Century Tuna Ironman 70.3 Subic – March 6, 2016

Finally the first big race of the year was on, Century Tuna Ironman 70.3 Subic Bay. I had been looking forward to the race and was really a little nervous and very excited for it. I had taken a short off-season after my last race in early December 2015 and then when I just had gotten back into training, our son was born, preterm and unexpected early at the end of December!!! In spite of all the worries and nervousness that day, it had been the best day of my life!!

But, of course, my new daddy duties made it a little hard to stick to the usual training routine. Although I managed to train, it was not the same than in previous years when I usually had spent two months at the beginning of the year in training camp in Phuket where it was only about triathlon and putting in the miles.

Nevertheless, I was confident and, did I say it already? very excited for the race.

I went to Subic on Friday. Although I had hoped to bring my wife and baby with me, I went on my own as our baby had just been a little sick and watching a race in the heat of the day is not really a recommended activity for newborns anyway. Hopefully soon my dream will come true and I will see my little boy at the finish line, but I will be patient for this.

Once in Subic the typical race dynamic started, registration and pick up the race kit, test the bike one last time and other final race preparations. It was also great to see my coach Jürgen Zäck who again had come over from Phuket with some of his other Z-coaching athletes and my favorite training buddies from Thailand Oat (Wongtanaponsil) and Jaray (Jeraenai).

Then it was finally race day!! I talked to my wife early in the morning to calm down and get focused. Now my mind was all set and in race mode and I just repeated in my mind “focus, focus”.

The swim was a similar loop than the previous year at the Alcea Resort but the direction had changed. As usual in the Ironman events, we Filipino Elites started together with the Pros. I could draft off someone for half of the course but then got cut off. Overall, I thought my swim was ok but I was not sure how many minutes the other Filipino Elites were in front of me.

I was quick out off the water and into T1, and started to push it on the bike. I soon caught some other Filipino Elites but wasn’t sure how many were in front off me. The bike went very smooth and when I entered T2 I saw Paul in front off me and thought that he must be first Filipino. I felt good off the bike and pushed the pace and caught Paul really quick. I knew that now I was in the lead but I also knew that there were good runners among the other elites so I continued in steady pace thinking that it couldn’t hurt to make a bigger gap to them.

After the turn around and on the way back to the finish line, I saw all the others and then realized that my win was pretty safe already. I relaxed a little bit but still run focused until the finish line. Just some hundred meters before I slowed down to enjoy the last moments and thanked God in my mind!

I usually don’t look at my watch and when I crossed the finish line and heard someone say 4’19 (which in the end turned out 4’20 because I enjoy the pre-finish line too much :)) I myself was amazed. That clearly was my PB for the distance on an official course!! I was happy!!!

It seemed as if all the weeks of juggling between training and supporting my wife with the baby and being there for my baby had worked out well for me. And I have to admit, thinking about my little family is what pushed me all the way!! Thank you Lord for the blessing!

It really was an amazing weekend, a superb and well-organized event and amazing to celebrate with my Z-coaching training buddies!