To devote one’s self to a sport takes commitment, discipline, and hard work. But what happens when the time in your chosen competition comes to an end?
Such was the question that IronKid Enrique Mempin had to answer at the Alaska IronKids triathlon in Mactan, Cebu, early last month. Currently aged 14, the race marked his penultimate shot at the Alaska IronKids podium because his birthday will occur the month before next year’s race. His last competition will be the IronKids Subic competition in the first quarter next year.
“I’m here to make the best out of it,” Enrique told PlayPH on the day of the race. Taking part since he was 11 years old, Enrique signed up for his first triathlon on the recommendation of a friend and soon discovered his own passion for the sport, having competed in every edition since.
In the days leading up to the race, Enrique could be seen laughing, playing, and generally having a good time with his friends and his younger sister Maria, who was also competing. When asked if he felt sad to be leaving it all behind in the near future, Enrique said that he has no regrets and looks forward to racing in other competitions as a new challenge, while sharing that he hoped to be able to help out at the Alaska IronKids Cebu event next year in some capacity.
He equated the end of his Alaska IronKids career with the feeling he gets every time he approaches the finish line: “It feels amazing. It’s the sign that indicates that, finally, I made it, and after all my hard work in the race, it shows that I’ve finally finished, and this is the prize.”
Though Enrique’s time with Alaska IronKids may be over, the lessons, experiences, and friendships he made during his years of competing will last forever.