Like triathletes, triathlon races also come and go. We’ve seen a lot of them change names/format or worse, just disappear from the calendar. Seeing a race vanish is sad, but that’s the reality. We did a brief survey and asked athletes who’s been in the scene for a long time the top races that they miss the most. Here’s the collated list!
8. LAKESHORE TRIATHLON INVITATIONAL
There’s always that one race where it’s so bad, it became legendary. We tried our best to research about this race to find any old poster or race details but we couldn’t find anything on the internet! It’s not bad in the sense that it’s not organized or anything, but because the participants were made to swim in a murky pond which was so thick and blurry that most of the participant’s tri suits changed color after exiting the swim. You’ll then do a loop and u turn around a small (and muddy!) island.
Do note that the water wasn’t dirty or contaminated per se; and we didn’t hear anyone get sick after the race either. But that was one heck of a swim. Not to mention there were frogs also. LOL.
This was the actual swim course of the LAKESHORE TRIATHLON. Take note that the above image is the CURRENT version. We swam in there before the place was developed!
7. TRI MANILA
Held in 2014 right in the heart of Manila, Tri Manila is the first (and only) triathlon race to happen in the nation’s capital. The event is an olympic distance race where athletes swam at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum swimming pool, biked on the completely closed to the public Roxas Boulevard, before heading off into the sunset by running along the Manila Bay coastline.
Note : This event is organized by SBR.ph. For that reason, we initially didn’t want to include the race here but the people who we interviewed said otherwise, so here it is. Biases aside, that was a good race and is something which will most likely never happen again. We’d love to be proven otherwise, though!
6. TIMEX 226
Held in Anda, Bohol, the TIMEX 226 iron-distance triathlon was something the iron-athletes of the Philippines were craving for.
The race debuted in 2011 and had a successful 2012 follow up (consecutive finishers were called two-timers!). Sadly, the race got hit with a super typhoon in 2013 which caused it to be cancelled and never recovered from it.
5. Subic Bay ASTC Long Distance Triathlon (o2)
Wait, what? There’s a long distance triathlon in Subic that’s not an IM branded event or organized by Bike King? Yes, kids. Way back in 2007, for two years in a row, the Triathlon Association of the Philippines (TRAP) organized the o2 distance. What’s the o2 distance? It’s basically an olympic distance triathlon (1.5k Swim, 40k Bike, 10k Run) but multiplied by two (3k Swim, 80k Bike, 20k Run).
Was it fun? Yes. Do we miss it? Absolutely.
A lil bit of a fun find.. here are the results of the 2007 race! See any familiar names?
4. Tri United 3
Back in 2014, race organizer Bike King did the unthinkable. How cool would it be to ride your bike on SCTEX? Sure, we’ve done it before in duathlons. But in a triathlon? Never. Swim in Subic, hammer the glorious roads of SCTEX for 90k, and then finish in Porac. It was a crazy idea that just worked.
That’s why the community went nuts when Bike King announced the inaugural Tri United 3 race. No longer would athletes traverse SCTEX on cars, they can now experience it on a bike!
Nowadays, whenever athletes see SCTEX, they’d just go, “Oh ok, SCTEX? Did that already”. But before? It always has been, “where do I sign up!?”.
The race happened for 3 more years until Bike King removed it on the calendar. But they’d be forever credited for being the first one to pull it off.
3. Animo Sprint Triathlon
Newbie? Want to become a triathlete? This is the race to join! The annual Animo Sprint Triathlon is the birthplace of most of the veteran athletes that you see and race with today. The race is a sprint distance (750m Swim / 20k Bike / 5k Run) triathlon and is held inside the Ayala Alabang Village. Unfortunately, the homeowners association decided that they didn’t want the event to happen outside of their homes anymore which sealed the fate of the race.
Trivia : the Animo Sprint was my first triathlon race and the Triman Triathlon was patterned over it. – CDG
2. Century Tuna 5150 (old route)
Huh? But the 5150 is still very much alive in Subic! Yes, it is. But what we’re talking about here is the original race course of the 5150. How nice was it? Well, check this out.
SWIM – Beach start at ACEA? Nope. The previous 5150 was a water start. How do you get in the water? By jumping off the damn ledge of the mini pier.
Obviously, this isn’t from the actual race but you get the idea.
BIKE – The bike course of the inaugural 5150 Philippines was definitely one of the best courses designed in Subic. You get treated first to the silky smooth and fast roads of the Subic International Airport (the organizers even added a “fastest airport split award”!) before facing an overdose of uphill climbs which is a combination of the Ocean Adventure, IDESS loop, and topped off with the short and sweet climb of Tarlac Road for dessert.
RUN – Unlike the usual out and back runs along the argonaut highway which most races in Subic today does, the old 5150 run course takes athletes inside the Subic golf course and back. You run through the golf cart tracks and the route was scenic and shaded. You can’t say that much often in Subic.
1. Defy 123
Held in Bellevue Hotel in Bohol, the Defy 123 triathlon “defied” the odds when it made the athletes discover and experience Bohol by swimming 1k, cycling 110k, and then running 12k. What made this race unique is the bike course which allowed only road bikes and is draft legal. The party afterwards was also top notch.
The race happened for 3 years (2013-2015).
Featured image : jakerajs.photoshelter.com/image/I0000MoRQulyZsLg