NAGT in Naga

The Freeman - - SPORTS ’ -

The much awaited triathlon race fi­nally took place over the week­end in the City of Naga. The series fea­tured the best of the best triath­letes over the coun­try. It was orig­i­nally sched­uled last Oc­to­ber but was post­poned due to the tragic land­slide in the shot city. The race had 3 cat­e­gories, the stan­dard dis­tance cov­er­ing 1.5km swim, 40km bike and 10km run, the sprint dis­tance (750m swim, 20km bike and 5km run, and the su­per sprint for 15 years old and be­low triath­letes.

The Na­tional Age Group Triathlon (NAGT) is un­der the su­per­vi­sion of the Triathlon As­so­ci­a­tion of the Philip­pines (TRAP) where top lo­cal and na­tional ath­letes earn points for the Na­tional Pool Asian & Philip­pine Rank­ings. It also serves as a Na­tional try­outs. The top per­form­ers will be qual­i­fied or con­sid­ered to rep­re­sent the coun­try in in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tions. Slots open were for ju­nior, un­der 23, and elite open.

The Metafit Tri Team came in full force to sup­port this highly an­tic­i­pated race, the chance to race side by side with coun­tries elite triath­letes namely Nikko Huel­gas and Ma. Claire Adorna among oth­ers.

Our team was not af­ter a na­tional slot. We're more fo­cused on com­ing up with per­sonal records (PR). Our goal was just to com­plete the race and not com­pete guided by our main ob­jec­tive of ad­vanc­ing our team ad­vo­cacy about the im­por­tance of liv­ing a healthy life­style.

The big­gest dif­fer­ence for this race was the in­volve­ment of TSE Live group un­der Mr. Tonyson Lee. I have joined other NAGT races in Cebu be­fore and promised my­self never again to join such. But Mr. Lee promised me that this time it will be dif­fer­ent. Tonyson is a sea­soned event or­ga­nizer, an avid triath­lete and leader for the fa­mous Omega Tri Team. I took his word and joined the race.

Last Satur­day, the day be­fore the ac­tual race, was the race brief­ing at SM Sea­side City and race kits were given away. The free­bies alone looks like a phar­macy as there are lots of stuff in­side the loot bag - from al­co­hol, ban­dage, canned goods and many more. On race day, the tran­si­tion lay­out was world-class, Naga's famed board­walk was spaced out ef­fi­ciently. Ev­ery­thing was on time, from gun start to the award­ing down to the hy­dra­tion sta­tion, mar­shalls and medics. Bounc­ers and se­cu­rity were even de­ployed. Ac­tu­ally, if you to­tal the num­ber of par­tic­i­pants com­pared the Mar­shalls, medics and staff mem­bers, the lat­ter would more in num­bers, said Tonyson.

As the dust set­tled, noth­ing makes me more proud as a coach when your team not only com­pletes the race but also had a podium fin­ish. Team co-cap­tain coach Zusette Ja­rina-Co set an ex­am­ple that with hard work, any­thing can hap­pen. She did not only fin­ish First in her age cat­e­gory, she also had the fastest run split over­all in the Fe­male Age group cat­e­gory. Fr. Cu­va­cho Cle­ment also fin­ished first in the 45 to 49 Stan­dard age group, while new­bie triath­lete Cather­ine Acuña fin­ished first in the 20 to 29 age group and landed atop 3 over­all in the fe­male sprint age group. Cather­ine, also known as “Kin­toy”, proved that her first place fin­ish in the re­cent 8080 Triathlon was no fluke. The sur­prise of the day came from coach Pimco Pi­mentel, who wound up third in the 30 to 39 sprint cat­e­gory. Even with lim­ited train­ing time, he still fin­ished the 5km run with an awe­some time of 24 min­utes. Other fin­ish­ers in­clude yours truly, coach Lem Co, Coach Fritz Co, Saman­tha Re­cla, the Chu broth­ers, and Jodette Ro­ma­guera and Ch­eryl Ta­gra (re­lay)

Con­grat­u­la­tions to the City Gov­ern­ment of Naga and to their hard­work­ing Mayor, Kris­tine Chiong, for host­ing the NAGT Series 2018. The venue was world class! TSE Live's Tonyson Luther Lee made sure every inch of de­tail is be­ing cov­ered, from the tim­ing of gun start and wave re­lease. Look­ing for­ward to the next NAGT race here in Cebu.

SIDE­LINE: Con­grat­u­la­tions also to Team Ly­cans' Jeff and Grace Her­rera, Je­poy Ju­son, Don Aropoo, Ian Ocana and Shilby Puerto who had been train­ing in my Metabolic Fit­ness boot camp for the past 3 months to help in their triathlon prepa­ra­tions.

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