Part 2: Ironkids Philippines – The Race
This is part of a series of posts under the Quaker Challenge. It’s about the quest that my kids and I have to achieve our Quaker Goal to swim, bike, and run more. Read about it HERE.
The entire family–the hubby, both kids, and I–woke up early Sunday morning of October 20, 2013 to get ready for Anton’s first triathlon, Ironkids Philippines. The future triathlete woke up as if it was a regular day, while his Mother (er that’s me) was a bundle of nerves. Truth is, it was almost, if not more, nerve wracking than my first triathlon! I taught our future triathlete how to pack his gear for transition, made sure he had a good breakfast of oats to fuel him for the morning’s race, and we were off.
RACE KIT CLAIM, CHECK IN, AND BODY MARKING
We arrived at the event area at Palm Country Club to find a lively and exciting atmosphere. Since there were various wave starts, younger kids had already finished the race, others were about to start, and other older kids like Anton had just arrived like us to check in. It was like any other triathlon for us adults except for them, to ensure the safety of the kids, they have assistants to check in the bike and their equipment at transition. How cool is that?!
Kids’ bikes lined up at transition area
Kuya who assisted us at bike check in
The not so little boy with his super nervous Mama (who is incidentally shorter than him now)
We headed for the pool for the 7:15 AM race briefing led by Coach Ani de Leon. Before the race started, I reminded Anton that his goal was simply to finish the race. If he crossed the finish line, he was already a winner. With that, he went on his own and I watched from the sidelines with my heart exploding out of my chest. Man, who knew that Ironkids could be so stressful?!
We watched from afar as the kids listened intently to directions explained by Coach Ani. I noticed that Anton was the tallest in the group. I also knew that he was probably one of the least experienced.
Race briefing by Coach Ani de Leon for 11-12 year old boys
Kids get ready to start. Always the scariest part of the race.
The race started at 7:30 AM. The other kids swam with power and ease. The leaders broke away by the first two laps. My eyes were focused on Anton who was at the end of the pack. He swam slowly and calmly, his stroke a reflection of his personality. Earlier that morning, I told him to simply focus on his stroke and go at his own pace. And, I was glad that he listened.
Anton was the last out of the pool, but when he came out, I couldn’t have been prouder. With the little training he had and his disdain for swim training, I was glad that he pushed himself to finish the swim!
Anton quickly went to transition and took off on his 3 loops around Filinvest City to cover 8km. Each time he passed us on the loop, I was relieved to see him enjoying the race. Other kids were entering T2 at this point and heading out to run. Anton came in from the bike and made up for some lost time from the swim. Then, he was off to run 2k.
Nervous dad and bored sis waiting for Kuya to pass on the bike
First placer. This kid can leave me in the dust!
As we saw Anton running towards the finish line, it was one of the happiest and proudest moments ever. He looked exhausted but fulfilled! He could barely talk. Um, he could barely breathe as we took the photo of him below. But, I knew he had a great time!
After packing up and heading for breakfast, I asked Anton if he would do this again. He replied: “Yes.” And with that one word, I smiled dreaming of the world of possibilities for this little Ironkid of mine.
Anton just a few minutes after he crossed the finish line of his first triathlon
With good friend, course director of Ironkids and TBR Dream Marathon, Neville Manaois
Couldn’t be any prouder of this Little Man
PREVIOUS: Part 1: Ironkids Philippines – Training for the Race