmosphere is a growing problem that will imminently affect every single one of us or our future ancestors, rich or  poor, healthy or not  and educated or not…

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