Friday, June 29
Before Friday’s lunch, I received an image from BBM that the waves in Laiya were very high. All the fear and anxiety hunted me from this time on. I prayed to all the Sea Gods to command the waves to be still on race day!
Saturday, June 30
The trip to Laiya seemed short, the weather cooperated. We came early because of the 2:30 P.M. road closure and to support friends and team mates joining the shorter race distance on this day. The first thing I wanted to check was the ocean. So, my daugher and I ran to the beach and gasped at how strong the waves were. My daughter got excited and wanted to swim. Told her to relax and wait for Coach Kaye. I will not go out there to swim with her! The waves were comparable to Hawaii’s Waikiki and Maui. It was one perfect day for SURFING!
The huge waves of Saturday’s race
Should I swim or not
The swim was a challenge for the the participants. A number of these tri athletes had to back out as soon as they hit the water. I can not blame them because we tried the water right after the last participant finished the swim and it was not easy! The waves were really strong and very intimidating. I also had to stop several times and find the small buoys to hold on for my safety. There was even one wave taller than me that washed me away! However, I managed to learn the trick thanks to our coach and dove when the wave attacked me. The swim back was easier though. I was glad I didn’t have to race in that ocean condition!!
Sunday, July 1
This was the day! My longest tri race ever, a practice for my date with Ironman!
A few minutes before the race, I couldn’t find my 16 year old daughter who did the swim part of the relay for Team Fit + Academy. I was able to do warm up for a few meters but my mommy instinct had to cut my laps and brought me back to the shore. She has a stomach issue usually and my fear was that she was stucked in a rest room somewhere. I asked for her from fellow participants and searched for her in between photo ops (my photos all looked worried) with my team mates and failed to find her. So, I was still at the middle of the pack during gun time, with no sight of my darling daughter. I managed to swim with ease from the left side towards the buoy despite being kicked which made my goggles misaligned. I didn’t panic and threaded with all those swimmers beside me and was able to fix it though water already sipped in, hurting my eyes. Well, at least now I know what to do if it happens again in another race. Then, I swam until I found my relaxed pace and managed to draft with newbie swimmers like me. On my 2nd loop, by the big buoy, my daughter waved at me from under the water. Seeing her was a relief! She swam away like a mermaid then to finish her last loop. I am proudly announcing that I did my 2 kilometer swim in 1:06, within the swim cut off time for Cobra! Well it was snail pace compared to my daughter’s 39 minute swim time.
The 60k bike part was the same route as the shorter distance’s race the previous day, but added a part of the scenic port of San Juan Batangas. The roads were mostly flat but with sudden winds from directions I couldn’t identify. There were hilly parts as well but nothing compares to last weeks bike route for the 5150 race.
Run was 15 kilometers, twice the distance of the previous day’s race. It was a hot day! Gladly there was cheering and unlimited water for “BUHOS” from the friendly residents of Laiya, Batangas as well as extra support from fellow tri athletes who did not compete for Tri United 2. Special mention are Richard Santiago of Camelbak Tri who paced with me in the first loop. Also his better half, Michelle, known also as “Ineng” for handling me bottles of water and ice that helped in cooling me down under the scorching Batangas heat! And of course, my husband for coming back for me and pacing me on the last 500 meters towards the finish line! I do hope he will do the same for Cobra Ironman 70.3.
Let me not forget how excellent was the stretching done by the Physical Therapy professors of the Univeristy of Santo Tomas. Thank you as well to the “Star for All Seasons”, Governor Vilma Santos – Recto for the savory dinner. Too bad the caterer Ate Vi hired was not the caterer who provided the lunch after Sunday’s race. Hopefully next year, it will be the Governor’s caterer.
Lastly, I will not fail to mention the reaction of the female audience when the host described the winners as “Last time some of these girls were chubby, now they lost weight.” It was not the exact words but the intention was to describe some participants as “bigger” before. I am sure it was only his intention to encourage women to do triathlon. However, please never describe a woman “chubby” or you will regret it. Hopefully, I’d like to see the host do some action in triathlon soon too so he may be less “chubby” during his next hosting engagement for Tri United. Peace Mr. Host! 🙂
It was again a well organized race by Raul Cuevas of Bike King. Congratulations to Raul and his staff and to all the participants! See you at Cobra!
Thanks to Coach Kaye Lopez and Bike King for the photos.
Race results can be viewed at – http://www.unilabactivehealth.com/triunited/results.html