In 2002, the first Iron Distance Triathlon (3.8km swim/180km bike/42.2km run) in the Philippines was held in Matabungkay Batangas, called the Phil Irondistance 2002. It was organized by First Wave Tri (Raul Cuevas, Ricky Ledesma, Lito Fugoso). The second one was put up a year after, called the Enduraman, organized by Karlo Magpayo and co, held in Subic Bay Philippines.
After a long wait, on Dec 3 this year, the third race of this distance finally came into fruition, and was organized yet again by Raul Cuevas and Bike King. Known as TIMEX 226 because of the total combined distances of the swim bike and run legs, it is the first title sponsorship and banner event of Timex Philippines for a triathlon race (although Timex has been active in sponsoring runs and triathlons both here in the Phils. and abroad).
Anda Beach in Bohol proved to be a beautiful venue, and Governor Art Yap was an equally welcoming host to the 66 participants. There were 63 males and 3 females, mostly Filipino racers with two Singaporeans in the mix. A total of 6 local teams supported the event, namely Timex TMM (14), Bike King (4), Polo Tri (3), Quest 825 (7), Tri North (3), and Sport Spray (3).
Here are some more quick facts about the race:
- Some of the highly respected names in the triathlon community who joined are Arland Macasieb of Filamtri/ Athlete Octane, Alvin Alindogan of Timex TMM, August Benedicto of PMI, and Neil Catiil of Timex TMM, .
- Aside from Alvin, Rommel Fernandez of 7-eleven Multi Sport Team and Omar Paredes of Herbalife are Timex226 participants who were also present in the 2002 Phil Iron distance race.
- The after-party hosted by Congressman Art Yap was a blast. Bottomless beer, crabs, lechon, barbecue, chicken, and more were served. Among the prizes for the party games were Timex watches, free hotel accommodations in Anda, and free entry to next year’s Bohol Triathlon.
- Second to the last finisher was Jun Cunanan of Timex TMM. He arrived 30 min ahead of Luis Arcangel, the last finisher, but decided to wait for Luis at the finish line. The two of them then crossed the finish line together.
- Alvin Alindogan, who took 1st place in his age category, slowed down only 19 minutes in his finish time in a span of 9 years since the Matabungkay triathlon.
- Participant Edgar Villar AKA ‘Boy Power’, 61 years of age, biked from Davaoto CDO, CDO to Boholport in Tagbilaran to get to the race venue. He also biked his way to Anda the day before the race! He finished 3rd in his age group.
- Neil Catiil had to drop out of the race because he collapsed in the 1st loop of the run course. His body was rejecting his nutrition, and he was 2nd to Arland in leading the race when he dropped out.
A respectful salute and hearty congratulations to our newly-forged Timex 226 Iron Men and Women! And a big pat on the back to the organizers, Bike King, Timex Philippines and the Sponsors. See you all next year!
Official Race Results: