Slight swells, steep hills on the bike and run, and humidity didn’t stop a triathlete age-grouper and a returning Filipina elite from finishing on top with impressive times in their respective categories in the Aboitiz TRI2016 Olympic distance last September 3.
Ben Regan of the Fitness First team finished first overall in with a time of two hours, eight minutes, and 58 seconds in the men’s category of the Aboitiz TRI2016, a 1.5 km swim, 40-km bike, and 10-km run held at Pico de Loro Beach and Country Club, Hamilo Coast, in Nasugbu, Batangas.
One Triathlon Team’s Neil Adrian Aynera followed seven minutes later at 2:15:56, while last year’s champion Mervin Rencel Santiago of Sante Barley Tri Team snatched third place at 2:16:21.
On the distaff side, former national triathlon champion and ActiveHealth member Ani De Leon Brown won 1st place, clocking in at 2:43:34. Finishing 2nd and 3rd respectively were Maria Danielle Infantado (2:47:36, One Triathlon Team, 2:47:36) and Celma Hitalia (2:54:05 Century Tri Hard).
“I really did not expect to win. By looking at the field of participants, I felt I could just make the Top Ten finishers. There were some challenges along the way like the sea’s current going out and the first hill on the bike but I managed to get over them and I even enjoyed running around the lagoon,” Regan said after crossing the finish line.
In response to the large turnout of 477 triathletes, 59 of them Aboitiz Group team members, Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc.’s Chief Human Resources Officer Txabi Aboitiz praised their grit, discipline, and determination. “It is our third time to organize this event and, every year, our athletes continue to raise the level of competition with the same spirit of sportsmanship through every challenge,” Aboitiz said in his speech during the awarding ceremony.
The age-group winners were Alexandra Faith Garcia and Alfiero Zyro Manzanilla (18-24), Kriska Sto. Domingo and Eugene Garcia (25-29), Katelyn Kearney and Benjie Zapanta (30-34), Nina Beltran and Joseph Miller (35-39), Franchesca Carpo and Noel Salvador (40-44), Geraldine Abuan (Female 45-above), Peter Gonzalez (45-49), Lorenzo Ocampo (50-54), and Cyril Rocke (55-above).
The relay champions in this year’s Aboitiz TRI2016 were Team Ciclo (all-male), SN AboitizPower TRI Team 2 (all-female) and Team Ellis (mixed). In the triathlon team competition, which is a combination of the finish times of the five fastest members of each team, One Triathlon Team won first place with a time of 13:25:09, followed by Team Podium BF Baguio’s 13:37:51, and the Sante Barley Tri Team at 14:02:03.