Tag Archives: Fitness First Triathlon Team

Team Woman Run

Girl Power Time!

This morning was a special one dedicated to women runners, I had such an excellent time bonding with girlfriends!  My Fitness First-South Tri teammates Belle, Mimi, and Rizzo signed up for the Team Relay and clinched the third spot, and that really made our day as we were up against an amazing bunch of women.  Adding to the fun was the fact that a lot of my fellow female triathletes joined as well, including Marichu, Mica, Trina, Nina, Tessa, Leana, Fiona, Monica, Kim, Amanda, Bea, Leica, Chesca, and many more! Some of the participants wore costumes (my teammates and I were dressed as beach bombshells) and special prizes were given to the best ones. 

Congrats Lactacyd, Princess Galura and Coach Rio for another great event!!!

Thanks Mica for the pics and of course P.R. for being our pacer and support crew!!! 🙂

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Battle Of The Natural Athletes

Most of the triathletes from Fitness First Triathlon Team are in off-season mode.  But the fun does not stop when racing season does!  Our ever devious team committee concocted a kooky sportsfest consisting of futsal, dodgeball, and volleyball, and called it the “Battle Of the Natural Athletes.”

Red team won (ahem), followed by Blue, Green and Yellow Teams.  Maiqui dazzled us with his athletic prowess and took MVP honors…I on the other hand did a lot of spirited cheering, haha.

Thanks to RG Morales for the awesome photos!

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Whirlwind Weekend Part 2: White Rock Tri

I woke up at 3 to make sure I made it before the swim start of the White Rock Triathlon in Zambales.  David, Tyrone, and Paolo had been training for this race and needed moral support.  My friends and former teammates George and Noel were topseeds too.  I was confident that they would do well but I guess I was too excited for them not to be there and see it for myself.

Patricia, Honey, and Ginny along with Aldrin, Sophia, Eric, Tupe, Rex, and Aris completed the support crew.  As expected they were amazing (whew!) and happy smiles were exchanged as they crossed the finish lines with PBs.

George and Noel were 1st and 2nd in the men’s race and Amanda, Fiona, and Laarni were the podium placers in the women’s race.

Congratulations everyone!!!

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Gotta Love Racing: Tour of Matabungkay and Adidas King of the Road back to back weekend

Tour Of Matabungkay Team Time Trial – Batangas, Oct 24 2009

There are some races which are fun, some which are painful, some which are tough and lonely, and then there is the Team Time Trial.  Which I ABSOLUTELY LOVE.  Maybe because I love time trialing per se. Or because I love when we all look so professional and slick in our matching cycling kits. And then there are my female teammates. Who Absolutely, Positively, ROCK. I just love being part of this relatively new all girls cycling team and am really proud of what we have done in so little time. We were the first women’s team to cross the line!

Special thanks to Doray for putting it all together the past few weeks, my work as captain was much easier on race day (all I had to do was keep shouting at them, and trust me after coaching for years this comes quite naturally to me by now).  Thanks to Rizzo Tangan, Bea Locsin, Tonichi Balaguer, and Mimi Lucas. Love you girls!

P.S. Fitness First Cycling Ladies Team is actually a combination of Fitness First, Polo Tri, and Sabak Tri ladies 🙂

P.P.S. Thanks Anthony Balaguer for letting me use your wonderful photos!!!



ADIDAS King Of The Road- Taguig and Makati, Oct 25 2009

Today was a great 21k training race, one that I did not expect to have the day after riding hard with my teammates in the Tour of Matabungkay… I was just glad to make it to the race venue before 5am. I drove home late from the race in Batangas the night before to make sure my sponsor would be happy! Sleep I need! I saw Lea Caringal organizing all of her Adidas athletes and after her trusty photog Nesty took some snapshots we hurried to the start line.  Soon enough we were surrounded by uber bright yellow singlets and then it was quite easy to stay alert. When the gun went off something inside me woke up as well and even though I had agreed to just run with Joey and Paolo (oops sorry guys) I mindlessly dashed madly with the crowd… something that surprised even myself as I am always scolding my students not to do this exact thing! Hahaha….

Anyhow it turned out to be a good race, I was happily dancing to the music at the aid stations and thanked the cheerleaders for holding up encouraging placards for the runners.  I also kept cheering for all the students I ran into. The food and drink were plentiful, which is always important.  I was running in 5th place for most of the race and was actually content to stay there til I noticed at the last turnaround that the two girls in front of me were not doing so well. I decided then that I could still afford to pick up my pace a little bit and that was enough to get me into 3rd place. Cool!  After the awarding I looked into my goodie bag and found out that I got a Globe Tattoo– way cool! 

That afternoon after a well-deserved nap I coached the SuperTriKids for their Bike and Run session.  What a great weekend!


Thanks Patricia and Paolo for the pics!!!


Filed under Adidas, Athletes, Biking, Events, Fitness First, Pinay In Action, Race Report, Running, Timex

Coaching, lately…

Here are more random shots of some of my athletes in training (apologies in advance if you don’t find your photo here guys)…. am always proud of each and every one of them and get rewarded 100x more because of their own race experiences as opposed to just my own!  The whole year round, somebody needs to prepare for one competition or another so I am always watching out for them 🙂 Thankfully I also have Coaches Noel Salvador, Patrick Joson, and Paolo Defensor to thank for always helping me out when I am away!


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Fitness First triathletes first again

Fitness First Team Combat: Me, Ige, Mark, Dane, Eric

Fitness First Team Combat: Me, Ige, Mark, Dane, Eric


Fitness First triathletes first again
Updated May 24, 2009 12:00 AM
MANILA, Philippines – Team Combat of Fitness First, led by former national women’s triathlon champion and recent Ironman Hawaii finisher Ani de Leon and teammate Dane Cantwell, emerged runaway champion in the team event at the recent 16th Subic Bay ITU-International Triathlon.
De Leon submitted a finishing time of 2:33.14 in the individual age group of the men’s division while Cantwell clocked 2:16.16 in the women’s division.
With the 2:23.27 of Fitness First country manager Mark Ellis and Eriberto Carandang’s 2:27:32 Fitness First had an accumulated time of 9:40:31. Polo Tri Zoomers was second in 10:07:04.
David Verlee clocked 2:24.00 to lead his group composed of Anthony Welsh, JonJon Rufino, and Amanda Marie Carpo.
At third was last year’s team champion Herbalife with Ferdinand Catabian (2:16.56) at the helm together with Jojo Macalintal, Hiroshi Takei, and Reva Magno.
However, in the relay event, Herbalife retained the crown as its team of Michael Canillo, July Cagungun, and Orly Mariano combined for a winning time of 2:25.12.
The visiting Triathlon Association of Malaysia team, led by Stephanie Chok together with Gary Chong and Rikiguro Shinozuka, was second ( 2:25.54).
At third was the Camayan Ocean Adventure team (2:30.40).
The 13-15 age category was won by Bacolod’s John Rommel Uy followed by two Malaysian boys while Singapore’s Phan Yong Tin Joy copped the girl’s plum.
Spring junior and adult champions were Hong Kong’s Cheung Tsz Hei, Johanna Pe Benito, Jonjon Rufino and Stephanie Chok.
Top overall finishers in the women’s individual age group competition were De Leon, Carpo (2:39.48) and 35-39 age group champion Rizzo Tangan (2:43.05). Runners-up to Cantwell in the men’s side were Catabian and former national team member Noel Salvador (2:20.44.1).
Other age group winners in the event sponsored by SBMA, Speedo, Gatorade, PSC, David’s Salon, Globe Telecoms, Fitness First, Asian Center for Insulation, Vitwater, Sunkist, and Rudy Project, were Jefferson Tabacon (17-19,  2:43.59), Emmanuel Rodil (20-24, 2:38.17), duathlete Augus Benedicto (25-29, 2:23.03), Cantwell (30-34), Salvador (40-44), Welsh (45-49, 2:33.05, Alvin Alindogan (50-54, 2:31.26), Dr. Oscar Escudero Jr., (55-59, 3:03.45) and Brigilio Balaba (60-over, 3:25.17).
The women’s side had De Leon taking the 30-34 crown, Fiona Ottiger, 40-44 in 2:50.03, and Tangan, 35-39.
Sen. Pia Cayetano, a staunch supporter of triathlon, placed second in her age group with a time of 3:02.40.
“This was the biggest field ever in the team event of the Subic Bay International Triathlon and it shows the growth of triathlon as a serious sport in the country, “said TRAP president Tom Carrasco Jr. after the race that had Philippine STAR, DZSR, and Solar Sports together with radio sponsors – Jam 88.3, Wave 89.1, Magic 89.9, 99.5 RT, and 103.5 Max FM.



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Ironman Langkawi 2008 Race Report

Best Finish Ever 8

Ironman Langkawi Race Report   Feb 27, ’08 9:47 PM
for everyone

Hi all,


Thanks so much to everyone who sent good luck and congratulatory messages. It is amazing reading all of them and seeing how some of you were able to keep track of our individual splits and race updates.  It was a really really good weekend for me and the rest of the Filipino crew in Langkawi. One of my friends asked if it was my most significant moment in triathlon so far, and I guess I hadn’t processed what had happened yet at that point, so when I looked at him blankly, Maiqui Dayrit, who was standing beside me then answered a big hearty “Yes!” on my behalf.  I had him and Mark Ellis to thank for getting me safely to the finish line (more on that later), and although the race is over, I can still feel the outstanding support I constantly receive from friends like them.


Those who are close to me know that joining Ironman Worlds in Hawaii has been one of my fondest dreams for many years now, and a year ago I decided I couldn’t shelve it any longer. I didn’t mind the heat too much considering my genetics so it was either going for it in Langkawi or a lottery entry.  I’m not ashamed to say that I tried both ways, but now I can see why God never intended for me to win in the Hawaii Sweepstakes draw when I entered it! 


Crossing the finish line wasn’t an easy feat, and I had to fight hard for that slot. Although I am a veteran triathlete, I am a beginner to this distance and had a lot of doubts during the course of the race, particularly the latter end of the bike and the run leg.  I had to stop at every single aid station (a total of 41) just to pour water on myself because otherwise I would have overheated, and I still don’t regret taking the time to do that.  I had blisters from lap 1 because I would rather have wet socks and shoes than get dehydrated. I knew I was leading in my category and I also knew that the Frenchwoman from Reunion Island was chasing me down.  It’s one thing to have someone breathing down your neck for 10km, but for 42km, it is extremely stressful.  It was a fine balance of sticking to my plan and known limits and not trying to be reactive to her—I didn’t want to push too hard too early and then crash.  She kept gaining on me, and from a lead of almost 20min, I only had 3 minutes on her at the very last turnaround with 7km to go.  It didn’t take a genius to compute that she would soon overtake me if I continued with my pace. It was then that a switch suddenly turned on inside my head and I started running like a madwoman.  I knew I could handle running fast for that remaining distance, and I could not leave anything more to chance.  I wanted that Hawaii slot, and there was no way I was going to hand it to her. From then on it was only a hurried sip of water and defizzed Coke from the aid stations.  I was now getting annoyed at the narrow run path and having to overtake people when earlier on I was happily cheering for them.  At 1.5km to go I spotted Mark and Maiqui, and realized I had just whittled down the 6 minute gap they had on me so I was even more encouraged.  I caught up with them with 1km to go.  They were startled but happy to see me, only to quickly discover that I had no intentions of staying with them for a merry chat.  In between breaths I explained and apologized profusely that I was leading but someone was closing in on me, so I had to go, NOW.  They immediately took in the weight of the situation due to my panic-stricken expression and decided to pick up their speed too.  Mark said later on that he didn’t realize that his legs would follow his brain’s command in switching from a 7minute/km pace to a 4:30/km pace just like that.  They were my saviors in that last, long kilometer to the finish line.  It was a frenzy of shouting, panting, crying, and egging each other on.  Mark, who was obviously still the best runner among us, ran in front and took on the role of rabbit.  I kept asking Maiqui to look at the back to check if anyone was there, and he would say “no one Ani, no one”….that is, until the last 300meters, when he said, “I think someone is at the back, let’s pick it up some more,” and the turn to the finish couldn’t possibly have come sooner.  When we finally

made it to the chute, I burst into tears from relief, joy, fatigue, and gratitude….the three of us crossed the line in a tight embrace, and our faces in the finish line pictures will say it all.  Mark was jubilant, I was crying, and Maiqui was just plain happy.  The person immediately behind us turned out to be someone else, and the girl second to me ended up finishing more than a minute behind.  We made it.  It was more than I could have ever hoped for, and I had done it with my friends.


I didn’t embark on this journey alone, and I definitely felt that my angels were with me leading up to Langkawi and that they worked even harder to give me strength on race day.  My fellow Pinoys in the race course and family and friends who were praying from back home gave a steady stream of great energy so I cannot ever claim to have accomplished everything by myself.  The Fitness First Tri Team–Mark, Doray, Joel, Maiqui and Gianina, Ige, JC, Chari;  the Tri Clark Gang and their families, led by Abe, June, Rico, Jumbo, Raffy, Chris, Abby, Tintin (also of David’s Salon); the Tri Hard Boys—Vic, Vinny, Greg and Paolo (also of TRIADS); Retzel, Alex, and Leo, were the finest bunch of people anyone could ever train, travel and race with.  My dear friend Vera and his trusty group of Thai triathletes took good care of me and my bike the whole weekend. Just so I could prepare better, Pia offered a room in her house to me in Alabang without my even having to ask for it, and I cannot possibly repay all the support that she and the rest of the Cayetano family have provided me.  My own family, especially my mom and sister, put up with my many absences and remain very patient and understanding to my chosen sport. 


Well, that’s my post-race report for now, sorry I couldn’t make it shorter.  Let’s cheer for our racers this coming weekend in Taupo, NZ…Manda, Jonjon, Andy, Deo, Cris, and Rune, hope they will have happy stories to bring home too! 




Female Age 30-34
Place Bib Name Nat Cat Swim Chg1 Bike AftBike Run Total
1 625 Ani Karina De Leon PHL F 30/34 1:04:49 0:02:21 6:01:11 7:08:20 5:07:05 12:21:17
2 624 Soizic Coudiere REU F 30/34 1:06:27 0:02:36 6:20:34 7:29:37 4:49:43 12:22:40
3 637 Emma Penver MYS F 30/34 1:45:55 0:05:58 6:25:43 8:17:35 4:33:42 12:59:15


Thanks to Jumbo for compiling this:

Pinoy Finishers Total time
Tayag, Abe 11:07:15
Oracion, Leo 11:21:02
Bautista, Alex 11:27:55
Kit Jr., Rosalino 11:48:07
Dayrit, Marco 12:21:16
Ellis, Mark 12:21:16
De Leon, Ani 12:21:17
Ayson, Enrico 12:47:02
Tayag, Jumbo 13:13:21
Ouano, Paulo 13:14:49
Munoz, Joel 13:17:52
Ellis, Rhodora 13:22:50
Orquiza, Retzel 13:37:42
Zapata, Jose 14:34:47
Tongson, Vincent 14:47:03
Ongyanco, Chari 14:36:32
Tongson, Vincent 14:47:03
Navarro, Christine 14:48:27
Magno, Victor 15:53:43
Manas, Johann. 15:12:15
Nepomuceno, Chris 16:17:55
Banzon, Gregory 17:06:03

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