THE first ever Spartan Race Philippines was held Saturday, September 23, at Timberland Heights in San Mateo, Rizal Province.
Kagay-anon Ali Zandra Chiongbian earned the praise and pride of athletes and spectators alike after she became the first Female Elite Champion of the country’s first ever Spartan Race.
Chiongbian was ranked 15th in the Over-all Elite category composed of 165 male and female participants.
She was first in the Women's Elite category.
Chiongbian ran the race under Team CDO and was coached by Aran Jamaca.
According to the 38-year-old Chiongbian, she has been active in the country’s Spartan race circuit in the last two years, taking part in Spartan races throughout the country 6 times.
She has also gone to every Spartan Race held in Singapore, Indonesia, Australia, and the United States before winning her first Spartan Race title here at her home country this year.
"Sige na kog apil. Ika-6 times na nako na na mag join. Lain lain jud kay karun pa man siya sa Philippines. Singapore, Indonesia, America then Singapore napod ko balik then Philippines dayon", Chiongbian said.
Sharing her experience, Chiongbian said she did not feel nervous while running the race but felt anxious as she approached the finish line as she realized she would have to face the cameras and do interviews.
"Kabalo ka asa ko nabalaka, pag-abot sa finish line ? Kay mga camera, interview, ako nalang unta ipauna tong babae, pero dili pwede, pero ako pod gihuna-huna kani sila dili sila Pinay, so mao tong nakaforce sa ako na dapat modaog nalang ko, ako nalang ni e force akong self at least Pinay ang modaog", she said.
Chiongbian said she is also very thankful to have a very supportive husband that motivated her to do her best.
Ali is the wife of businessman Mark Andrew Chiongbian. She said she dedicates her triumph to her family.
"I want to be fit, to enjoy life", Chiongbian said.
A Spartan Race is a series of obstacle races of varying distance and difficulty ranging from 3 miles to marathon distances.
Spartan races attract elite athletes worldwide and are held in the United States, Canada, South Korea, Australia and several in Asian countries.
Published in the SunStar Cagayan de Oro newspaper on October 05, 2017.