1st Bonifacio Aquathlon (Race Report)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Date: September 12, 2009
Time: 8-10:30 am
Venue: Army Pool, Fort Bonifacio

Organizer: Kami-kami lang
Beneficiary: First-time aquathletes worried about the swim and transition
Race fee: Php75 for the swim

Inspiration for the race
Si Ellen. Si Ellen ang may kagagawan nito. Sobra ang enthusiasm ng taong ito to do aquathlon. Last week I went to Krispy Kreme Makati to have snack with several takbo.ph people and Ellen was there talking about the Corregidor Aquathlon for the nth time. With 3 aquathlons under my belt for this year (Speedo Ultra, Ateneo Aqua and Speedo Camaya), I thought I have filled up my aqua quota for the year.
I remember running an LSD with Ellen one night sometime in April or May in Fort Bonifacio where we practically talked about aquathlon the whole stretch. She and Raff wanted to do the aquathlon but both felt they need to work on their swim. I said I could probably teach a thing or do - enough for them to finish - but since I was practically racing or training every week, I never really had that pool time with them. Months later I would hear that Raff enroled in Total Immersion and the two of them are diligently practicing in the MASA pool. Why, they are even logging their swims in the takbo.ph forum thread called Today's Swim. Splendid!
Over chocolate Oreo donuts I made my commitment to do Corregidor. All five weeks of October I have a race, but what the heck! I am doing this in support of Ellen. People brimming with passion deserve support!
Morale Booster
One concern though. Like any first timer, Ellen and company are concerned about the open water. The run-to-swim transition is another food-for-thought. I myself remain wary of the deep. Having almost drowned in a deep pool as a kid, I lost my childlike Aquaman confidence and developed adult skepticism and fear. But I converted that fear into something that uplifts rather than immobilizes me. Over the takbo.ph shoutbox I found myself telling and convincing Running Diva: The only way to overcome fear is to slowly embrace it. I suppose this was the philosophy I have always had.
I followed the same philosophy when I convinced BongZ, who have never swam beyond 750m, to try the Camaya's 1.5km swim last May. In the Metro Club pool Bongz and I made a pact that if he could do 1.5km, he would join the Camaya Aquathlon. I made him dictate the swim pace. While he did the breastroke, I swam freestyle alongside. For the first 750m, I deliberately held back my speed to hit the pool walls same time as him. For the next 750m, my plan worked: Bongz was confidently swimming while I was speeding up to keep pace with him. Bongz did well in Camaya, finishing close to our age-group winners.
For this first Bonifacio Aquathlon simulation, I intended to do a BongZ on Ellen, Running Diva, Raff and Glen. Like Bongz, they could do very well as aquathlete once they transcend the threshold of fear.
1. Ellen
2. Running Diva
3. Raff
4. Glen
5. Bong Z(for morale support)
6. Rico V (for morale support)
1. Carina
2. Pepsi
Race Account
The pre-race briefing was conducted by Rico (feeling! hehe - no choice ako 'no!). Participants were advised to prepare their transition pack comprising of their running apparel, shoes, socks, water and food. With their transitions ready at the benches, participants huddled in the pool area for the run briefing. Run route was suggested by Rico and mapped out by Jonas, who had a DNS for this race on account of work. While there are pool marshalls, the race was simply based on honesty system so each participant will count his/her laps (8) and run through all the turns.

Rico initially advised the group that he might cut-short the run in view of his 40K LSD next day, but changed his mind last minute so everyone would have a better benchmark of performance [and Roselle could catch up with him on the run :-) ].

First out of the water was veteran Bongz (naks! vet ka na pare haha), followed by Ellen, and then Glen. Rico was keeping an underwater eye on Roselle who was there really just to get her aquathlon feet wet (Kudos Running Diva for summoning up the courage to try!). After enjoining Carina and Pepsi to cheer on Running Diva, Rico eventually pulled out of the water and still managed to catch Glen in the transition area because Glen decided to change apparel in the shower room! [Glen, walang shower room sa course ng simple races :-) ]

Rico was just 300m into the run when grinning Raff greeted him on the road. Goodness, these participants are really fast runners. In contrast to the slowness of Rico's run was the fast whirring of ideas in his head. I hope Running Diva will not have much difficulty in the swim and catch up soon enough. True enough, 800m into the run the Running Diva bested Mr. Sheer Will. Never been happier to be overtaken. At the end of the pack Rico's mind was at a whirr again. Maybe as further enticement for newbies, this Bonifacio Aquathlon can be a series, with each leg being preparatory to a real race. Morever, maybe each participant will be encouraged to complete the simulation if the last finisher actually gets the chance to have the race leg named after him. How does Bonifacio Aquathlon (Sheerwill's Cup Leg) sound?

Middle of the run it was clear that ultramarathoner Glen had the edge. This guy who occasionally gets a podium win in small road runs has the makings of a monster aquathlete. Hope we can help you in the triathlete part next ;-). Fast runners and diligent swimmers Ellen and Raff came on the heels of Glen. Bongz cut part of the run route as like me he had a scheduled long run the day after. He was just really there to support the newbies. As much as he wanted to race with us on Corregidor, he would be out of the country. Running Diva followed to complete her first aquathlon simulation. Hurray for everyone!

It was good vibes all throughout after everyone has completed. I suppose we are all more confident now and will do our training with more gusto. Since I ended last I get to call the next leg Sheerwill's Cup. Haha. I heard from James, who like Jonas was a DNS, that he might initiate another simulation near his place. I wonder after whom will the third leg be named....

To the participants of the inaugural Bonifacio Aquathlon, congratulations! Especially to Champion Glen and Last Finisher Rico!

To the marshalls, thanks for the cheers and support!

See you in Corregidor in October 10.

Camaya Coast in summer? Anvaya Cove? Hamilo Coast? Caliraya Lake?....


kelcy33 September 14, 2009 at 5:23 PM  

OMG, naluha ako dito, rico.. :)..dramarama...hahaha

rico, superthanks talaga on the support and everything.. I'd join the Sheerwill's Cup Leg anytime. let's target other pool perhaps?..I'm assuming it would be a blast!hehehe..would have been better if all those SB-ers/rowers were there.. =)..asan na nga ba sila?..

hirit..hmm, can we schedule an open water simulation kaya? hahaha (addict mode)

Rico Villanueva September 14, 2009 at 5:30 PM  

Hey Ellen...addict ka na nga...
Corregidor will be quite an experience. Excited na me!

The Average Rec Runner September 14, 2009 at 10:03 PM  

Hi, Rico. Julius here (Yellowcard, Life Is A Highway). Thanks for visiting my blog and adding it to your blogroll. I hope you won't mind but I've added your blog to my blogroll as well. Hope to meet you in one of the races very soon (RotaRun?). Take it easy, bro!

RUNNING DIVA September 15, 2009 at 10:07 AM  

Rico what a recap of the whole experience. Really, thank you so much! I couldn't help but smile while reading your post. It's nice to know to name it as Sheerwill's Cup Leg. I had fun time during the aquathlon simulation. This is something I look forward to next year.

Rico Villanueva September 15, 2009 at 10:54 AM  

Hi Julius. I am always on a lookout for blogs I like to follow. As you can see I have a long list on the right. Polite of you to ask permission for your blogroll, coz I don't. Haha. My blogroll is my internet bookmark, not necessarily a listing of friends or people I know. I reckon that publishing your blog is tantamount to giving open access to whatever you publish. So add on. :-)

Rico Villanueva September 15, 2009 at 10:56 AM  

Hey Roselle, I had fun too. At bilib ako sa fighting spirit mo. You know you can be really good at this. Let's rock at The Rock!

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