Time is man’s most perishable commodity. The very moment you have fun, its history already. Haha, such is the irony of life.
The same way it came, 2011 flew by most of us in a blink of an eye. It did not only add a year to our ages, it also made our wrinkles more visible, well at least for those of us nearing the half-century mark.
Fast as it might have been, for sure, most of us have very memorable moments last year. Some may be bad, but hopefully, most of it are good. I have listed down my ten most memorable events in 2011. What are yours?
#10: Pico De Loro Triathlon
Some may write this off, but watching Pico De Loro triathlon unfold before my very eyes was the first time I’ve watched a triathlon race…yes, WATCHED! Damn, I never thought that being on the sidelines watching your teammates and other triathletes race could be as salivating as seeing Anne Curtis running on the beach in bikini. The moment the guys were huddled on the beach for the starting gun, I was ready to take off my shirt and bandit the race. Good thing my wife was there to put a leash on me.
#9: PCL Tour of Subic ITT
I have a video of Lance Armstrong’s documentary on his 7 Tour De France wins. Among all the races included in that video, it was his ITT wins that left a lasting impression on me. I looked forward the day when I would race an official ITT and promised myself I would go all-out. That day came in Pilipinas Cycling League’s Tour of Subic ITT last year.
I started out fast, as in 40kph fast and then succumbed to burn out on the last 3k of the 20K ITT route, averaging around 35kph for the entire course. My teammate, Col. Bong Patrimonio, who was released a good 30 seconds behind me, almost lapped me, good thing I still had a few bursts left and crossed the finish line with him.
#8: Bike King Classic, Subic
The very first road race I’ve joined. This is where I realized that you’re better off with a road bike in a, errrr…..a road race?!
I didn’t have a road bike, so I mounted a road handlebar on my tribike and used it to race this.
Result: Body aches!
My 88mm wheelset didn’t help a bit as I got beaten up by crosswinds at the Airport road in Subic. Bleh!
#7: PCL Tour of Clark Team Time Trial
The first time I joined a TTT was Immuvit-PCL’s Tour of Clark 1 in March 2011. There were 9 of us in the team and I was the first one who got dropped after the first loop of the 2-loop 47K TTT course. In September, Immuvit-PCL held the 2nd offering of the Tour of Clark and this time around there were 2 teams from Quest 825, divided into 7 and 6 riders. Unfortunately, one of our riders had timing chip problems at the time we were released so there were only 5 of us who rolled, which meant no one had to drop as the time of the 5th rider was to be our official time.
Result: 32+kph for the 47kms.
We came in 2nd to the last, but more than that, the effort bonded us stronger. No one got left behind. James Dulalia and I alternately assisted a teammate who succumbed to the heat and made sure he kept up with the pack all throughout the course. We crossed the line as a team, that’s what mattered.
#6: Closing Tri-Pilipinas.com
In mid-2009, I created a forum that would cater to the beginner triathletes, as well as the veterans who would want to share their experiences to the budding ones as myself. I browsed the net for triathlon tips and found mostly foreign forums which discussed, well, foreign races. I wanted to get tips on the local tri races as I never had any intention of spending for races outside the country, I didn’t have the financial means. Thus, Tri-Pilipinas.com was born
In early February of last year, I, unfortunately, had to close it down as I wasn’t able to maintain it anymore due to training and work. Good thing that swimbikerun.ph went live in January of last year and it became the home of local triathletes. The pinoy triathlete wouldn’t be orphaned!
#5: Racing Camsur 70.3 for the 3rd time
Promises are made to be broken!
After crossing the finish line in Camsur 70.3 in 2010, I told myself (and my wife ) that I wouldn’t do the 2011 edition…and then I got sponsored…and the rest is history. In short and as a result, I crossed the finish line for the 3rd straight year in Camsur 70.3 and became one of the less than 400 triathletes who could claim to have finished IM 70.3 Philippines held in Camsur. Nice!
#4: Rain-drenched Camsur 70.3 Bike Leg!
The title says it all, the bike leg of Camsur 70.3 was WET…no, VERY WET!
I hate cycling on wet roads specially on a road bike. I had one of my worst crashes when I got caught in rain going down Bugarin years back. My brakes didn’t bite and my tires just slipped on the road. Good thing Camsur roads are flat. Others weren’t so lucky though.
#3: Tri-United Matabungkay Swim Leg
Most will agree with me that the swim part of the Tri-United ( formerly Tri-King ) Matabungkay Long Distance Tri was one choppy liquid territory. Yup, the swells were about 10ft which made it a wrestling match between the participants and the ocean.
Swimming in it in 4 loops wasn’t fun as well.
#2: Quest 825!
My new team was founded in May, 2011. I love it and my teammates…enough said.
#1: Timex 226 Bohol Iron-Distance Triathlon
From 2009 to early 2011, the holy grail of the local triathletes was the IM 70.3 Philippines. It was THE RACE that would affirm someone as a triathlete and everybody, newbies or vets, would somehow list it as their “A” race for the year. When Timex 226 was announced in May, 2011, Camsur 70.3 became a training race for me.
It was the first time that I had to qualify for a race. I’ve done both qualifying races a year earlier but my finish times were minutes outside what was required. I finished in 7:20 and 6:58 in Camsur in 2009/2010, the qualifying time was 6:45. In 2010, I finished TriKing Matabungkay in 5:06, the qualifying time for Timex 226 in that race was 4:45. I wanted to join in Bohol, but had to work hard for it.
After months of grueling work, I qualified in Timex 226 via Tri-United Matabungkay with a time of 4:37, and then affirmed it in Camsur 70.3 via a personal record of 6:38. I was going to race in Bohol.
Timex 226 offered a lot of first time for me: the distance of the whole race, the “no buoy line” swim, running in the dark with headlamps, etc. These new things contributed to the euphoria I felt when I crossed the finish line after having been in grind for 15 hours, 49 minutes and change. I am now an IRONMAN!
I have only a few races in 2012, only short ones. I’m taking a “semi” break from the sport as I intend to spend time with the other things I love doing but haven’t done for a long time.
But then again…I might not! Let’s see….hehe