Cebuanos relish full Ironman race in Australia

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Saturday, April 5, 2014


FIVE Cebuano triathletes completed their first full Ironman Asia-Pacific Championship Melbourne last March 23 Australia.

Dr. Albert Solis (45-49), Meyrick Jacalan (40-42), Andrew Ong (35-39), Gianluca Guidicelli(50-54), and Jane-Jane Ong (40-42) represented Team Reborn and were among 73 other Filipinos in the competition.

Jacalan and Solis finished the full Ironman in 12 hours and 50 minutes; Andrew Ong and Guidicelli both clocked in at 14:10; Jane-Jane Ong, the only woman in the group, clocked in at 15:22.

The full Ironman covers a 3.9-kilometer swim, 180-kilometer bike and a marathon.

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“We had five months of training as a team, two disciplines every day. At least two hours during weekdays and six to eight hours during weekends,” Solis told Sun.Star Cebu during an interview at Leona’s Mabolo Restaurant.

Guidicelli said that though triathlon is an individual sport it becomes boring when you train alone and being with a group helps teammates motivate each other.

The climate of Australia seemed to be a factor for them since it was way different from Philippines.

They swam in 12-degree seas but their wetsuit helped them overcome the cold. There were also more than 2,000 partcipants.

They had a smooth ride during the bike portion but were surprised by the strong wind.

“Even in the downhill, you can’t pedal fast. Mentally you are unsure of speeding up,” said Jacalan.

The 42.1K run was point to point, and it was at side of the bay with view of Australia’s wonderful beach.

The group said the experience was fulfilling and worth the money spent, since it was well- organized, and the race volunteers were very accommodating to the participants.

“It was a great experience, obviously it’s a personal thing. It was our first time and the aim was to finish we didn’t think of personal records yet,” Jane-Jane Ong said.

After a few weeks’ rest, they will train again for next year’s Ironman Arizona, which will have 54 slots for the Philippines. (RSC)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 06, 2014.

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