That's what the clock on the event website says.
If you are a registered triathlete for the inuagural Century Tuna 5i50 Triathlon this Sunday, you would have been receiving emails, text messages, facebook posts and tweets about how difficult the race course is, the list and number of participants, expected race weather conditions and reminders on the schedules for race weekend. Though these are very informative and helpful, it also serves as a terrifying reminder of the difficult race we are about to take on.
The tri-community is abuzz with excitement about the "treading" start for the swim and the fact that we need to swim from point to point. Races in the country usually start on the beach and triathletes run to the water when gunned off. For the 5i50, Race Director and former Philippine Olympic Team Swimmer, Guy Concepcion designed the course in such a way that swim start will be at the Hanjin Fast Craft Pier which is deep. Athletes will then have to swim to another point, to All Hands Beach 1.5km away. Many are worried about cramping and getting tired even before the race starts.
|Swim Start for the 5i50 Triathlon - Hanjin Pier.|
|We've dressed up the Pier a bit to rid people of some jitters.|
After negotiating the difficult swim, everyone will be treated to an even more challenging bike course. The 1st 10km or so will be really fast since we get to ride along Container Terminal Road leading to the airport with a breathtaking view of the sea to the side of the road. Our major challenge here will be the crosswinds. The prescription is to stay as aerodynamic as you can in this portion.
|Going Aero at 40kph|
I haven't seen the run course yet. But I hear it will be along the golf course and will be rolling as well. The good news is that we won't be doing loops which is mentally punishing. This portion is said to be pleasant given the foliage. Don't forget to have at least one gel left during the run. This is where runners like me can unleash whatever it is we have left to catch up with the swimmers and cyclists.
|Run Along Binictican and the Golf Course|
We're fielding about 25 or so athletes for this race. Our most promising bet is Ryan Marbella who's rarely seen racing but has been diligently building his fitness level leading up to this 5i50. Ivan Fojas is also a dark horse. Ivan is a fast cyclist and runner but has built up a lethal swim under the tutelage of the Master, Coach George Vilog. In the Thunder Division.....aka "Tanders", we have RJ Lorenzo who is all power. On the female side, watch out for Mayi Maligaya. She is like an assasin who quietly works on her race. Mysterious and expressionless, she is suddenly beside you ready to race you down the wire.
On the Elite side, we have 5 time National Champion, Coach George Vilog carrying the Century Tuna Tri Hard colors.
|Ryan Marbella - Powerhouse|
|Ivan Fojas - Attack Specialist|
|RJ the Effortless leading our "Tanders"|
|Mayi Maligaya - The Assasin (don't let her motherly nature deceive you).|
|George Vilog - Elite|
I still did a workout this morning via an easy 1km swim to ease the jitters. No matter how many times I've reported to the start line of a triathlon the past 6 years, it really never does get easy. As race day draws near, you find yourself zoning in and out of the race in your mind. Sometimes excited and raring to go, often times though, anxious and nervous. But it's a feeling I will never trade with anyone. The powerful mix of anxiety and excitement make me feel alive.
What makes it extra difficult though is that of being both athlete and sponsor to the event. Our team has been working several months along with the Sunrise Events group led by Princess Galura in ensuring a fun, festive (but challenging) inaugural staging of the 1st ever 5i50 Triathlon event here in the Philippines.
The bike will be packed tonight and I plan to leave early tomorrow morning to get to Subic by 8am. This will give me a chance to recon the route one more time and zone in on the race.
Wish me luck.
It's Warrior Time.