Monthly Archives: July 2009

SuperTriKids Camp

SuperTriKids Camp, Ayala Alabang, May 2008  Jun 12, ’08 10:45 PM
for everyone
Congratulations to all the participants!!! Thanks to our supporters and friends who helped out, Sen Pia Cayetano, Rick Reyes, George Vilog, Patrick Joson, Joel Santos, Rizzo and Anton Tangan….you made it all happen 🙂 Special thanks to TRAP and Coach Rob Pickard! Photo Credits: Isa Cruz, Omi Gozon, Rizzo Tangan


NOTE: To learn more about our regular training sessions and triathlon camps, please send me an email at  Thanks!

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Filed under Athletes, Coaching and Training, Events, SuperKids, Triathlon for kids

HAWAIIANI My Send-Off Party organized by the best friends ever!

  Sep 14, ’08 11:47 PM
for everyone
It was the best party I ever threw..except I didn’t organize anything which was the best part! My friends Doray, Rizzo, Joel, and Wayne did…and it was a success because of their amazing efforts. So many people and different triathlon clubs attended the event, and I am so humbled by the show of support from all sides. I have such a long list of people to thank, and let me start with:

1. Fitness First Triathlon Team and Fitness First Cycling Team
2. TRAP, Pinay In Action, Tri Hard, Team Xycos, Polo Tri Team, Team David’s Salon, Tri CLARK, TBB, TriDogs, Underwater Hockey Federation, TAYO and of course my family 🙂
3. CEEPO, HAWAIIAN AIRLINES, TOP DRAW ANIMATION, VITWATER, ADIDAS, RUDY PROJECT, Anonymous Donor (let’s call him F. :), Office of Senator Pia Cayetano, BIKE KING, DAVID’S SALON, WEBER AND SHANDWICK, Maiqui Dayrit, Tessa Valdes, Mary Rufino, Marty de Castro, Leanna Farrales, Dick Sugcang

Thanks Rey Agapay and Ria Vallesteros for a SUPER hosting job!!!
Great atmosphere in MAG.NET Cafe, and great band!

Congratulations to Joel Beloy for winning the Hawaiian Airlines Round Trip ticket to Hawaii!!!

Thanks for all who bought tickets, even though you knew you couldn’t attend! And thanks for everyone who came 🙂




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Filed under Adidas, Events, Friends, Timex

My favorite things!


  • Adidas
  • Fitness First
  • hammer nutrition
  • pinay in action  
  • rudy project
  • Timex
  • triathlon association of the philippines
  • Ceepo
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    Filed under Adidas, Fitness First, Pinay In Action, SuperKids, Timex

    Adidas Adizero

    I was born with very very very very (did i say very?) flat feet.  My feet can be a case study for something I am sure.  It is not the most attractive pair you will find on the planet.  I overpronate terribly.  I have humongous bunions because of that, among other things.  So on paper it is highly recommended that I wear stability shoes, those with more arch support and with a bit less flexible soles. I had already resigned myself to the fact that I will forever have less freedom of movement compared to other runners.  I had tried a lot of popular running shoe models but nothing seemed to be comfortable.

    Until I got my first pair of adizeroes.  It was love at first run, and we’ve been together ever since…5k, 10k, 21k, 42km… you name it.  Even though it’s generally meant for people with neutral feet I think I just really prefer to do away with all of that thick cushioning.  The adizeroes are thin and flat just the way I like it.  I’m never going back to chunky shoes. 

    I know one other runner who likes them as much as I do.  His name is Haile Gebrselassie, and if you don’t know who he is you can look him up…

    Langkawi Race Day Shots 2009 (9)

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    My Sister Sinag

    I love my sister Sinag. She helped shape who I am today. Her name translates to “Ray Of Light” in Filipino and that is what she is to me.  Among other things, I got into swimming because of her.  I am a triathlete because of her.  She is the most caring mom, loving daughter and thoughtful sister.  She is the best 🙂

    sinag at raya

    She was the first Subic International Triathlon Female Champion.  I was only a spectator and fan of hers then.  She did the Ironman Australia a couple of years back and was the second Filipina to do an Ironman after Vicky Amara, who did it in Ironman New Zealand.

    Her daughter Raya plays basketball for her school team.  At 14 she is taller than me (not very hard to do anyway).  She knows how to swim bike and run and has done one triathlon and one duathlon to date, but we don’t force her to join or train.  She is very much into her guitar playing nowadays.  She is also very sweet.  The first WTC Ironman that I did, Langkawi 2008, they made this very artsy scrap book for me to have something to hold on to during the race weekend.

    I am a very very lucky sister.

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    I Like It When It’s Pink

    Since switching from a career in art and design to one in sports, I have found that the only creative outlets I have are writing and designing triathlon outfits.  In all of my Ironman Races I have worn my own pink designs.  No, pink is not a particular favorite, but I just get a kick out of the fact that most men get pissed off when a pink bike and a pink suit can either keep up with them or overtake them (now the secret is out haha).

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    Filed under Art and Culture, Coaching and Training, Pinay In Action, Sketches and Doodles

    Hawaiian Sketches

    Here are some sketches in Hawaii during my post-race R&R …

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    Filed under Art and Culture, Sketches and Doodles, Travel

    My Ironman World Championships Race Story


     Ani Karina Sarabia de Leon

    The Goal: Finish Line at Alii Drive

    The Goal: Finish Line at Alii Drive

    My Ironman World Championships Race Story (as written for Metro Active) Today I was able to achieve my lifelong dream.  I know that not many people get to say that.  I officially became an Ironman World Championships participant—I definitely know not very many people get to say that either. Treading the waters of Kailua-Kona Bay minutes before the race start, it almost felt like I was still watching one of those videos that I had seen hundreds of times…except for the fact that now, the giant inflatable Gatorade bottle was right beside me, and I was about to swim with a big mass of people—1,800 strong and unbelievably able bodies to be exact.  It felt surreal. How did I get here, in the beautiful Big Island of Hawaii, qualified to join the greatest competition known to my sport, the Everest that all triathletes aspire to? Everything that led up to this moment suddenly flashed in my mind.  My first efforts at swimming freestyle with the help of Coaches Bernie and Noel at the U.P. pool.  My first ride in the countryside on a borrowed road bike.  My first frustrated attempts at running.  My first triathlon competition.  My long stint as a national athlete.  My countless hours of training and racing, and with it, all my career ups and downs, triumphs and disappointments, precious friends gained, lessons learned the hard way, and literally all the blood, sweat and tears that I spilled to get to where I am now.  It was an incredible journey, and one that I treasure as much as the destination itself. The cannonball fired by the US Navy to signal the race start jolts me back to reality immediately, and a mass of world-class triathletes jostle frantically for position in the water.  All that pent-up energy from months and months of preparation and anticipation are instantly unleashed and I cannot begin to describe the chaos of it all.  These were all warriors hungry for battle, and I am right there with them.  Amazingly, after a few hundred meters, I feel relaxed and it feels like any other race, and for the moment, I forget the fact that I am in the world championships.  Despite the non-stop aggression going on around me all the way to the end of the 3.8km swim, I settle into a good rhythm.  I get out of the azure waters thoroughly primed for the toughest legs still ahead: the 180km bike and the 42.2km run.  I had done my homework, and I wasn’t completely terrified.  Just a little bit…. The pros who had done this race a couple of times had forewarned me about the powerful winds which were notorious for blowing away athletes off the course.  They weren’t kidding.  Just like any typical triathlete, I had set personal time goals for my race. As I rode further out, I had a sinking feeling that I was not going to meet my target for the bike.  The winds were so strong and I felt horribly unequipped to maneuver my way through it.  My tires were literally bouncing off the road with each blast that the seas and lava fields blew in my direction. I couldn’t even let go of my handlebars long enough to drink from my bottle or to down an energy gel. I was getting tired—more mentally than physically.  I was sadly aware that I was not 100% in control of the situation.  I was fighting so hard to stay in the race, and I went in and out of it so many times.  What people don’t realize about Ironman distance racing is that it is such a long day that your attention span and your focus will inevitably wane.  I knew this of course, but that didn’t prevent it from happening.  Fortunately, I also knew that even it you get into a really bad patch, you could snap out of it and get a second wind again as if nothing happened.  I finally complete the bike leg, with much relief that I could put the winds of the Big Island behind me, and also that I didn’t suffer any crashes or mechanical problems. Now a 42.2km marathon on its own is enough to intimidate a normal person, but as I looked at my fellow competitors, this didn’t seem to bother them one bit.  It was just another day at the office.  I took my cue from them, and focused on the task at hand.  A good triathlon coach once told me, even if you are running 42km, just concentrate on the one square kilometer in front of you.  This proved to be a real good piece of advice, and as I passed mile marker by mile marker, I quietly gave myself a pat on the back.  The spectators all over the race course gave us such wonderful positive energy and this helped me move a little bit faster.  My trusty support crew of two, Patrice and Joel wrote a note for me at the motivational corner which read “Philippines Loves U,” and I choked back my emotions upon reading it.  It fired me up even more. Everyone was feeling the heat (I later learned that it reached 40C) especially towards the Energy Lab but that didn’t affect me so much.  I was hopeful till almost the very end that I would make it to my personal target of sub-12 hours.  But then when I hit the last 2 miles and realized that I needed to run two 5+ minute miles, I ditched the whole thing and just planned to enjoy myself and savor the final minutes.  Patrice had been given specific instructions to 1) find a pole to attach to the flag, 2) hand me the flag on Hualalai Road, and he had been alone in that corner waiting for me for almost two hours.  And upon seeing him I could only shout “give me my flag!!!” because I had been repeating that mantra to myself for hours by then.  I didn’t forget to thank him after the race.  But right now I was focused on seeing that finish chute, and I could finally hear the music and Mike Riley’s booming voice on the speakers. The last few hundred meters are indescribable.  I was already sobbing and I had to wipe my wet face before I hit the lights on the carpet.  The noise from the crowd was deafening but I had played those final seconds countless times in my mind and I knew what I had to do next.  I proudly waved the Philippine Flag to everybody, in its debut here on Ironman World Championships grounds, and it was beautiful. Race Day (5) I wanted to show it on behalf of all the people back home who had been waiting for this moment just like me.  I blew a kiss, took a low bow and thanked the Goddess Pele silently for teaching me a lesson in humility but at the same time being kind enough to grant me a PR. I raised the flag once again and proceeded to let myself be embraced by two Filipina catchers, Lovette and Sally, who had chosen to volunteer and wait for me to arrive. I let the tears flow freely.  I had done my job and I was glad.  My lifelong dream had come true. for more pictures, you can visit

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    Filed under Adidas, Articles, Coaching and Training, Fitness First, Hawaiian Airlines, Race Report, Sponsors and Partners, Timex, Travel

    Book Review: The Perfect Mile

    Book Review: The Perfect Mile by Neal Bascomb

    Ani Karina S. de Leon


    For those of us living in a country wherein the metric system is the standard for measuring distance, we may not have any idea nor even care about the significance of the mile in the history of athletics.   Only well informed or serious runners would probably be able to give you the exact number for determining whether you fall into the category of great runner or not.  And that, of course, is four minutes: to this day, it is still the yardstick for separating the truly fast from the average miler.

     the perfect mile

    Not too long ago, May 6, 2004 to be exact, the world of athletics celebrated the 50 year anniversary of the first moment any individual was able to break the four minute barrier.  That honor goes to Sir Roger Bannister from the UK. 


    The author, Neal Bascomb, gives the reader a remarkable historical backdrop of running during that era, including the frustrating politics, controversies on pacing, timing, and the influence of certain personalities like the famous athletes and coaches of that time.


    The book revolves around three main characters and not just around Roger Bannister though, as the piece is generally about the race to break the 4minute mile, which apparently was a huge and almost impossible goal to achieve then.  The struggles and successes of John Landy of Australia and Wes Santee of the USA are vividly recounted as well, and their personal lives only add more color and drama to the already thick plot.


    It is inspiring to say the least, and only goes to prove that human beings are capable of realizing their full potential if they are determined enough.  I will also never think of the mile run in the same way again.

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    Filed under Articles, Review, Running

    Fitness First triathletes first again

    Fitness First Team Combat: Me, Ige, Mark, Dane, Eric

    Fitness First Team Combat: Me, Ige, Mark, Dane, Eric


    Fitness First triathletes first again
    Updated May 24, 2009 12:00 AM
    MANILA, Philippines – Team Combat of Fitness First, led by former national women’s triathlon champion and recent Ironman Hawaii finisher Ani de Leon and teammate Dane Cantwell, emerged runaway champion in the team event at the recent 16th Subic Bay ITU-International Triathlon.
    De Leon submitted a finishing time of 2:33.14 in the individual age group of the men’s division while Cantwell clocked 2:16.16 in the women’s division.
    With the 2:23.27 of Fitness First country manager Mark Ellis and Eriberto Carandang’s 2:27:32 Fitness First had an accumulated time of 9:40:31. Polo Tri Zoomers was second in 10:07:04.
    David Verlee clocked 2:24.00 to lead his group composed of Anthony Welsh, JonJon Rufino, and Amanda Marie Carpo.
    At third was last year’s team champion Herbalife with Ferdinand Catabian (2:16.56) at the helm together with Jojo Macalintal, Hiroshi Takei, and Reva Magno.
    However, in the relay event, Herbalife retained the crown as its team of Michael Canillo, July Cagungun, and Orly Mariano combined for a winning time of 2:25.12.
    The visiting Triathlon Association of Malaysia team, led by Stephanie Chok together with Gary Chong and Rikiguro Shinozuka, was second ( 2:25.54).
    At third was the Camayan Ocean Adventure team (2:30.40).
    The 13-15 age category was won by Bacolod’s John Rommel Uy followed by two Malaysian boys while Singapore’s Phan Yong Tin Joy copped the girl’s plum.
    Spring junior and adult champions were Hong Kong’s Cheung Tsz Hei, Johanna Pe Benito, Jonjon Rufino and Stephanie Chok.
    Top overall finishers in the women’s individual age group competition were De Leon, Carpo (2:39.48) and 35-39 age group champion Rizzo Tangan (2:43.05). Runners-up to Cantwell in the men’s side were Catabian and former national team member Noel Salvador (2:20.44.1).
    Other age group winners in the event sponsored by SBMA, Speedo, Gatorade, PSC, David’s Salon, Globe Telecoms, Fitness First, Asian Center for Insulation, Vitwater, Sunkist, and Rudy Project, were Jefferson Tabacon (17-19,  2:43.59), Emmanuel Rodil (20-24, 2:38.17), duathlete Augus Benedicto (25-29, 2:23.03), Cantwell (30-34), Salvador (40-44), Welsh (45-49, 2:33.05, Alvin Alindogan (50-54, 2:31.26), Dr. Oscar Escudero Jr., (55-59, 3:03.45) and Brigilio Balaba (60-over, 3:25.17).
    The women’s side had De Leon taking the 30-34 crown, Fiona Ottiger, 40-44 in 2:50.03, and Tangan, 35-39.
    Sen. Pia Cayetano, a staunch supporter of triathlon, placed second in her age group with a time of 3:02.40.
    “This was the biggest field ever in the team event of the Subic Bay International Triathlon and it shows the growth of triathlon as a serious sport in the country, “said TRAP president Tom Carrasco Jr. after the race that had Philippine STAR, DZSR, and Solar Sports together with radio sponsors – Jam 88.3, Wave 89.1, Magic 89.9, 99.5 RT, and 103.5 Max FM.



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