Challenge Philippines was never really on my radar of races to do because the bike is super tough and I am not a good biker. Makes sense in terms of doing races that suit your strengths but I now do races simply for fun and to challenge myself.
I first heard about the Challenge races by listening to the famous triathlete Sister Madonna. She said she loves the atmosphere of the Challenge races which convinced me to give Challenge Philippines at Subic Bay on February 22nd a try. I am so glad I listened to you Sister Madonna as I loved it.
Sister Madonna Buder, a nun from Spokane/Washington, US, 83 years “young”, was the oldest participant in DATEV Challenge Roth, June 2014. Article from here. What do you want to do at 80? I will still be doing triathlons with my wife.
5 Reasons to Challenge Yourself at Challenge Philippines
1. Survive the Challenging Bike Course and You Can Survive Anything!
I enjoyed the challenge of the bike course. The hills were long and tough. I kept repeating “Hokkaido, Langkawi and Audax” in my head as I knew that having survived these tough bike courses in the past that I could survive this one. Now I can add Challenge to my mantra!
Great pictures of Retzel Orquiza from Andy Leuterio. Raceday also had some great pictures that all the participants greatly appreciate. A big shout out to all the on course photographers who did a wonderful job in the heat of the day.
Arguably, the toughest bike course of any race in the Philippines claimed a few casualties with many a scraped and bloody elbow in evidence in the medics tent after the race.
Picture above of Jong Sajulga (read his Ironman Langkawi story here) at Subic Bay Freeport Zone. He confided in me at the awarding ceremony that his personal highlight for the day was finally getting a faster run split than me!
2. Challenge the Cheaters You See on the Course!
Hopefully we will see less of the “cheaters” for future races but I personally saw many swimmers swimming outside of the ropes thereby cutting the course. This is cheating and is against the spirit of triathlon.
I also politely told a runner who threw his gel rubbish into the Subic forest to pick it up. To be so inconsiderate and rude is mind blowing to me and should count for immediate disqualification in my humble opinion. To the rubbish throwers credit he did apologize but I memorized his bib number and will email him our Primed Cheaters article as a reminder and a reminder of the beauty of the Subic forest environment.
For those not sure on the cheating/etiquette rules for triathlon please read our Cheaters article here.
3. It’s Cool To Watch the Professionals and Elites Challenge Themselves
Here are the women pros setting off for their Challenge race.
My Sante Barley Tri-Team teammates all got on the podium for the Filipino male elite with Robinson Esteves, Jefferson Valdez and Mervin Rencel Santiago coming in 1, 2 and 3 respectively. Robinson even crossed the finish line before a couple of the males pros.
Challenge Philippines even have an event for the next day for the children.
4. Challenge Yourself in a Relay Team
Picture of swimmer Cecile Navaez Hufana, biker Glenda Evangelista and runner Hazel Ferrer-Misa by Tim Evangelista.
Why not join Challenge Philippines Subic next year or Cam Sur this year? A relay is a great way to start your 70.3 triathlon challenge. Natasha, Jamie Leather and I all started in a relay at Cam Sur in August 2011.
5. Challenge Your Nutrition Practices
I will never, ever carbo load again and loved the incredible energy I felt throughout the entire race due to becoming a Primed fat burning machine. Haha.
At the half way mark of the bike I was in 187th position. I then overtook 18 people on the next 45km of the bike (unheard of for me) and 69 people on the 21km run. I finished 100th out of 444 finishers, 5th in my age category out of 58 and ran the fastest run split for my age group of 1:44:53. I am also training the least I have ever trained since doing my first full triathlon around 3 plus years ago.
I attribute my extra, sustained energy to now being a Primed fat burner that gives me around 40,000 calories of stored fuel from fat compared to my glucose burning buddies who have around 2,000 calories.
My pre-race nutrition included lots of eggs, Primed Kimbap – nori rolled ream cheese with sardines and kimchi, stir-fried pork with vegetables and all good sources of saturated fats. Did I mention that I love all things coconut?
For the entire race I had no sports drinks and only electrolyte water, water, Primed Home-made Gel for the bike and Primed Gold Centrifuged Organic Virgin Coconut Oil for the run.
This fat fuel sustained me beautifully throughout the entire tough race and even allowed me to recover so well that by Monday morning I was able to run 5km, swim and go to the gym with no pains at all.
We had a wonderful meal at Texas Joe’s in Subic the day after the triathlon. I had Pulled Pork with Vegetables and Guacamole washed down with Green Tea.
Thanks for a Great Challenge Philippines
Dave Voth together with Jumbo Tayag and his team did a great job. As a humble Jumbo said “It was a group of hardworking people put together to deliver a great race. We had 900+ volunteers to make this event possible. #wearefamily” Thanks to ivanzalameda for the picture.
Thank you to the wonderful volunteers. You helped make a great race perfect.
Thanks also for all the cool freebies Dave and Jumbo. See you again next year.