Category Archives: Challenged Athletes

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

Making Children’s Lives Better, year 9

Every September, Gabriel’s Symphony Foundation, an organization dedicated to helping children facing various challenges in life, holds a 12-Hour Multi Sport Event to raise funds for its cause (http://gabrielsymphony.com/).  As always we planned a whirlwind of activities for our participants and supporters, including a swim-a-thon, bike-a-thon, adventure race for kids, aquathlon and triathlon for kids, run races, soccer and martial arts demos, and a small expo area.

A lot of people showed up to help including The Younghusband Football Academy, Triathlon Association of the Philippines, P.A.V.I.C.Philippines, Hyundai, and local age group teams and triathletes like Arland Macasieb, Nonoy and Joyette Jopson, Maiqui Dayrit, Willy Chiongbian, and Hans Kristian Juan. Kristian biked for 12hours straight, his 5th year of doing so, and Maiqui, who does an Ironman during the event every single year, actually qualified for Kona this October and will bring the cause of Gabriel’s Symphony all the way to the World Championships!

My favorite parts of the day of course, were the kids races.  I am so proud of the participants for wanting to help their fellow children in need. (to read more, please click this link: http://teamtimex.timexblogs.com/2011/09/04/making-childrens-lives-better-year-9/ )

To view album, please click:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150276777681879.326528.529501878&l=7f7c5d529a&type=1

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Filed under Challenged Athletes, Events, Friends, Pinay In Action

Update on 9th Gabriel’s Symphony Multi Sport Celebration in Memory of Gabriel, Sept 3 2011

Greetings to all our Gabriel’s Symphony Foundation friends and supporters!

It is with great happiness that we invite you to the 9th staging of the Gabriel’s Symphony 12Hour Multi-Sport Celebration in Memory of Gabriel.

The main thrust of the foundation is to make a difference in the lives of children with special needs. These include children with cleft lip and palate and those who are visually and hearing-impaired. We have also been helping indigent children develop their potential, such as the children of Daang Hari and Marillac Hills, some of whom have shown potential as runners and athletes. To read more about advocacies and programs, please click: http://gabrielsymphony.com/?page_id=13

As always, we have prepared a lot of activities for everyone on Saturday, September 3 2011 at the Alabang Country Club. Some of these include:

1. One Hour Swim-a-thon
2. One Hour Run-a-thon
3. Two Hour Bike-a-thon
4. Triathlon for Adults
5. SuperTriKids Triathlon
6. Mile Run Races: Buddy Run and Walk Your Dog

All the details for the activities mentioned are on our website. We will also have demonstration games by the Younghusband Football Academy, and an Adventure Race for Daang Hari and Marillac Hills children. Timex and Alaska Milk are sharing with us their fun activity booths and puzzles for the kids as part of this.

For those who want to donate old shoes, swimbikerun.ph will also have a booth there. You may also want to check out our Recycling Depot Project: http://gabrielsymphony.com/?p=367

To register, please visit http://gabrielsymphony.com/ or email us at blessings@gabrielsymphony.com

We hope you can join us celebrate with Gabriel on September 3, looking forward to seeing you all there!
Gabriel’s Symphony Foundation

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Filed under Challenged Athletes, Coaching and Training, Events, Pinay In Action, Triathlon for kids

PAVIC Run Clinic for the Blind

A couple of weeks ago I gave a run clinic for some blind kids and teenagers competing in the National Paralympics.  It was my first time to do such a thing and the best way to describe it would be: eye opening.  The clinic was organized by PAVIC, which stands for Parents of Visibly Impaired Children, and Pinay In Action.

I learned so much more from them than I was able to impart I think, but it was a good way of sharing. I would love to go back and work with them some more in the future!

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Filed under Adidas, Challenged Athletes, Coaching and Training, Events, Pinay In Action, Running, Timex

Christmas Party and Run Races for the Indigent Kids of Daang Hari

Hi everyone,

Pinay In Action is holding a Christmas Party with Run Races and other games this Dec 11 in Daang Hari for the barefoot running kids.  If you would like to participate by joining and helping out you can do this just by showing up and playing with them and/ or you can also give some gifts to make their day.

Here are the Christmas Party Shirts we will be giving them, worked on the designs based on Senator Pia’s idea.

Hope you can join us!!!

Coach Ani

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Filed under Challenged Athletes, Events, Pinay In Action, Running, Sketches and Doodles, SuperKids

Post 8th Gabriel’s Symphony Event Update: Thank You!

September 4, 2010: Thanks to its loyal supporters, another Gabriel’s Symphony has been successfully staged.  The event is an annual fundraising  for kids in need organized by Sen Pia Cayetano in memory of her late son Gabriel Cayetano Sebastian, who died in 2001 from complications of Trisomy 13, a rare congenital chromosomal condition.
It was a truly blessed and special celebration. To highlight some of the activities: Two Ironmen, Maiqui Dayrit & Andrew Arellano, and Half Ironman Willy Chiongbian, raced for children in need of operation and other medical procedures; the SuperTrikids Aquathlon and Triathlon showcased the country’s fine young triathletes; a Top Draw Animation Art Class, Sportsfest, Arnis Class, Shoe Donation from Planet Sports had our 40 Indigent Children beaming with joy; and a Sunset Run capped the day. All in all, beautiful music orchestrated by Pia Cayetano and her crew…all in the memory of her son Gabriel, who for sure was smiling down on each and every participant.
Among others, some personalities who showed up to support included boxing champ Nonito Donaire and wife Rachel, actress Bianca Gonzales, Sports Unlimited hosts Dyan Castillejo and Marc Nelson, David Charlton, Taguig Mayor Lani Cayetano, Sandra Schramm Cayetano, Ren Cayetano, cosplayer Alodia Gosiengfiao, Director Lino Cayetano, Coke executive and Malaya columnist JB Baylon, Carewell’s Robert Suntay, Comelec Comm. and cycling enthusiast Gregorio Larrazabal, Anton Gonzales of Planet Sports, Fitness First Phils’ Mark Ellis, Top Draw Animation’s Wayne and Stella Dearing, animator Nary Jamlig, Ultramarathoner Joy Rojas, members of various triathlon teams and elite triathletes Arland Macasieb, Alessandra Gonzales, George Vilog and Noel Salvador. Race/event coordinators- Ani De Leon, Mailet Ancheta and Coach Rick Reyes of TRAP.
Here are some video clips:

Sen Pia Cayetano leads fundraising triathlon in memory of late son on 24 Oras

8th Gabriel Symphony Event on TV 5’s Aksyon Weekend

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hb5_pLymTYo

www.gabrielsymphony.com

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Filed under Challenged Athletes, Events, Pinay In Action, Race Report, SuperKids, Triathlon for kids