Congratulations to all the winners and finishers of the TIMEX 226 Bohol Iron Distance Triathlon! You guys should give yourselves a pat on the back because you just accomplished something really special. Think about this statistic, less than 1% of the world’s population has completed a marathon and you all did it.. off the bike.
Current fastest Filipino Ironman record holder Arland Macasieb proved his experience and mastery of the Iron distance as he edged out eventual second placer August Benedicto for his 1st ever Iron-distance win. Arland clocked in an impressive 10:18:56 while Franklin Penalosa of TIMEX-TMM rounded up the men’s overall and came in 3rd. In the womens division, Laarni “Dude” de Guzman of TIMEX-TMM overcame a 1 hour 10 minute lead of teammate and training buddy Janice Tanada to win the women’s division with a time of 14:19:13. Tanada rode a superb 6:02:04 bike split (edging out most men’s bike split) but just couldn’t hang on for the win. Ting Joson came in 3rd with a time of 15:39:53.
The M25-29 Age Group was dominated by Raymund Gerard Velasco while Omar Paredes of Team Herbalife reigned supreme at the super tough M30-34 division. Christopher Eyao won the M35-39 division and Ferdinand Sogoc ruled the M40-44 age group. Triathlon legends Joevic Pajarillo and Alvin Alindogan ruled the M45-49 and M50 and above age groups respectively.
As with every event, Timex released a custom TIMEX 226 Bohol Triathlon Commemorative Watch.
The brutal race course, combined with the scorching hot sun pushed all the participants to their limits. Swimming 3.8 kilometers at the beautiful and clear waters of Anda Beach was a surreal experience. Imagine swimming while seeing all the fishes and corals underneath you. Now that is what an Iron-distance swim should be all about! The bike and run course, dubbed as “newbie friendly” and “pancake flat” by the organizers, WAS NOT flat at all! Maybe it’s just me but there we’re some parts of the bike course where I was forced to use the 28 gear of my cog! As for the run course, show me a participant who will say that the run was easy and flat and I’ll show you someone who needs to get his/her eyes checked.
With just over 60 participants, the TIMEX 226 was like a family event. Almost all the participants knew each other plus it also helped that the organizers were hands on with everything. I arrived there wednesday morning and got to try the race course (especially the swim part). Some of us suggested that the swim course be moved further back because of the corals and sea urchins and it was nice to know that the our inputs was taken into consideration.
All eyes (and computer monitors!) of the Filipino tri community was surely locked on this momentous event. It’s been 9 years since an Iron-distance race was held here in the Philippines and with the influx of new triathletes, and the rise of triathlon’s popularity, the pressure on this race to perform is HUGE.
Now for the part everyone’s curious about. Did it live up to expectations?
The Venue :
Let’s admit it, whenever someone asks you about Bohol what comes into your mind? It’s either the tarsier or the world famous chocolate hills right? Who knew about Anda? I certainly didn’t and that’s what this race is aiming to change.
After the race I got to talk to Cong. Art Yap and he told me that Bohol is committed in pulling out all the stops to make Anda, Bohol the #1 multisport hub in the country. Being such a laid back community, that is going to take a lot of work to get them ready for the crazy world of triathlon but with the 110% support of the Mayor, Vice Mayor, Congressman, and the LGU’s, nothing is impossible. They already committed to hosting the event again next year and making it bigger and better and I promised them the full support of SBR.ph.
One of the things I liked about the LGU of Bohol and the organizers is that after the race they are keen to know what the participants think about the event. “What can you say about the race?”, “What are your suggestions?”, “What else can we improve on for next year?”. They definitely want this to be the best triathlon race in the country.
I was floored when I saw the beautiful beach of Anda. Who knew such a beautiful place exists here in the Philippines? The roads of Anda was pure cycling heaven too. In short, Anda is a triathlete’s paradise. If I were to turn pro, I personally wouldn’t mind training here. You want hills? They have it. You want to swim? Hit the beach. You want off road trails? It’s all over the place! Not to mention the food is fantastic too! Eat all the seafood you want at a very very low price. If you’re like me who’s wifi savvy though.. you’ll have to bring your own broadband stick.
Registration / Race Packet :
Before you can even think of registering for the TIMEX 226, you need to finish a qualifying race within a prescribed time period. If you hit that, you’re allowed to join. If not, the organizers won’t accept your registration. It’s as simple as that. No hokey pokey. Doesn’t matter to them how small the amount of participants would be. I personally think the pre-qualifying rule was an awesome idea. A Iron-distance race is no joke and you really need to commit to it or else you’ll pay for it with a “DNF” on race day. Something that the organizers didn’t want to happen. The good news is, all the first timers finished the race and fact alone justifies the qualifying rule.
You’ll get an “R.O.I.” on your registration fee just on the contents of the TIMEX 226 goody bag alone. The custom made TIMEX 226 swag bag contains a personalized race number, TIMEX 226 Swim Cap, a custom TIMEX 226 race belt, 10 GU gels (i don’t know where the other 2 gels in pic went) =), TIMEX 226 Event Shirt, Sunblock, a cool TIMEX Ironman Hat, a custom TIMEX Yankz! laces plus an energizer head lamp!
Athlete Banner Area :
The importance that the organizers give to each participant is superb. TIMEX 226 designated an athlete area where custom TIMEX 226 tarpaulins of each individual athlete was displayed. “Fans” can reach out to their favorite athlete and leave a message! Cool huh?
After the race, you can be sure each athlete got their personalized TIMEX 226 tarp and brought it home as a souvenir.
Race Briefing / Pre Race Dinner :
This is where things got a little interesting. The race briefing and pre-race dinner was held at the new Amun Ini resort. The place was fantastic. I heard it was super expensive too! The organizers surely spared no expense in making sure that all the TIMEX 226 participants get treated like royalty.
The only catch about this place is that it was probably too classy for some of the triathletes. The 4 course gourmet meal didn’t go well with some of the participants. Don’t get me wrong as there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the food but if you have an Ironman race coming up the following day. You want carbs and protein and lots of it! It was a sight to see watching elite Neil Catiil trying to eat the salad then following it up with soup. =)
The Swim :
I want to say so much about the swim portion of the race but I think it’s better if we do it this way. We all know the adage “A picture is worth a thousand words” right?
So let’s see if it works…
Need I say more? ‘Nuff said
The Transition :
Bikes hanging from a custom made bamboo rack. Look at all the space behind Coach Guy!
With just over 60 participants, the transition area was H-U-G-E. You can literally stage a rock concert here. One of the unique things about the 4 loop run route is that it lets you cross your transition area 4x too! Kudos to the one who thought about this! Such a nice idea! Not to mention it also makes the race more spectator friendly!
The Bike :
This is the best part of the race for me. Save for the bumpy 7k road that you’ll have to cross before you reach the main road, the bike course was a cyclists wet dream. It was easy enough to let the newbies survive the 180k ride yet challenging enough to make even the best cyclists work hard. Just take this an as example, the moment I saw some of the hills, I immediately called one of my favorite bike shops, The Brick Multisport Store and had an 11-28 cog sent to Bohol! No way was I going to use my trusty 11-23! I’ll be toasted on the run for sure! The 3 loop, rolling profile of the bike course offers a good mix of flats, steep hills, and tight corners. Just enough to make it interesting.
Marshalls we’re all over the place too! Due to the roads not being closed to traffic, there were some instances wherein a truck or a van would come in the way of the bikers. But other than that, everything was smooth flowing. Correct me if I’m wrong but this might be the first accident free race that I ever joined! All the athletes got to T2 safe and sound. Good job to the local police force and municipality of Anda.
The Run :
Ahh the run.. the “pancake flat” run course as described in the race briefing. I repeat, the run course is not flat! The 42k run course has lots of challenging hills set on red hot steaming concrete pavement. The support of the community here is simply amazing. Everywhere you go people were cheering for you and calling you “Idol!”. The hospitality of the Anda people is top notch. Where else can you just knock on a house for a quick bathroom break? Heck, the house owner even offered me soap, tissue, and a towel! Of course, for fear of getting a DQ because of “outside support”, I had to decline the generous offer. Hehe..
It was a good thing Energizer sponsored the race with their top notch headlamps. It was literally pitch black in some parts of the run route. Thanks Energizer!
The Awarding / Bohol Tour / After Race Party! :
This is were all the fun begins! The awarding took place right after the breakfast buffet catered by the municipality of Bohol. After the awarding, all the TIMEX 226 warriors were called up on stage for photo-ops and to immortalize their legacy as one of the first few brave souls who conquered the TIMEX 226 Bohol Triathlon.
Those who stayed got a free tour of Lamanoc Island courtesy of our ever generous host.
Now for the best part… THE FEAST!
Like what I did with the swim description.. I’ll let the pictures sum up the food fiesta that happened at the party. But this time, since a triathlon consists of 3 different disciplines, I’ll post 3 pictures too!
Pose, Attack, and Burp!
Resident SWIMBIKERUN.ph Online Coach Jomac said it best, “ngayon lang ako nakakita ng lechon na buto na umuusok pa!“. (this is the first time i saw a roasted bike get deboned while still smoking hot!) LOL. The poor pig didn’t even get a chance to cool off.
I have a lot more to say about what happened during the party but what happens in Bohol… stays in Bohol
The Verdict :
With the emergence of the 70.3 distance, finishing a half distance Ironman used to be the vindication a triathlete needs here in the Philippines to be able to call him/herself a complete multisport athlete. Now with the TIMEX 226, there’s a bigger and tougher challenge. One of the participants said it best during the awarding. This is the race that separates the men from the boys. The sheer brutality of the course validates this race as one of the must do races of every serious triathlete. Like in running, unless you’ve done a full marathon, you’ll always be looking at the 42k distance.
Staging an Iron distance race is a tough task. I’ll be honest, there we’re a couple of improvements that can be done for next years race but from what I compiled from all the athletes that I talked to after the race. One is thing clear. Everyone will do it again next year., and that includes me.
The Results :
Here are the results of the TIMEX 226 Bohol Triathlon
To the participants how was your race? We’d love to hear your story! Write to us and let’s feature it on YOUR SBR!
Official race results are also posted at :