Naga is A City of Athletes

Aug 14, 2011 by

Our flight to Naga was quite uneventful. Save for the 40-minute traffic on the runway, the plane glided smoothly ‘til we reached our destination. There were about 18 of us wearing the official Team Iloilo shirt, proud like national athletes going to the Olympics. Upon arrival at the Naga airport, we were welcomed by a group of performers with colored flaglets and a whole lot of dancing. It was the perfect way to arrive as a group that shares the excitement for the events in the days to come. It was the Ironman atmosphere all over the city of Naga and the excitement, for a while there, has shifted to pressure.

The welcome band at Naga City Airport.

Posing it up with a triathlete senator, Pia Cayetano

The ironman atmosphere!

Team Iloilo is composed of several sub-teams who carry their group or individual tags depending on their sponsoring establishment. This is by far the biggest representation of Iloilo City to Ironman. The support of the city officials have been instrumental in inspiring the athletes to train and do well in the race. Our team have a mixed age group and we all mesh happily in the duration of our trips.

The Team Iloilo athletes

After we settled in our hotel, we proceeded to Camsur Watersports Complex (CWC) for the registration. It was so refreshing to see a community of triathletes all dressed up for the events. It hyped us up even some more. The Ironman organizers are extremely professional I felt like we were in another country. These guys know what they’re doing and they have the right attitude doing it. The registration experience alone is an antithesis of our government offices. The center was even sprawled with red carpet, for chrissakes!

The registration center at CWC

Done with registration! And with our fun lootbags!

The log cabins

The Ironman merchandise kiosks and the official Ironman store got us checking every little trinket and meeting the Governor of Camsur, Gov. L-Ray Villafuerte, Fred Uytengsu, and some celebrities here and there. Exhausted after all the tete-a-tete, we binged on Shakeys Pizza at McDonalds drinking free Gatorade. The afternoon was well-spent and our cue to move out of CWC was the drizzle that did not stop everyone else doing what they’re doing. Like cable-wakeboarding.

CWC cable wakeboarding -- adrenaline rush!

The swim course at the CWC man-made lake, Lago del Ray.

Happy fiesta at CWC

L-R: Jay Certeza, Kevin Piamonte, Gus Banusing, Gov L-Ray Villafuerte, Pauline Banusing, and Joyce Certeza

At dinner, we trooped to the Avella Residence and socialized with the other athletes from Manila and the support groups coming from different places. Team Iloilo took some time discussing the masterplan on oculars, trial race and other important reminders to keep everyone informed. The race can be overwhelming because of the many things that are going on and if you don’t stay focused, it can make you feel intimidated. We are fortunate to have second-timers for Ironman who provided us with answers to FAQs, helping the new guys in so many ways.

Dinner at the Avella Residence

Team Iloilo meeting up for the next day's activities

Day 2 will be a practice day for the athletes and I am probably going to check out the city for some novelties. Maybe I’ll help Moniq find a new friend somewhere. Who knows.

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