The first time I had a taste of proper triathlon training was when I hooked up with Coaches Tony Benson and Sean Foster from the Melbourne Triathlon Club, back in 2002. I learned so much from that stint and have come back to Australia several times since, to train, to coach, and to race. I have always had a soft spot for Melbourne though, because of my wonderful first trip.
It took some time, but I was finally able to return and race the Ironman there this year. And it sure was worth every minute, as for the first time in my Ironman racing career, I was able to finish in daylight! I guess you could say I am a slow learner, and yes, maybe I should have been able to go faster for Ironman sooner. I don’t mind though, and I do what I can–each and every Ironman I have done is a gem of a learning experience. I am still discovering new things, I still don’t consider my time fast, but this is exactly the reason why Ironman continues to challenge and excite me.
I’d like to enumerate my Ironman Distance races here just for fun, and also because I have never actually kept a list before–I might start forgetting what I did down the road, haha 🙂
1. Ironman Distance Race, Matabungkay Philippines, Nov 2002. 13:04
2. Ironman Langkawi, Feb 2008. 12:21
3. Ironman World Championships Hawaii, Oct 2008. 12:07
4. Ironman Langkawi, Feb 2009. 11:45
5. Ironman China, Mar 2010. 13:39 bad, bad, race 😦
6. Ironman Australia, May 2012. 13:36 first IM race after giving birth, Dashy was 5mos and 5days 🙂
7. Timex 226 Philippines, Dec 2012. 12:18
8. Challenge Taiwan Full, May 2013. 12:24
9. Ironman Cairns, June 2013. 11:51
10. Ironman Melbourne, Mar 2014. 11:08
Moving forward, I have plans to do other Ironman races this year (given a sibling to Dash doesn’t come along yet 😉 and will announce them soon enough. I am so blessed to be surrounded by a great group of family and friends, and this is the main reason why I can continue to do this. Dan’s Family and My Family gave us the gift of time for a week– Dan’s parents took time out of their busy schedules to fly into Melbourne from Sydney to watch us, and my family took care of Dash for a whole week in Manila. Our friends, both in Manila and Australia, sent so many lovely messages of support throughout the week, especially my Girls Run For Breakfast ladies! Our sponsors, Timex and Unilab among others, to whom I will always be grateful.
We had a remarkably sizeable Philippine Contingent in Ironman Melbourne this year, thanks to the efforts of Fred Uytengsu and Princess Galura of the Sunrise Events/ Ironman 70.3 Philippines Team. It was a record number of Filipino participants and I was so proud to be part of it. We are already planning the next Ironman destination as I write this, and I am very happy to travel again with such a fun and energetic group.
It has been over a week already and I am still smiling from all the wonderful memories. I love Ironman and I always will. I Thank God for always blessing an ordinary person like me with so many opportunities, as I may not be that fast, but I am able to endure. Which is why I know I am tailor-made for this. Be it a daylight or night time finish 🙂