Century Tuna Ironman 70.3 Subic – March 12, 2017

After the Foremost Ironman 70.3 Phuket and the Powerman Duathlon in early December I had a short off-season with loads of family time and was recharged and back in training by New Year. After 2 months of good training with a couple of weekends focusing on swimming with the help of coach Edwin Lubina and the Manglicmot family in Subic, it was finally time to race again. The first big race of the year was on, Century Tuna Ironman 70.3 Subic Bay!

I was very excited to race again and even more in the new Asian Elite category which has substituted the Filipino Elite since this year. Although after almost 3 months out of racing I was suddenly nervous again and not sure about my shape.

I headed to Subic with my family on Thursday giving me time to do all the pre-race activities like registration, race kit pick up, bike testing and catching up with sponsors at the Expo, stress-free.

Saturday morning was the Ironkids race which is always inspiring and even more with my little boy there, too. Even though with his 14months he still needs to wait a couple of years until he will be able to join.

Then it was finally race day!! Early breakfast, some time to relax and focus, and then down to T1 for the final bike prep and set-up.

The swim was one loop at the beautiful Alcea Resort. As usual in the Ironman events, we Asian Elites started together with the Pro men. Most of them were gone too quick and I was swimming by myself for most of the course until some of the fast Pro women caught me and I was able to follow some of them for a little while. As the swim remains my weakest leg, I was glad being out of the water and quick into T1 heading out on my bike.

I was not sure about the other Asian Elites and just focused on my race pushing it on the bike. The SCTEX course is demanding and head winds can be quite hard. I was happy heading back to T2 and realizing that the bike slots next to me of the other Asian Elites were still empty, meaning I was in the lead. I headed out on the run course feeling comfortable off the bike and trying to keep a good pace.

After the turn around and on the way back to the finish line, I saw some of the other Asian Elites and then realized that my win was pretty safe already. I relaxed a little bit but still run focused until the finish line and was overwhelmed to finish first Asian Elite! To have my family waiting for me and to hold my little boy after crossing the finish line was priceless!

Like usual for the Sunrise Events races, there was a huge and delicious banquet at the awarding and the afternoon passed by really quick. All in all, it was an amazing weekend, a superb and well-organized first event of the year and a great start into the season!!!

The day after the race brought another pleasant surprise. Two of the Pros, Michael Raelert, the 70.3 world record holder, and Richie Nicholls, wanted to visit me in Tarlac. I had the honor to have them stay at my place and train with them for two days! It was amazing!!!