Throwing it back to some of our favorite Ironman memories
Photos by Samantha Ong and Javier Lobregat
Right now, we’re supposed to be on our way to Cebu where the biggest triathlon event in the country takes place annually. Sadly, 2020 had different plans for the triathlon community. It got us thinking about what we miss so much about the sport. From witnessing Ironkids turn into certified superstars to the intensity of professional triathletes (and the heat!) every race day, here’s everything we miss about Ironman races right now.
The pre-event orientations
A day before the event take place, the media is always oriented about what to expect throughout the weekend. That is, the schedule of activities, race routes, triathletes to watch out for, and the latest updates from the Ironman organization itself. I could go on and on because nothing beats the excitement you get after hearing what’s in store for the weekend.
Witnessing Ironkids shine bright
Watching proud parents on the sidelines and hearing loud cheers for the Ironkids is an absolute joy to watch. What makes every Ironkids edition so exciting is knowing that some—if not all—of these wunderkinds have a good chance of making it into the main circuit and possibly representing the country in international competitions.
Meeting the pros
Meeting the pros happens at least 24 hours before the race takes place. Personally, what I miss most about this is seeing how competitive triathletes are with each other—something that makes me look forward to on race day. In the 2019 Regent Aguila Ironman 70.3 race, many expected Mauricio Mendez to win his second straight title but Tim Reed obviously had other plans—and he did just that.
Keeping track of our triathletes
Two-time SEA Games gold medalist Nikko Huelgas had one of the best races of his life in last year’s Regent Aguila Ironman 70.3. Huelgas’ first-place finish in the Asian Elite category was a breakthrough and in his own words, a sign that he still has a lot to five to the sport. It’s stories like this that make Ironman races so captivating aside from the fact that it is also an opportunity to watch local elites and discover up-and-coming athletes.
The pre race jitters
Waking up before sunrise and feeling the excitement and nerves in the air before gun start is all part of the Ironman experience. It’s what comes with the race and makes triathlon so special for many—including us who cover it.
The intensity every race day
The race itself is the most intense part of the weekend. For media, this involves a lot of hours spent under the sun to track the competitors. Experiencing the journey of these athletes leaves you in awe. Who’s going to cross the finish line first? Who’ll beat a record? These are some of the questions we can only answer at the end of the race.
How the community gathers together
Every Ironman weekend is an opportunity for the community to unite and celebrate the sport. After each race, the spirit and excitement in the air goes unnoticed. It’s a joyous festivity of how far triathlon has come in the Philippines and its potential to grow even more.