Animo Triathlon 2009 Results

Monday, 15 June 2009  |  Race Announcements

Official results of Animo Triathlon are out.

I placed 2nd overall out of 27 women.

What does it tell me?  Swim was good.  Run was great.  Bike…err…needs improvement.  


– Top 10 Female Mini Sprint Results –

Animo Triathlon 2009 – Part 2

Sunday, 14 June 2009  |  Race Reports

More photos to share…

– The coolest, calmest triathlete on the course: Sea Princess Tessa Prieto-Valdez. Too bad I didn’t get shots of her dancing her way across the finish line –

– 3:42 Boston finisher and Polo Tri team member, Leica Carpo –

– Sen. Pia Cayetano and Maricel Laxa, both participants of Animo Tri –

– South Tri people: Yvonne, their friend, Paolo and Patricia –

– with friends, Dedette and Tiffin –

– with the hubby who finished his first tri. Woohoo! –

Animo Triathlon 2009 – Part 1

Sunday, 14 June 2009  |  Favorite Posts, Race Reports

This was so much more fun than my first triathlon last year!  While the first tri was a race to finish, this one was a race to beat—not others—but myself.  I jotted down my time for each sport in last year’s Animo Tri and, as I trained, I made sure that I improved on those times. With the training I had the past week, plus the bike lent by my friend Hans, I was pretty sure that I wouldn’t be the turtle that I was in 2008.  (Well, I wasn’t that confident but I sure was praying for that!)

– Big big thank you to Hans of GranTrail Bike shop, West Gate Center, Alabang –


Check in and body marking was quick and easy.  Hubby, who did his first mini-sprint, and friends Jamike and Jun were just a few meters away.  After hanging up our bikes on the racks, placing stickers on our bikes and helmets, and preparing all our gear for easy transition, we calmly walked towards the DLSZ swimming pool.

– Transition area set up –

{SWIM: 350 M}

This is when I started getting all jittery.  Seeing the green, murky water in the DLSZ pool didn’t help at all to alleviate the tension.  I ran to the bathroom twice, talked with my father-in-law about anything that came to mind, fidgeted with my goggles and swim cap, and started wondering if I should just stick to running instead.

When it was our turn, I jumped in the pool along with the other female mini-sprinters.  It was great to see my two highschool friends, cousins Jennie and Tintin, both strong athletes who were as nervous as I was.  After a brief chat, we heard the horn signal the start of our race.

There was a lot of pushing and kicking going on in there.  And, these women were fast!  I threw caution to the wind and went as fast as I could too paying no attention to the kicks I got or gave.  By the first lap, I was spent.  Obviously, I was not made for sprint swimming.  I took a 5 second break and went at it again.  Same speed, same gusto, but probably with terrible form.  


– Forgot about pacing. I went as fast as I could –

It went on like this for the next six laps.  Before I knew it, I was done.  Out of breath and tired, I ran out of the pool, slipped into my flipflops (which I now left near the exit unlike last year) and made my way towards the transition area.

SWIM TIME: 8.46 mins vs 18:00 mins 2008.  Beat my old time by 9.14 min.

{BIKE: 11KM}

Since the bike course was initially flat at Narra, I got to recover a bit from the tiresome swim portion.  I was still pretty much in relaxed mode at this portion.  As we headed out towards University Ave., that’s where the real race began.  I overtook bikers while the same bikers would overtake me.  It helped that I memorized the ocho-ocho loop a few days before the race.  There was no time lost on second guessing the route, or worse, missing out on a turn or doubling a loop, mistakes that were committed by a lot of participants this year and the last.

After we climbed up Country Club Drive, it was basically one other female biker and I who were competing with each other.  She and I started chasing each other through the rest of the course.  Aaack, it was tiresome, but I gotta admit, it was fun too!  Near the end of the course, I recognized her face and realized it was an acquaintance, Mavis.  We reached the end of the bike portion at practically the same time.  After transition and as we headed out towards the run, I told her how the bike portion became so much more challenging with her presence.

BIKE TIME: 34.21 (11km) vs 41.01 (12k) last year.

– Never thought I could have that much fun on a bike. I’m a convert. (I look like I’m in pain in the photo though haha) –

– Sprinters heading for transition –

{RUN: 3.5KM}

And now for the part we all love…When I started to run, I was breathless; I was panting like a puppy.  Nevertheless, I pushed forward, taking one quick step at a time, still paying attention to my form.  By the time I made it out to University Ave., there was no one behind me nor in front of me.  Honestly, had I not ran this route during our simulation last Tuesday, I would’ve thought I lost my way; there were no race signs nor marshalls.  I trusted my instincts and just plodded forward.  Soon enough, I spotted a couple of runners ahead.  One male, one female.  I followed.  There was another female heading back and she was escorted by a marshall on motorcycle, so she was #1.  The lady ahead of me was #2.  Then, in complete disbelief, I realized that I could actually be the 3rd!  

As I circled the turnaround, I spotted female #4. Lord, not her!  It was the super strong french lady runner from Hope in Motion 3 last year. (After chasing her throughout the race, I gave up and fell behind.  She placed 2nd and I 3rd.)  When I saw her, I wanted to run for my life!  Unfortunately, I was just so tired.  I just gave it my all, put on step in front of the other, and prayed to God that she was as exhausted as I was.  In a few minutes, I made the right turn and headed towards the finish line.

RUN TIME: 17.18 (3.5k hilly course) vs 16.06 (3.4k flat) last year.  

– Tri is lovelier the 2nd time around! Finish time: 1:00:25 –

– with my training buddies: Jun, Jamike and hubby (or as Annie would say Tito, Vic, and Joey heehee!) –

– with my “Team Mate”…same trisuit, long hair, but she was a lot leaner and taller and faster on the bike. Sheesh, forgot her name! Please email or comment! –

– with highschool classmates, Bau and Tin. See you next year? –


Turns out I got 2nd place for female overall, while the french lady won 3rd.  The lady runner ahead of me at the run won 1st place; she beat me by 24 seconds.  I don’t exactly know what happened to the lady leading the pack.

The podium finish was a pleasant surprise.  I really just set out to beat myself, so the medal and P250 David’s Salon Gift Certificate (perfect for covering up my new dead toenail) are really just bonuses for an hour of sweat, excitement, and friendly competition.

– 2nd Place female overall –

– Official results –

More photos in the next post…

Animo Tri Simulation

Tuesday, 9 June 2009  |  Running + Triathlon

What: Animo Mini Sprint Simulation, 350m swim-11k bike-3.4k run
Where: Alabang Country Club and Ayala Alabang Village
When: June 7, 2009, 6:30 am
Who: Jamike (Try-Athlete), Jun (Solemates), hubby and myself

– Hubby, Jamike, and Jun –

– with Jun and Jamike –

I woke up at 5 a.m. to do pre-simulation data gathering: took note of my time at last year’s mini sprint and the time of the 3rd placer who was closer to my age than the 1st and 2nd placers who were in their teens and printed out four copies of the race map, one for each of us.

We arrived at the Club to find Jun waiting for us at the parking lot and Jamike already doing laps at the pool.  After a few minutes of chit chat, we jumped in and officially started the our simulation.

SWIM: 350m

We swam 14 laps in a 25m pool.  I swam in almost 11 mins. which was a big improvement from the slow 18 mins I did last year.  But, I seriously think the push offs at the end of each 25m made a big difference.  I don’t know how I’ll perform in a 50m pool.  Hopefully, a bit faster than 18 mins.  Gulp.

BIKE: 11k

When I had Annie’s bike tuned up for Animo last week, Hans, the owner of GranTrail bike shop at West Gate Center in Alabang who is an old acquaintance of mine from a million years ago, offered to lend me his own bike for the upcoming triathlon.  (How lucky am I?!  Uhm, if you see how handsome the bike is, you’ll reply “VERY LUCKY!”)  For this training day, Hans even lent the bike for practice.  

I hopped onto the bike and felt comfortable instantly.  We biked out of Alabang Country Club (not the actual route) and headed towards Narra where the bike portion really starts.  We thought we followed the ocho loop but learned only after that we still got it wrong despite my printouts.  (We’ll probably bike this again before race day.)

I forgot to turn on my Garmin for this one so I have no clue how I did.  Even when I remembered to switch on my Garmin in the middle of the bike trip, I couldn’t.  Admittedly, I still can’t let go of the handlebars until now.  So, for the entire 11k, I could not take a sip of water, scratch my forehead when it got itchy, or worse, wipe off a bug that landed in between my eyes!

The start of the bike trip was a bit tough.  My butt and shoulders were aching.  But, after a few kilometers, I learned to relax and enjoy the ride.

RUN: 3.4k

Need I say that this was my favorite part?  The route isn’t the flat course anymore like last year.  This new course starts flat, but once you hit University Ave., there’s a gradual incline, slight downhill, then a climb up again after the turnaround.  It’s a nice, short yet challenging route.

We ran 4.6k—a bit more than the required—at 5:35 average pace.  We were huffing and puffing all the way to the end, but that made the finish even more fulfilling.

Click here for more info on Animo Triathlon.

Animo Triathlon – My First Tri

Sunday, 14 September 2008  |  Bullish Insights


I came, I swam, biked and ran, and…I conquered! As I type these words in the comfort of my own home, I can’t even believe I had just finished my first triathlon early this morning. Was that really me? You mean I managed to finish the race without drowning or clinging on to the lane lines for dear life? Before I get philosophical here, allow me to share the juicy race details:


I was a bundle of nerves—uhm, I was like that all week—when we arrived at 6:05 a.m. for check in. “Let’s go. I think I’m late.” I told my hubby over a hundred times. Of course, we weren’t that late but, being the newbie that I am, I disliked the fact that tardiness was adding to my stress. I picked up my race kit, got bodymarked, stickered my bike and helmet, parked my bike, (all with Marga’s guidance) and discovered that everything was less complicated than I imagined. Before I knew it, we were at the pool waiting for the race to start.


– What would have I done without Marga?! Let’s go, Team BWK! Banggi, start training. –

– Iron lady, Ani de Leon. Bow bow bow. –

{ SWIM – 350m, DLSZ pool }

This was the portion I was most concerned about, but as all 13 of us mini-sprint women (maybe 15 since two arrived late) were waiting for the go signal, I was surprisingly excited and psyched up. It must’ve been the crowds, the friends cheering me on, the feeling of being in a real competition that made me forget, albeit temporarily, about the long, arduous swim (at least, in my standards) that was about to commence.


– Trying to stay calm –

– Last photo with Marga in case I drowned –


– Waiting for the race to start –

So, I swam at a modest pace, not too fast, not too slow. I was kicked quite a number of times, but thankfully not in the head. It was a struggle to stay relaxed while seeing all the swimmers pass you by, but I knew that if I wanted to finish, I had to pace myself. After lap 3, I believe I paused at the end of every 50m lap to catch my breath and foolishly waste some seconds glancing at the hubby or smiling at friends. Let’s just say those pauses at the pool were both physical and emotional requirements to survive the grueling swim. By the last lap, I just swam away with only one thought in mind “Just get it over with.”

– I didn’t drown! Woohoo! –


I climbed out of the pool to realize that my slippers were at the other end of the pool. I yelled to my hubby “Slippers!” and instantly he dashed out to get them. (See, that’s the reason why hubby’s been running 3x a week; it was really to be quick and nimble when he acts as my support.) Hubby ran with me towards the transition area and watched me get ready for the bike. It was quick; again, less complicated than I thought.


– Smooth and easy transition. Thank God for the trisuit –

{ BIKE – 12k, Ocho Ocho Loop, Ayala Alabang }

The day before the race, Annie had lent me her roadbike, but after encountering problems with it, I decided to go for the safer but slower alternative, my hubby’s mountainbike. I biked the Ocho Ocho loop just the day before the race (yesterday) so I was pretty confident about not losing my way; however, I was very concerned about my speed. I knew I would be moving at turtle’s pace.

As I mounted the bike, I was with two other people, but when I made my way out to University Ave. towards Country Club Drive, it was like everyone disappeared except for one man in front of me who was biking at a leisurely pace. A few minutes after, some athletes—Harry Tan and a couple of other guys—passed us by and it confirmed the fact that I was going very slow; I felt like I was stuck in a slow mo movie. Yawn. By the time we reached Cuenca, the man who I initially found super slow increased his speed and, before I knew it, he was nowhere in sight. I was biking alone! Double yawn. I didn’t even feel like I was in a race. Pretty soon, I reached the finish line and boy was I eager to get off the bike.


Parked the bike. Removed the helmet. Drank a bit of Rush. And, much to Annie’s horror (she advised me against this early on but my OC-ness got the better of me), I stopped to re-tie my laces. She’ll be glad to learn though that I only tightened one of them.

I was expecting to walk out of the transition area like Daisy Duck or, if you want someone more relevant, Erap, but I was surprised to find myself jogging out of there in my regular running form.

{ RUN – 3.4k, Ayala Alabang }

Now for my favorite part: the run. I ran in complete comfort as if I had just started a race; the swim and bike portions had been erased from my body’s memory. For the first time, I ran without my Garmin but with my hubby’s water resistant timex. And, being the runner that I am, I only remembered to start the timer in this portion!

We were to run two big loops around the area and I felt strong all the way. It was only here that I felt I was doing well. I was outpacing people, even men, and I enjoyed every minute of it. Time passed by quickly here; well, it was just 3.4 km after all. According to my timex, I finished the 3.4k run in 16.39 min so my ave. pace was a little below 5 min/km.

As I neared the finish line, Annie came by for support and paced me until the end. She was so serious that I wanted to laugh out loud but she even shouted “Sprint. Sprint” and so I did. Hubby was at the finish line waiting for me. He says he stuck out his hand waiting for me to high-five him, but I didn’t even see! I was just probably in awe over my finish.

– I did it! –

– With Annie who showed up to watch and support. Thanks Annie! –


Can I be honest with you? I ended the race thinking: Was that it? Did I really finish my first triathlon? Why doesn’t it feel like it? Why am I not doing cartwheels and celebrating?

I’m still unsure exactly why. But, my best guess is that I’m a runner and I’m a masochist. Hah! I like ending a race drenched in sweat with my legs and feet tight and tired and the rest of my body yearning for a massage. At the end of this mini sprint, I didn’t feel weary and worn out; I felt like running more. (No, not quite ready for a sprint tri. That’s where I’ll definitely drown.)

So, running more is what I’ll be doing. For the next few months, I’ll be training for my half marathon. Exact details of which I’ll share with you in due time.

The triathlon was just something I had to try for pure fun and I’ll probably give it another go in the future. But, for now, I shall resume training with my one and only love: running.


– Triathlon mommies: Bunny, Me-Anne, TBR, Caroline, Dedette, and Ting. Mommy Power! –

– Foreignrunner after his 1st sprint tri. Congrats! You had no reason to worry –


Athletic couple, Maui and Coach Ige Lopez, with their friend.

– Finally, a photo with the famous Drew A. I waited in line for this photo. Daming fans. –

Marga for introducing the trisuit, staying calm during the race and guiding me.
Annie for showing up and pacing me.
Jamike Lopa for lending me his race belt.
Mark Parco for providing last minute race belts.
And, of course, to the hubby who woke up in the wee hours of the morning just to transport the bike, wait, watch, take photos, run for my slippers, and more—all this on an empty stomach!