When Iron Meets Man and Man Becomes The Victor (Part 2).

Aug 17, 2011 by

By 6 AM, Lago del Ray (a man-made lake built for extreme water sports) slowly filled up with spectators, media crew and government officials. Aerial cameras hovered above us and the event host started pumping up the energy. Our team prayed for our athletes’ safety and enjoyment. Then the countdown started.

Lago del Ray filling up with people for the big event

Aerial shots for live coverage on Studio 23 and GMA 7

Team Freska 1 praying together before the start of the race

Our team was competing for relay category, so each of them was playing for different events: Jay Certeza for swimming, followed by Gus Banusing for biking, and Kevin Piamonte would finish the race in running.

Before the starting fire for the first event which was swimming, Moniq and I pondered in amazement the scale of the event. Thousands of athletes gathered here and it included some of the world’s best together with some of the most amateur in triathlon. The magnitude of this kind of diversity is just incredible.

The elite triathletes (all top finishers of previous Ironman) leading the wave for the swimming leg.

This magnitude and diversity of people coming together makes us see a different light to a meaningful existence. It's too much poetry, but yes, that's how it felt like.

Then the race began. We screamed our hearts out in our desperate attempt to assure our athletes that we were there for them. The weather was in its most erratic, but it never stopped anyone running from one viewing deck to the next, applauding for elite triathletes reaching transition, waving their banners, shrieking in utter excitement. We counted the hours and minutes, waiting for each forthcoming athlete into the transition, preparing our lungs to cheer. We were imagining our athletes going through the maximum mental and physical distress as they all race to the finish line.

Pete Jacobs (the ultimate Ironman for 2011) leading the race in this arm-only photo

Fruits and Water waiting for athletes to come.

These bikes are unbelievably expensive. There's a lot of science going on in these gadgets and I was amazed at how they are designed in such a way to work with the forces of nature: such as the wind.

The bikers awaiting at the transition area for their team swimmers.

That's Team Freska Transition! Gus getting ready to get the microchip from Jay's ankle and to race the bike!

Our cheerios and Kevin waiting for Gus' return and for the last transition.

Gus coming back from the bike leg and Kevin putting on the microchip for his race.

Kevin for the win!

After the unpredictable alternating rain and heat, after a few bottles of water, after meeting other cheerers and support group, after all the anticipation… and after 5 hours and 56 minutes, Team Freska 1 saw its last relay player, Kevin, approaching the finish line. It was the most glorious feeling for all of us. It was too glorious we have forgotten the sound of glory that we were making. It was the moment as described in songs and poems and the movies.

Jay Certeza finishing his swim leg

Gus Banusing finishing his bike leg.

Kevin Piamonte crossing the finish line.

The post-race process simmered for a while and we enjoyed every single moment of it. After the race, I told Kevin that I was so inspired to see the triathletes and to be there at the event. It made me see the human spirit beyond plain feelings and Ironman being a celebration of it. I know it’s an abstract way of appreciating it, but there is no other way this can be put concretely. Why do they race? They race after something they cannot even see: TIME. For triathletes, they make their time and they get the imprint of it. It sticks with them. A time imprint that, for many clueless souls in the world who would never know, are usually spent on utterly senseless things. A triathlete’s time is everything that means to them. This year’s race that is 3 minutes faster than last year is life-changing. While a few seconds of delay can devastate an entire being of an athlete who desire to beat no one else but him/herself. The achievement of time is such a tough view to fulfill. What is time? Who is time? Maybe when we all spent enough time to gather experiences and age and we sit on the foyer looking out and realize, hey I haven’t really chased after time, have I? Maybe only then will we realize we haven’t really tried the best of us.

Team Freska 1 placed 39 out of 101 relay teams that competed in Cobra Ironman 70.3 in Camsur. For this, we celebrate.

From triathlete, Dave Scott: If you set a goal for yourself and are able to achieve it, you have won your race. Your goal can be to come in first, to improve your performance, or just finish the race its up to you. CONGRATULATIONS TEAM FRESKA 1!

1 Comment

  1. yen

    i just had to go thru ur camsur albums in FB! bisan tapos na ka exciting gd gyapon. ako na da guro ulihi nang like like like! hope to see u guys soon :)

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