Category Archives: Coaching and Training

A Golden Moment: The Philippine Triathlon Team’s SEAGames journey

A Golden Moment

By Ani de Leon-Brown

The Philippine Triathlon Team’s SEAGames journey

(Reposting from http://hip.inquirer.net/multisport/a-golden-moment/)

I’m standing in anticipation near the finish line. There are other Filipinos waiting there with me—Coach George Vilog, TRAP President Mr. Tom Carrasco, Dr. Martin Camara, Mon Marchan, and other Filipinos who happened to be in Singapore that weekend—Lara, Cha, Rizzo, Deo, Glenn, among others. We are half-celebrating already. Tears are streaming down my face, and Lara laughingly tells me—don’t cry, don’t cry! It’s going to be a 1-2 victory for our country. But who would come in first? At this point, it could be any of our two women racers…

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To read more…. http://hip.inquirer.net/multisport/a-golden-moment/

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Challenge Roth 2014 Race Report: Still Learning, Still Loving Every Moment, Still Living The Dream


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It’s no secret that I love Ironman Distance racing…of the hundreds of multisport races I have done, I honestly only really remember the epic ones- ones wherein I have had to dig deep to finish. The others are unfortunately just blurred images of lycra, sweat, aid stations and pasta parties.

But that’s me, and people are different. I actually prefer swimming, biking and running for longer distances, and I’m not going to apologize for it. I love the race and the whole process that I have to go through to get there—it makes me feel alive. I WANT MORE, SO I DO MORE. And this here is the story of my 11th Iron Distance journey.

And oh, what a journey it was. It was not just any other race, this was Challenge Roth, the triathlon race of lore.

GRFB and GLENDA: Two forces to be reckoned with!

My running group Girls Run For Breakfast had organized a send-off dinner a few days before I left. They are an amazing bunch of Kick-Ass women and just amazing friends and I really wanted to do this race well for them.

Getting out of Manila was a bit of an ordeal in itself though, as I had left the Wednesday Typhoon Glenda decided to showcase her wrath. The airport was in utter chaos, and it took us more than an hour to go through immigration, so our flight was more than two hours delayed. I had a connecting flight from Abu Dhabi to Dusseldorf, and when I landed in Abu Dhabi the flight to Dusseldorf was already on its Final Call. That was my main workout for the day, running as fast as I could with my luggage from one gate to another, and I made it just as they were about to close their doors. From there it was two more plane rides, one subway ride, one train ride, and one car ride to get to Roth on a fine Thursday afternoon. And what a lovely welcome I received from my homestay family, the Woelfels:

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3 Flags: Philippines, Roth, and Germany

The Rhine–Main–Danube Canal

On Friday Morning I arranged to meet with one of the other Filipino participants, Noelle, at the swim practice.  I felt great in my brand new Blueseventy Helix Wetsuit, and the water temperature suited me perfectly.

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Yay my Blueseventy Helix wetsuit fits! Phew (Photo by Sven Woelfel)

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Was great to see Noelle (Photo by Sven Woelfel)

 

Roaming Around the Expo

I picked up my race packet afterwards and roamed around the humongous expo grounds.

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Cool ZOOT car!

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Lunch with Sven

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Hanging out by the registration

 

Roth Town Welcome Party Friday Night

In the evening I had a blast at the Bayern 3 welcome party!

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Bayern 3 Party

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My lovely German Homestay Family, the Wölfels

Challenge Women Run on Saturday morning

The next day the Woelfels and I cheered for Eva as she ran the 5k Womens Race.

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My homestay Eva raced in the Challenge Womens 5k on Saturday morning

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A photo with race emcee, my favorite Belinda Granger (Photo by Sven Woelfel)

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Cheering for Eva with Leo, Johanna, Sven, and Lucia

Bike Check In on Saturday afternoon

It was getting very hot so we fled from the sun and came out again in the last hour of the bike check in to tuck my baby in for the night. It was going to be a long day tomorrow. I kissed my trusty steed for luck.

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See you tomorrow my trusty steed! (Photo by Sven Woelfel)

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All Racked Up! (Photo by Sven Woelfel)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3,500 Individual participants and 650 Relay Teams make for a Giant Transition Area

 

Race Day Beckons

Yes, I still get very nervous, very very much so, on race morning. People ask me this question all the time. This is what I live for. The gut wrenching feeling which signals the impending battle you are about to take on.

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Arland checking out the swim (Photo by Sven Woelfel)

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Noelle and I started in the same wave (Photo by Sven Woelfel)

The song choices of the DJ that morning were very motivational, including an Olympics anthem which made my hair stand up even more.

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We swam underneath this bridge (Photo by Sven Woelfel)

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250,000 Spectators on Race Day. 40,000 Spectators at The Canal. Crazy! (Photo by Sven Woelfel)

Individual Participant Sister Madonna leads the prayer

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Rockstar Sister Madonna Buder, 83 yo (Photo by Sven Woelfel)

Inspirational CAF (Challenged Athletes Foundation) Ambassador Rudy Tolson Garcia

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Out of the water

Walking to his bag

Walking to his bag

Prosthetics On

Prosthetics On

Out of the swim in good spirits

I felt like I swam well enough, so I was very happy. I set out to do a fast transition as every second counted!

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Photo by Sven Woelfel

Smashed on the Bike

On the bike I started out fine but began to worry when after 2hours or so the hills didn’t seem to let up. Then I realized they weren’t going to. Haha. I shook my head and laughed. The times here are fast because of the strong Germans, not because it’s a fast course!

Okay Mathias, Jurgen, Thomas, Dirk 1, Dirk 2,  Jens and Wolfgang. You have permission to overtake me!!! 🙂

After that I let myself relax a bit more as there was still a long way to go. I had to maintain a decent pace but made sure I did not overdo it. Energy management: that is Ironman in a nutshell for you!

Solarer Berg

I just need to talk about this hill. It is amazing. It is magical. I was sobbing and laughing wildly at the same time. I am a big fan of classic cycling races and the Tour De France, and I have always wondered what it felt like to be cycling in one of the stages. Well, you get a wicked glimpse of it on Solar Hill. It may have lasted but a few minutes, but these are minutes from my life that I will always remember.

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 Slugfest on the Run

The marathon course of Roth is very scenic and forgiving on your joints due to the hard packed trail surface. I would have probably appreciated it better on any other day. But today, it was a slug. I just did not have the energy left to produce a decent run. I only had myself to blame as I had to admit I probably did not do enough bike and run volume, which had now led to this. But every race you learn. Or re-learn.

One of the things I love about Iron distance racing is that it always give you a big serving of humble pie when you need it most. At this point in my career I tend to take basic things for granted, like laying the groundwork properly, and when I go to races like this unprepared I pretty much pay for it. Racing long distance constantly keeps me grounded. I can never stray too far once I start being too complacent!

Emotional Finish (yes, again)

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I saw my host family waiting for me in Town at the 40k mark, and I was very very happy to see them. Little Leo ran about 150meters with me. It was great. Macca just happened to be standing nearby too and ran to give me a High Five as I passed.

Finally, I was on the last stretch. Once you hear the noise from the stadium you are home free. I looked for Sven as I wanted to get the Philippine Flag from him. It meant a lot to me to carry it through the finish line.

When I saw him a few hundred meters to go I was in such an emotional state already. I always am. I just can’t help it. I let the tears flow. I guess my finish does not feel complete without them.

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Unfolding the flag before I take the last few meters towards the finish line (Photo by Sven Woelfel)

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Forever Grateful to be able to Finish. Always grateful to be able to FINISH. Thank you God for another amazing journey.

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Women’s Champ Mirinda Carfrae, blazing fast run

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Challenge Roth 2014 Winner TIMO BRACHT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Auf Wiedersehen

And just like that, the race weekend was over. I stayed two more days in Roth before heading home mostly because I wanted to spend some time with Dan’s homestay family the three times he had raced there.  It was great to meet the Wölfs as I had heard so much about them from Dan. They were very happy to meet me as well. They showed me some photos during Dan’s stays with them. I could see why my husband liked them very much.

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I was very happy to finally meet Dan’s family in Roth!

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Dan’s homestay family in Roth got out their photo albums and showed me some pics of Dan the couple of years he did Roth and stayed with them

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Some gelato in the square with Lucia and Leo

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My parting gifts…Timex watches for Eva and Sven and some dried mangoes from the Philippines!

On my last day in Germany the Wölfels took me to Nuremberg wherein we had a few hours to stroll around before my train took off. They are a lovely family and I am so blessed to have had the opportunity to stay with them.  I thought of my own small family, Dan and Dash, and how much I longed to see them. It was time to go home.

It had been an eventful and productive trip, with new friends and lasting memories made. Auf wiedersehen Roth, until we meet again!

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS:

Girls Run For Breakfast and UNILAB–THANK YOU!!! Timex, Gatorade, Rudy Project, Zoot/ Light’N’Up Marketing, Yurbuds, ALASKA Milk, Enervon Activ, Shimano, Glen Colendrino for my RETUL fit, my ULAH teammates and my boys Tyrone Regaliza, David Almendral and Maiqui Dayrit.

Felix Walchshoefer and Elke Angermann.

Thanks to my ever loving family, Dan and Dash, the de Leons, Sarabias, and the Browns. My Team Transformers Claire and Epoy, Ben, Philip and Mark 🙂 And of course my homestay family the Wölfels and Dan’s homestay family the Wölfs.

 

See Related Feature by SWIMBIKERUNph here:

http://www.swimbikerun.ph/2014/07/rothmyworld-ani-de-leon-brown-arland-macasieb-and-noelle-de-guzman-2014-challenge-roth-finishers-sbr-ph-infocus-special-edition/

 

 

 

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Filed under Challenge Tires, Challenged Athletes, Enervon Activ, Gatorade, Ironman Racing, Race Report, Shimano Tri, Timex, Uncategorized, Unilab Active Health, Yurbuds

Run Anyway Marathon NY 2012

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We all know by now the NY Marathon 2012 was cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy. The race cancellation was announced only 36hours before the starting time and it was a huge letdown for people like me, who traveled halfway around the world. My husband, baby and I were even stranded in Korea for 4 days as all the flights to JFK airport were put on hold when we were already enroute to the US.

Needless to say, I, along with thousands of other individuals had given a lot of physical, emotional, mental, and financial investment into this event. We were fully aware that the city was still trying to recover but we knew that the marathon offered a huge boost to New York’s economy, and I personally thought that we were doing our part to help out. We all still did, as the expo staged by the organization directed the proceeds towards the victims of the hurricane.

The most amazing thing for me though, was that the runners of New York organized an impromptu marathon on the original race date and dubbed it the “Run Anyway NY Marathon 2012.” Maricel Pangilinan and I and the other Filipinos, including my cousins Asa, Kris, Edel and my uncle Dr. Glen Mendoza, Melodee Arevalo Mendoza, Carlos de Guzman, Raeanna Cranbourne, Geraldine Santiago, Gem Padilla Thomas, Paul Loyz joined and showed solidarity. Pledges were made once again to help the relief efforts.

Big big crowds of marathoners participated. Supporters came out in droves at Central Park. I felt like tearing up when we passed the finish arch, which had already been set up. Maricel and I ran together and marveled at the collective spirit of the running community–it just cannot be broken, and this is what non-runners will never understand.

I would like to thank Timex Multisport Team and Timex Philippines, with special mention to Keith Meyer, Tristan Brown, Avi Uttamchadani, Gemma Pagsibigan and Jose Sarmenta. This trip has been very special, official race or not. You can never tell how things will turn out, and this is a perfect example. We were all given lemons, and we combined forces to make a giant lemonade.

My friends and I have vowed to return next year with a vengeance, and celebrate again with our fellow runners. We’re pretty sure they will all have a New York state of mind too.

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November 7, 2012 · 9:16 am

The Proof Is In The Pavement

It’s a Saturday and am not riding my bike.

And nope, I am not fussed.  Given the time constraints that I have, today is the day I put my foot down, lace my shoes up, and start training properly for my first marathon.  Yup, you read that right. I’ve never really done a stand-alone marathon event.  The six 42k runs which I’ve done have always been preceded by a 3.8km swim and a 180km bike. I’m not downplaying those runs at all, but I think it’s high time I give myself a chance to try and start a 42km without my old unwanted companions Backache and Energy Deficit.

I’ve always known that my first marathon event was going to be special, and this year I am finally realizing my dream with the help of my Timex family, who was generous enough to give me a slot for the famous New York Marathon on Nov 4.  Timex has been a part of the NYM for a long time now, and am happy to have their support, as well as the support of my local partners Timex PhilippinesUnilab Active Health and Adidas Philippines.

Most of my major triathlon races of the year are done with, and now I finally feel like I have the all-clear to focus on one event. When I gave birth to Dash almost 9months ago now, I set certain goals for myself:

1. To race within two months: Check, Timex Run, Jan 22 2012.

2. To race a Half Ironman within the first quarter: Check, Aviva Singapore 70.3 March 18 2012.

3. To race an Ironman within the first 6mos: Check, Ironman Australia Port Macquarie May 6 2012.

4. To race New York Marathon with a decent runner’s time, 3.5weeks before Dash turns a year old.

5. To race Timex 226, our local Iron distance triathlon, to mark the weekend of Dash’s 1st birthday!

Looking at the calendar, I have 10weeks to prepare for no.4 and 14 weeks to prepare for no.5. At this point though, a run focus is what the heart and soul is asking for, and THANK GOD the body is healthy and injury-free.

If I were to be brutally honest to myself, I just haven’t done the work this year to merit being called a marathon runner. I have too much respect for the distance. When I was training for Ironman Australia, the longest run I did was 22k. Granted, I only had a very small window of opportunity to do this as during the peak week of training for that race Dash was only 4mos old. So I am not beating myself up over that! But I told my husband Dan that I wanted to stop using Dash as an excuse after 6months–the “I just gave birth” card was just getting old. Maybe not for anyone else but for myself it was.

So I am calling on my inner Pam Reed as I will need that persevering spirit to help me last in the longest of my long runs.  I am also calling on the Lady of Fortitude, the Lady of  Endurance and the Lady of Multi Tasking Moms. Why we don’t have icons in their images beats me. I would also like to honor the original marathoner, Pheidippides (and pray that I don’t suffer his fate!).

To my fellow would-be marathon inductees, happy running and see you at the finish line…the proof is in the pavement.

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Filed under Adidas, Random Thoughts, Running, Timex, Unilab Active Health

Coffee Run

This morning Filipino Triathlon Champ Arland Macasieb and Bobbit Atendido hosted an informal run session with friends in the village. It was very enlightening for the runners and we even got free trial shots courtesy of Athlete Octane (and, it being a Coffee Run, also coffee)! Running and Triathlon are sports for the individual but I love that it also has this kind of collective group energy 🙂

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Alaska Ironkids Aquathlon Palms Country Club Photos

This was our race today, at the Palms Country Club. Love our Ironkids events! Next up: July 15 Aquathlon Philsports (ULTRA), Aug 4 Triathlon Cebu, Oct 27 Triathlon Pico de Loro.

Some photo credits: Iron Mommies Mariela Powell & Ting Joson and Coach Joel Santos

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Filed under IronKids, Photos, Triathlon for kids

How I gained weight and found myself on the cover of Runner’s World Magazine….

Sometime late January this year, I got a call from Runner’s World Editor-In-Chief Marie Calica. She asked if I could drop by their office and studio for a feature. I said, “sure!” without thinking too much about it. So come early Feb I went to the Summit Studio with Dashy in tow, and lo and behold: I was informed then and there that I would be their Cover Feature.

Marie and Angel Constantino told me they did not want me to feel pressured which was why they didn’t tell me sooner. My baby was just two and a half months old then so I was still not back to my normal weight. Far from it. I took it in stride but deep down I was thinking, “Err….COVER? Right Now? Are you serious ???” Please don’t get me wrong, I didn’t have an issue with the extra weight I had, and I was on the way to getting back into shape, in my own time. But as a lifelong athlete, I loved this magazine, so forgive me for wanting to look good in it!

Thank goodness the camera and styling crew were real pros, and Adidas had supplied me recently with loose-fitting outfits! This is the one time I had hoped they would “photoshop” any unflattering bits. The actual cover shoot was quite funny, which found yours truly inhaling sharply and deeply on several (okay, maybe like 50) occasions just to get my tummy to look flat. Not only that, they did not tell me this but I think it took them some time to configure which top and bottom would have the most coverage. Haha 🙂

I had to wait a couple of months just like everybody else to see how the photos came out. I was resigned to the fact that I had just graced the cover of one of the most iconic sports magazines not looking my best.  When I finally saw it I had to send the Runner’s World crew a thank you message saying thanks for editing it so that I didn’t look that bad (read: fat)! According to them, I was mistaken because they didn’t even need to edit the photos that much. Well, I’ll never know if they were just saying that to be nice.  But here it is, plus the featured article inside.

In hindsight, I am impressed that they chose to go with a subject who was not necessarily skinny. Runners do come in all shapes and sizes, and I am happy to represent in whatever manner  (see blog: https://anikarina.com/2009/07/03/becoming-a-runner/).

 Thanks for entrusting me to be on the newsstands, Runner’s World Philippines 🙂 It’s a real honor!

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Filed under Adidas, Mommy-hood, Pinay In Action, Running, Selected Features, Timex, Uncategorized