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Neil Catiil's Blog


2010 TRIATHLON ASIAN GAMES – Guangzhou, China

November 25th, 2010 by neilcatiil

Monday 8th of November, I wake up early because we are leaving today, going to Manila for tomorrows flight to Guangzhou China Asian Games. In Manila we went to Sir Tom’s house to get the wetsuit we are going to use in the Asian games, because it might be a wetsuit swim, the water might be very cold on the race. We have dinner in Monalisa at Alabang.  I sleep in Mam Che’s house.

Tuesday, I wake up late, its travel time; I go to the airport at 2pm, because we will be meeting there with my teammate and Coach George and our flight is 5pm. Up in the sky when we are near the airport of Guangzhou, China, I am amaze by what I see, the city was full of sparkling lights.Beautiful lights fill the night of Guangzhou. I saw the Guangzhou Tower, the Guangzhou Tianhe Sports Center, the Guangzhou Higher Education Mega Center Stadium, and the Guangzhou Gymnasium. Then finally we landed at Canton Airport Guangzhou. Many volunteers meet us. They are very charming and entertaining. They take us to the Athletes Village; it’s about 45mins from the airport.

Wednesday, wake up in the morning and walking around the village to loosen up. We ask the volunteer about the swimming pool, because we’ll going to do a water recovery, a little kick- 30mins. maximum. Eat and sleep.

Thursday, in the morning we do 30mins bike at aerobic pace, including 7x30secs speed ups at every 2mins then run off 5mins easy pace. In the afternoon, Swim 300 warm/up every 3rd 25m catch up, 7 x 50m as 25m hard, 25m easy, 10 x 50m on 1:00 and 400m cool down.

Friday, it’s opening of The Guangzhou Asian Games, but we did not attend the parade because it will start at 4pm and finish at 11pm, its kind a tiring so we just stay at the village have a rest for Sunday’s race.

Did you know? Guangzhou, established in 214BC, is a city for its unique culture and a history that stretches back 2200 years. The earliest name for Guangzhou was Chu Ting, but in addition to that name, it is also called “Goat City”, “The City of Rice Ears” and, because flowers are in bloom year round, it is also called “The City of Flowers”. According to a famous legend, a long time ago, the farmlands in Guangzhou ran dry. Food could not be grown and so the people suffered famine. They could do nothing but pray to the heavens for luck. Moved by their piety, five immortals descended from the heaven, riding on goats with coats of different colors and each holding rice ears in its mouth. The immortals gave the rice ears to the people of Guangzhou and promised them that the land would be free from famine. Afterwards, the immortals disappeared into the sky. The five goats that were left behind turned into stone. The Statue of the Five Goats, which stands in Yuexui Park, a popular tourist attraction, was built in memory of this legend. The city was formally named “Guangzhou” in 1921.

Le Yangyang is the name of the leader of the five goats and the name which refers to all of the 16th Asian Games Mascots, each of them sporty and cute, and each serving as an Official Mascot. The Mascots embody a part of Guangzhou’s unique history and culture and each goat has a name: A Xiang, A He, A Ru, A Yi and Le Yangyang. When you put their names together, Xiang He Ru Yi Le Yangyang – which means Peach, harmony and great happiness, they fully express Guangzhou people’s hope thet the 16th Asian Games bring peace, prosperity, success and happiness to the people of Asia and fulfil the Game’s Vision – “Thrilling Games, Harmonious Asia”. Now you know!

Saturday, we go to the triathlon venue for bike checking, race briefing and do a 30mins ride at the race course. Then go back to athlete’s village to have a rest, eat and prepare my stuff for tomorrow’s race. Sleep early and pray.

Finally its race day, I wake up early at 3am fix everything and eat breakfast, then go to the triathlon venue. The horn blows and here we go. At swim I was in the middle together with these two guys. I run quickly to T1 and grab my bike out and left the two guys behind then pedal hard to catch them. On the run I catch two guys again but I was not happy with my run. I slowdown in the last loop of the run and don’t know what happen. I’m 14th overall, clocking 2hrs 5mins 28secs, swim 23mins 2secs, bike 1hr 3mins 3secs and run 37mins 16secs.

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Hongkong Triathlon Race

October 27th, 2010 by neilcatiil

Before race day, all triathletes were at the field for race briefing. The race director had a bad news. A storm coming towards Hongkong and it’s gonna big problem. He said if the storm will not cease by the morning, it’s going to be either duathlon or postponed the race. Come race day, the storm is gone, so the will continue.

When the race started I was at the back of the pack when suddenly my shoulders tighten and I could not make my stroke well. Then I’m out of the water going to T1, and it’s gonna be a long way to the transition like 800m. In the bike , I catch up one and hang on first, and then make a move to drop him. In the run I catch up two but they stop running and did not finish. Even in the run I suffered the same on my shoulders. Still I continue and finish the race even though I’m behind, placing no. 36. My overall time is 2:10:32, swim 23:56, bike 1:03:58, run 34:38.

But I had bad experience from that race, when I went to the transition to get my bike and my things. My helmet was not there, someone stole it. I tried to talk to the marshal and race director, but they have no idea where it was. The same situation also happen to my fellow teammate, someone stole his swim caps and goggles. There’s this triathlete loss his shoes also.

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WATER IS LIFE : BSI and Team TBB brings life to Mahalo School

September 16th, 2010 by neilcatiil

Although 70% of the earth is made up of water, even areas near the city center such as the Mahalo School, which is just about 20 kms. away from Cagayan de Oro City, has no access to water. This has been the students’ and teachers’ major problem ever since the school was built.  Recently, BSI with the assistance of private individuals and companies, including Team TBB (Coach Brett Sutton, Nicola Spirig & Rebekah Keat) funded the design and construction of a “Rain Collection” water system for the Mahalo School.  The Mahalo School is also a privately funded school for indigent children located in the mountainous area of Manggahon, Bayanga.  Now I am happy to say that this major problem has been solved.

BSI or Batang Sports Institute is a privately funded academic and sports scholarship for indigent kids. In fact, I am proud because I am a product of the program even before it was formalized. I graduated as a scholar and athlete last 2007 with a degree in Business Administration, major in Finance. Today, BSI consists of 13 kids and in this organization they teach every BSI member to develop discipline, perseverance and integrity so that they reach their dreams.

Also, once a month, we give school supplies, food, cleaning agents and soap for the students’ hand washing. And part of the program is teaching these kids the importance of sanitation through regular hand washing, that is, how hand washing prevents bacteria that can cause many types of diseases.

Overall, I am so touched seeing these kids with their big smiles when one of the BSI founder handed to their school principal the symbolic “Faucet” that signified that water is now available in their school.

To know know more about BSI, please click on the link below.


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My First Ironman 70.3

August 30th, 2010 by neilcatiil

Wow! It’s so great. It’s hard and very painful but, I love it!!!!!!

Out of T1, going to bike a 90km.

Here I go!!

Looking good on the way out of T2, run a 21km.

On the first loop of the run, I was doing good but on the last loop and to the finish line, I got cramps on my leg, shoulders getting heavier and I’m so exhausted. Even I’m hurt, I feel like I’m going to stop, yet  I said to myself, “Hey, don’t stop! Until you reach the finish line.”

Wuuuh! I made it! Yeaaah.,,,.,.

You may thought I’m smiling, No! I’m not. I’m in pain. Ouuch! It hurts, it hurts you know.

Awards night. Right, Noy Jopson 3rd place; left, Arland Macaseib 2nd place; and ME at the center, The FILIPINO Elite Male Category CHAMPION

Me and Emma Bishop of The Bike Boutique

Always ask God to give what you deserve, not what you desire…… It’s because, your desires may be few, but you deserve a lot! Thanks to everyone…..

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Freedom Run, Freedom Ride

July 27th, 2010 by neilcatiil

June 12 is the Philippine’s Independence Day! Filipinos celebrate this day in different ways. This year, in Cagayan de Oro City, we had a Freedom Run and a Freedom “Fun” Ride both held on the same day, June 13, 2010.

Together with the whole Batang Sports Institute team, I ran the 10k Freedom Run, and we all then proceeded to the Freedom “Fun” Ride with only minutes to spare before it started. It was pretty hectic but well worth it, for all the fun and training we all had.

We were at the venue of the run as early as 4:30am although call time was at 5:00am. The starting point was at the kiosk of the Divisoria Bandstand. The 10k runners were released at exactly 5:30am, while the 5k runners, wherein all the BSI team joined, were released at 5:45am. The run and the succeeding Awarding ceremonies were all finished by 8:00am.

On our bikes, we all proceeded to the Rosario Arcade in the Limketkai Drive where the starting point of the Freedom Ride was. We didn’t get the chance to rest at all when the fun ride started, there were approximately three hundred (300) Cyclists attending, it was a sight to see! We rode all over the city, through some uphills (Alegria area), and then mostly flat roads.

After the ride, we all gathered at the Multi-purpose Covered Court of Barangay Nazareth where the BANAT team, who organized the whole event, planned a program with entertainment and raffle prizes for all who attended. Lunch was also provided for all participants.

The whole program finished by 2:00pm.

Meanwhile, I and the rest of the BSI team had to Swim at 4:00pm at the Pelaez Sports Center. We did and we trained for an hour and a half.

All in all, it was a fun-filled day. We did all three (3) disciplines, albeit in reverse.

Thanks for visiting my blog Guys! Watch out for the next one in a few days.

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Hi, I’m NEIL

July 27th, 2010 by neilcatiil

My name is NEIL SOLON CATIIL, 23 years old, a Filipino by birth, born on September 04, 1986 in the city of Cagayan de Oro, in the island of Mindanao, Philippines. I graduated from College with a degree in Business Administration, majoring in Finance in 2007.

I started running when I was in grade school; and when I was in High School, I started competing in several mountain bike races. I then requested my Benefactor to support me in my wish to compete in the sport of Triathlon. I felt that I was ready for the sport because I was already an experienced runner and cyclist. When my Benefactor said yes, I started to train in Swimming, this was in 2005.

All the support that was given to me, in my studies and in pursuing my dream of becoming a World-class Triathlete was given to me by BATANG SPORTS INSTITUTE. It is a social project established here in Cagayan de Oro City, to develop young children, through sports, to their full potential, and give them the chance to fulfill their dreams and be successful in their chosen field, be it as a Professional Athlete or a successful career person.

I started competing in local Triathlon races like the National Age-Group held within my city, and the neighboring cities of Davao and Cebu. But in May 11, 2008, I competed in my first SUBIC BAY ITU TRIATHLON ASIAN CUP where I became the Champion in the U23 age category. In October 19, 2008. I became the Overall Champion in the Philippine International Duathlon Open.

In May 17, 2009, I garnered the 5th Overall place in the SUBIC BAY INTERNATIONAL TRIATHLON 2009 ASIAN CUP. In August 02, 2009, I won 4th place in the OSIM INTERNATIONAL TRIATHLON SINGAPORE PREMIUM ASIAN CUP. September 13, 2009, I won 4th place in the ASIAN CUP TRIATHLON in I-Lan, Taiwan. Last November 15, 2009. I competed in the ASIAN DUATHLON CHAMPIONSHIPS and got the honor of being 2nd in Asia, and 5th place in Overall standings. I also became the OVERALL MEN’S CHAMPION in the Powerade Duathlon Open last December 13, 2009.

During these competitions, I was a member and was playing for the Philippine National Triathlon Team. To date, I am ranked as the No. 1 Triathlete and Duathlete in the Philippines.

I’ve always dreamt of competing internationally, always dreamt of becoming a world-class Triathlete, but in order for me to do that, I had to train out of the country, under the tutelage of a foreign Coach. As sad as it is, Philippine Sports will always be besiege with politics, thus, Sports will never reach its full potential in terms of launching the careers of our most gifted athletes in the country.

I wished to be trained by Coach Brett Sutton, a world-reknowed Triathlete Coach who has produced dozens of world-class Triathletes including 2007, 2008 and 2009 Ironman World champion Chrissie Wellington. He is the head coach of Team TBB (The Bike Boutique), a group of high level Professional Triathletes.

Coach Brett and his athletes were in Subic Bay early last year, training, at that time also, I was there with the rest of the national team, that’s where I learned about him. I saw how he trained his athletes, and I have since wanted to be part of his team of Professional Triathletes.

September 2009, Batang Sports Institute brought Coach Brett Sutton and Alex Bok, owner of Team TBB, to Cagayan de Oro City, where I am from, to see firsthand the young Triathletes being trained under the BSI team. It was a great privileged that he visited our team, and meets the kids in person.

When I started, BSI has been there for me ever since. Right now together with Matt O’Halloran, a fellow TBB-teammate, and Joshua Inciong, our local Coach, I sometimes train with the kids. Currently, there are thirteen (13) kids training full-time. Seven(7) of these kids already competed in last May 1’s SUBIC BAY INTERNATIONAL TRIATHLON 2010 ASIAN CUP, it was their first venture into the International scene, and they didn’t disappoint, more than a year of hard training paid off. BATANG SPORTS INSTITUTE now has the ASIAN CHAMPION for the Mini-Sprint 13-15 years old Girls, the Top 4 of the Junior Sprint 16-19 years old and the 6th and 7th place holders of the Mini-Sprint 13-15 years old Boys. It was a very proud for me because I trained with these kids; I knew how hard they have worked for over a year now, the trials and issues we had to go through to get to where we are right now. These kids are looking up to me for inspiration and I will not disappoint them.

I am gearing up for my first IRONMAN 70.3 Philippines which is scheduled for August 22, 2010 in Camarines Sur, Philippines. With Coach Brett Sutton, my fellow Team TBB teammates and Batang Sports Institute behind me, I am blessed and will be ready to do my utmost best in CamSur!

I am hoping that you will look forward to my next blog within the next few days, do watch for it!



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