Norte looks to defend men’s elite crown

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Sunday, July 27, 2014


AFTER dethroning Augusto Benedicto last year, Banjo Norte of Alaska Tri-Aspire’s Banjo Norte will defend the coveted Filipino elite crown against the formidable triathletes in the 2014 Cobra Ironman 70.3 Philippines on Aug. 3 in Lapu-Lapu City.

“I can’t say that I have a big chance to emerge at the top this year because there are a lot of strong triathletes out there. But I will give my best,” Norte told Sun.Star Cebu.

Norte considers Benedicto, 2013 Filipino elite second placer, his teammate Jonard Saim, and Cebuano John Philip Dueñas, 2013 Filipino elite third placer, as his closest rivals in the race to supremacy.

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Last year, Norte clocked 4 hours 26 minutes and 44 seconds to win. Benedicto (4:32:38) encountered a bike shifters problem and came second, while runner turned triathlete Dueñas (4:33:18) salvaged third place to cement his name among the county’s top elite triathletes.

Banjo, 20, has been preparing for four months for the Ironman 70.3 Philippines by joining top local races.

The Cagayan deOro City native, who is now based in Laguna City, also added more loads to his training.

“I focused my swim training on speed and endurance; my bike is into long and steady workouts, while for the run we target a time of four minutes per kilometer,” said Norte.

He added he aims to make drastic improvements on his bike, where he posted a time of 2:27 last year.

“I want to improve my bike and that is what I have been working on,” said Norte.

“Right now my training is still ongoing and I will have my taper within this week.”

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 28, 2014.

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