Those acquainted with the sport know triathlons are no walk in the park. Not only does it combine three grueling athletic activities (running, cycling, and swimming), but each athlete has to cover more than a hundred kilometers’ worth of distance in the least amount of time. Because of this, triathletes need to train for weeks and months at a time to be at their fittest and fastest for any given race.
What’s surprising about the triathlon racing scene in the Philippines, however, is that many of its enthusiasts are people who have equally grueling day jobs. Maybe it’s a passion for the sport, or perhaps determination to stay fit that keeps them going, but it’s not unusual for these amateurs to make headlines alongside professional athletes, having made time in their incredibly busy schedules for training and racing. Regardless of the reason, perhaps the thing to take away from all this is that when it comes to living life, health should always be a priority.
Here are just some of the amateur triathletes who are inspiring others to take a more active role in seeking out healthy lifestyles:
To most people, Fred Uytengsu is the president and CEO of Alaska Milk Corp, but to the triathlon community, he is the man whose passion for the sport helped bring the Ironman and XTERRA races to the Philippines. Although he initially got into the sport to lose some unwanted weight, a newfound love of triathlon racing kept him going.
Kim Atienza, more fondly known as Kuya Kim, has been dubbed the Ambassador of Philippine Triathlon for his role in using his celebrity status as a TV host, weather anchor, and actor to bring attention to the sport. Two years ago, he was struck with Gullain-Barré syndrome, a rare autoimmune disease that affects one’s nerves and weakens one’s muscles. But with rest, therapy, and determination, he bounced back, and was soon racing again.
Matteo Guidicelli is a model and actor who, despite spending sleepless nights and long hours in shoots and tapings, finds time to train and join triathlons here and abroad. To date, he has already competed in several events, like the Ironman 70.3 in Cebu, Regent 5150 in Subic, and Xterra World Championship in Hawaii.
Once a mainstay of the local showbiz industry, Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan now busies herself as a writer, endorser, full-time mother, and amateur triathlete. Her love for the sport began with her husband, Anthony Pangilinan, Chairman of BusinessWorks Inc., and has grown to inspire their children. Together, they race through triathlons as a family.