TriUnited 3 – October 25, 2015

It had been a busy time leading up to the TriUnited 3 weekend. After coming back only by the end of September from training and racing in Europe, I spent one week meeting and catching up with my sponsors, overcoming jetlag and settling into a new home in Tarlac. Then, the first obstacle in getting back into training in the Philippines was to get used to the hot weather again. Ironically, it is what I most like, but after spending the last weeks in Europe at around 15 degrees, it was still some kind of challenge to get used to it again.

I was happy to head to Subic on Friday before the race. Subic had been my base for more than 3 years and it was great to see some of my friends there and swim in Brent pool.

On Saturday I met my UNILAB Active Health team mates and found out that there were a total of 6 atheltes racing in the elite category, some of which I didn’t know, which made the excitement for the race even bigger.

TU3 as a half-iron distance is my favorite race out of the 3 TriUnited events but this year the organizer had also introduced a shorter distance with 1km swim, 60km bike and 12km run taking place at the same time and therefore, exceeding total numbers of participants of the event.

On Sunday morning the start for our first wave for the 70.3 distance was on for 6am. Like the previous year, it was a 2-lap-swim and I tried to stay with my team mate Ben. We almost entered and exited T1 at the same time together with another elite from Camsur. It was also in T1 that I heard that someone was already in front of us. I suspected that it was the American racing in the elite field, Ben, an athlete I only really met after the finish.

I started the bike feeling well and looking forward to it, as I like the climbs to Tipo and on SCTEX. At km 5km I passed my team mate Ben RaƱa and at km 30 I passed the other Ben that had been in front of us after the swim.

As I felt good I tried to push more on the bike in order to get a bigger gap to my competitors. When I arrived in T2 in Porac, the sun was already boiling and I went off to start the hot run.

The run was 3 laps on a course with false flats, rolling hills and zero shades. We run along side a damm and it felt like there was no air. I wasn’t sure how many minutes the other guys were behind me and felt I wanted to push the pace, but tried to control myself as it seemed like a long, hot run. After the turning point I started to look out for the athletes coming behind me. As at the same time the shorter distance race was ongoing, there were already several athletes on the run course and I had to watch out a little bit to not get confused with the short distance athletes.

When I first saw some of the other elites, I realized that I had a comfortable gap and my goal was to keep it for the next 2 laps until the finish line. In every turning point I looked and calculated and tried to increase the gap. By the 3rd lap, I realized that it would be impossible for someone to catch up. I ran happily to the finish line were Anna was waiting for me and was thankful to have been able to defend my title. It was a special bonus that with the overall win at TU3 I also achieved the necessary points to defend my title in the TriUnited Series.

TU3 was truly a great event made possible by UNILAB, the organizer and all the amazing volunteers that were out there on the course. HUGE THANK YOU TO ALL! And congratulations to all finishers, the TU3 is definitely not an easy 70.3 course!