Category Archives: Selected Features

Some shots of my new Timex Billboard with Piolo!

I can’t wait to see these myself… I have not been to Manila since they have been put up and apparently they are all over the place according to my friends. Coolness! I felt clumsy having this shoot next to Piolo but it was a great experience!

Now to make sure I get my pre-pregnancy body back post-delivery…haha!

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Filed under Photos, Selected Features, Timex, Uncategorized

FrontRunner Magazine June 2011 Cover Girl

Thanks so much FrontRunner Magazine for allowing me to grace your pages!

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Filed under Coaching and Training, Photos, Running, Selected Features, Timex, Uncategorized

Cosmopolitan Fun Fearless Female Awards Night

I recently received an award from Cosmopolitan Magazine, as apparently I am a Fun Fearless Female, fancy that!

It was a great surprise having found out I won the readers’ poll and come to think of it, quite flattering as I don’t really know how many women I have reached out to… maybe more than I think, haha 🙂  Anyway we had a lovely evening with the other awardees who showed up, including Venus Raj, Cristalle Belo Henares, Anne Curtis, Andi Manzano, Frenchesca Farr, and Raissa Laurel.

Here are some of the photos my proud husband took…

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Filed under Art and Culture, Events, Selected Features

Here’s a video clip of myself from LAVA Mag….

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Filed under Coaching and Training, Selected Features, Timex, Travel

Featured Athlete on SWIMBIKERUN.PH

Check this out guys!

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Thanks Carlos de Guzman and!

Athlete: Coach Ani de Leon

By: Carlos de Guzman

Pictures from: Ani’s Blog

For its debut edition, ( is honored to have Ms. Ani de Leon as its first In[FOCUS] athlete. One can’t think of a better fit. The first Filipina IRONMAN World Championship qualifier. Talking to for the first time, for its first In[FOCUS] release.

Last October 29, 2010, Ani, for the ‘nth time has once again brought honor to our country, topping the age group category in the Ironman 70.3 Race Series in Kenting, Taiwan. talks and gets the low down on what’s happening with Ms. Ani de Leon. What keeps her ticking and what motivates her.

Read on below for the interview. You’re the first ever In[FOCUS] athlete. =) Anything you wanna say to our readers?
I’m truly honored to be the first featured athlete…Triathlon has come a long way in the Philippines since I first started. Having venues such as this site of yours to further enhance the sport makes it even easier for everyone to communicate and be updated. Kudos to all the staff! Tell us about the win in Ironman 70.3 Kenting, Taiwan. How was the race?

Honestly I was in what you could call a “relaxed state,” physically. Emotionally and mentally I was going through a very tough time. My friend, a Taiwanese, Eric Wang graciously offered to set me up for this race, along with fellow coach Ige Lopez. It was very timely, as I needed something to make me feel good. And nothing does that for me like racing- good results or not. So when I won first female amateur I was very happy. During the race, I only realized I was leading when I entered T2 and saw that there were no other bikes yet along my row. I thought… “Oh! There’s nobody here yet… Oh!!! Shoot! That probably means I’m ahead!” Hahahaha…my bike computer conked out early on and so I just went by feel. It worked out for the best obviously. Where did that win rank in terms of your results so far?

I’ve podiumed in most of the Asian Ironman and 70.3 races which I have joined, but never first overall amateur. So it was definitely a breakthrough. It’s so ironic since I was not as prepared for this one as I was for the previous races. But I think what I learned from this is that coming into races not fully expecting anything can also be good for you. Were you already into sports when you were young? If so, which of them were you most passionate about?

I was into gymnastics and swimming when I was younger. I was quite passionate to do both! But in the end I had to choose one, and since my sister Sinag was into swimming it was the logical choice, plus since the pool was just inside the U.P. Diliman Campus it was also more convenient. In high school and early on in college all I would do after school is hang out at the pool with my teammates. My Coaches Noel and Bernie were the ones who first introduced the concept of cross-training (i.e. running!) to me, and though I detested it initially, looking back I am glad they forced me to do that! You’re the driving force behind the Ironkids program. Tell us more about it.

Well in the Philippines we have two triathlon programs for kids, namely, SuperTriKids (ASTC/ TRAP) and IronKids (WTC/ Sunrise Events). I feel so lucky to be given the opportunity to help out in both. Basically they share the same goals—to get the kids outside and be active. In this age of computers and video games, and also with the steady rise of childhood obesity, I think it is crucial to have programs like these. We create races for them throughout the year, which serve as great motivation for them to train. Where I am based, in Makati and Alabang, I coach them regularly with the help of fellow triathlete Noel Salvador. We have around three to four sessions during a typical week. We also have other coaches now who help out all over the country, and together we are building the next generation of triathletes. It’s really fun…I love my job. Do you follow any other sports?

I used to follow F1 racing when Michael Schumacher was at his peak but I don’t anymore. I follow the Tour de France when it is on. Other than that I am not such a big sports fan I think, haha. I have other interests like art and music, which I share with my family. What’s next on the calendar for Ms. Ani de Leon?

I am planning to do most of the 70.3s in the Asian region and the Ironman in China. I will be racing in SUBIT as well. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Still coaching, most likely. Hopefully I would also have my own family by then, haha. But I would still like to train and race, whether competitively or not, as this is one of the things I live for. I think I can still be competitive in my age group. How do you balance coaching, training, and personal life?

It’s tricky. I could do better with that I think. But it’s just a matter of planning and organizing. As I was trained to be an interior designer this is one of my fortes. But Life Happens…and when it does, you just go with the flow, even if you have etched your schedule in stone 12months ago, for example. What is your long term goal as a multisport athlete?

To be able to do what I love for as long as possible, which is race at a high level and be a good coach. During long training swim, bike, and run sessions. Has it ever occured to you that you asked yourself, why the hell am I doing this? =)

I will not lie; it has come up several times. It even reached a point a couple of years ago when I had to stop altogether for almost a year because I started questioning myself- my intentions, my goals, my decisions. But all I got out of that, aside from the weight gain, was a burning desire to go back. I knew then that it was an integral part of me, doing triathlons. Since then it was full steam ahead. Tell us about your sponsors Ani.

I am privileged to be representing TEAM TIMEX internationally for the first time this year so I am not taking this opportunity for granted. In fact it makes me excited just thinking about it! I have very good relationships with my long term sponsors, namely ADIDAS, RUDY PROJECT, FITNESS FIRST, TIMEX, HAMMER NUTRITION, AQUASPHERE and HED. I owe them a lot for supporting me year after year. So I try my best to make sure they get their money’s worth! Do you have or maintain a specific diet? If so, tell us about it.

I’m not going to say my diet is perfect since I could do with less sugar. I have a sweet tooth unfortunately haha. But apart from that I eat quite well. I eat good quality protein like fish and try to stay away from too much processed and fried stuff. I eat lots of fruits and vegetables. I know I am not eating well when I start feeling sick. If you are training a lot and you don’t eat properly that is bound to happen. So I am quite good with my diet. What else about Ani de Leon do you want the whole world to know? =)

Err…I could do a headstand for 10minutes. Does that count? Any last words or tips to those who wants to get into crazy world of triathlon?

Yes. You’re nuts! Hahaha. Seriously, at first triathletes look intimidating but we really are a great community. I love all my friends who are into triathlon, and you will make your own tri-friends too…everyone is more than willing to help out, so just tag along and you will learn a thing or two. Of course if you want to take it to the next level then hiring a coach would be the best thing you can do for yourself. Thank you for the time Ani. Appreciate it. Keep winning and keep inspiring!

Always a pleasure 🙂

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Filed under Adidas, Articles, Coaching and Training, Fitness First, Selected Features, Timex

My Taiwan race on Yahoonews Philippines!

Since I took so long to blog about this anyway, here is the article by Babeth Lolarga:’l-triathlon-event/

Pinay interior designer wins int’l triathlon event

By Yahoo! Southeast Asia Editors – December 2nd, 2010


By Elizabeth Lolarga, VERA Files
For Yahoo! Southeast Asia

While the nation whooped it up over Manny Pacquiao’s latest victory, a Filipino woman quietly flew home, lugging an international medal and trophy for the more physically taxing and rigorous sport of triathlon.

Her feat has received scant media attention, overshadowed by Pacquiao’s latest triumph.

Ani de Leon, 35, topped the Ironman 70.3 Race Series in Kenting, Taiwan, for the overall amateur category three weeks ago. Only one slot was given away to qualify for the world championships, and it went to her. She also finished ahead of other amateur women categories.

The first time her mother, feminist Anna Leah Sarabia, saw her compete, she described the sport as “masochistic” because Ani swims, bikes and runs longer distances than what’s required in the Olympics.

De Leon, an interior design graduate of the University of the Philippines and a visual artist on the side, looks back on how she got into sports.

“I was inspired by the commercial of gymnast Bea Lucero, but swimming with my sister Sinag throughout high school and college got me hooked into sports for the long haul,” she recalled. “After college, it was triathlon all the way. It seemed the most logical because Sinag and my UP friends were into it. I developed a lifelong love for it.”

While others may consider triathlon an extreme sport, she does not because she has taught her body to adapt.

“It is normal for my body to function that way,” she noted. “A lot of athletes, who are discovering multi-sport, will see this for themselves.”

She continued: “Humans are built to go long distances as evidenced in prehistoric times when man hunted for food. We have powerful engines; our frames can support that. So I am exploring how far my body-mind can go.”

She trains all-year-round since triathletes always join different kinds of competition. She said she plans to join six major international races in the Ironman and 70.3 calendar next year. That is roughly one every two months, not counting local races she participates in.

She maintains a disciplined schedule, but has taken time to pioneer the training of future Filipino triathletes. She is the coach of two squads: SuperTriKids and IronKids. The first group is under the Triathlon Association of the Philippines while the second is under the Ironman brand, which Fred Uytengsu of Alaska Milk acquired recently.

Together with Senator Pia Cayetano’s Pinay in Action, she visits public high schools, teaching kids, mostly girls, how to run. De Leon said all three organizations work for the same goal, that is, to get kids outdoors, get them active and embark them on a lifetime commitment to fitness and well-being. I

“It’s a great self-esteem and character builder, better than playing video games the whole weekend,” she observed.

Asked if a person can make a living out of being a professional sports woman, she answered: “If you decide to be a fulltime triathlete in the Philippines, it is not that easy. I am lucky because I’ve embraced the sport fully. I earn from coaching and holding training camps, conducting run clinics and organizing races. It is not work for me because I enjoy it.”

Since 2001, she has represented the country as national short-course athlete, then long-course athlete towards late 2007 to the present.

The first triathlon event she participated in was also in 2001 in Dumaguete City at the National Triathlon Trials.

Short course is one km swim,30 km bike, and 10 km run.Long course is two km swim,80 km bike and 10 km run.

Explaining her leap from short to long-distance events, she said: “Triathlon as a sport has a lot of race distances. Generally, if you are below 30, you excel in short-distance events. Once you hit 30 and above, you excel in long-distance endurance events.”

When competing, she feels tremendous happiness. It is her chance to experience nature closely. She explained: “I get to know different places really well. There is nothing like swimming, biking, and running from point to point which forces you to commune with all the elements.”

Racing has taken her all over Asia, parts of Australia and the United States to represent the Philippines. Her most memorable competition was the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii.

“Crossing the finish line there with the Philippine flag brought me to tears,” she recalled.

She continues to be inspired and driven by the performances of other athletes like Chrissie Wellington and Michellie Jones. She described them as “amazing women for whom I have so much respect.”

“Knowing that they are pushing the boundaries on behalf of all women makes me want to be like them, but I’m doing it in my own way,” she pointed out.

The bronze-bodied de Leon is aware that she is five years shy of 40 and her body may feel differently once she crosses that age. She is undaunted, having met female professionals still competing at the top of the field at 40.

As for her budding interior design career that was nipped in the bud, she shrugged and said: “I have shelved it and embraced the world of multi-sport full time.”

“Having said that, I am still going to be involved with triathlon through coaching,” she vowed. “I love helping kids achieve their potential in sports and in life.”

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Filed under Adidas, Coaching and Training, IronKids, Pinay In Action, Race Report, Selected Features, SuperKids, Timex, Travel

ONE SPORT Magazine Cover and Article


Filed under Athletes, Coaching and Training, Fitness First, Photos, Pinay In Action, Selected Features

Short Video Clip on IRONKIDS Tri in Cam Sur

   IronKids Phil On TV!

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Filed under Coaching and Training, IronKids, Selected Features, Triathlon for kids

Short Video Clip on 24Oras Pre Cam Sur 70.3

   On 24Oras:

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Filed under Adidas, Coaching and Training, Fitness First, IronKids, Selected Features, Timex

Inspiration in Green and Pink featuring Denise Matias and Ani de Leon

Thanks so much Meagan Kelly for this awesome video!!!

You can subscribe to and watch Meagan’s show every two weeks on

or on YouTube!

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Filed under Art and Culture, Environment, IronKids, Pinay In Action, Selected Features, SuperKids