Juan Francisco “Wacky” Baniqued continued his winning ways while Tara Borlain returned from a two-leg absence with a bang as they led the winners in the Alaska IronKids Aquathlon II at Remy Field in Subic.
Baniqued outdueled Clifford Pusing in an exciting race to the finish to stay on track for a sweep of the four-leg circuit with his third crown in 2017 while fellow 13-14 category standout Borlain debuted this year with a runaway triumph in the distaff side.
Sharing the limelight in the event that drew over 400 participants were 11-12 winners Zedrick James Borja (13:49) and Paula Mhaye Ander (13:15), 9-10 titlists Michael Garbiel Lozada (10:54) and Aubrey Tom (10:53), and 6-8 rulers Darell Johnson Bada (08:00) and Kyle Enialle Tolenada (8:22), who reigned under the late morning rains.
Baniqued encountered tough resistance from challenger Pusing, who kept within pace as they entered the last 100 meters. But the winner of the first two legs reached home first although the duo posted identical clockings of 19 minutes and 18 seconds.
“It was a very close race and whoever has the mental toughness and the will to win will win the race,” said Baniqued, who looks to complete a clean sweep of the event produced and organized by Sunrise Events, Inc. and sponsored by Alaska Milk in the culminating Triathlon II race in Cebu this August.
After sitting out the Triathlon I Subic and Aquathlon I Manila Polo Club races, Borlain trumpeted her comeback by winning the 400m swim, 3K run with plenty to spare. The 14-year-old Borlain logged a winning 19:55 over distant second Gene Heart Quiambo (22:01).
“I skipped two legs because I had to prioritize my studies at that time so I’m happy to be back,” said Borlain.