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!
GO TEAM TBB!
GO BATANG SPORTS INSTITUTE!