Their passion for triathlon led them to cross paths, they ran together as one family with one goal – victory.
Multiawarded and globally-recognized triathletes Caroline Steffen, Tim Reed, Tim Van Berkel, Dimity Lee Duke, Sam Betten, and our country’s own August Benedicto, joined forces to create one of the most formidable teams that participated in the recently concluded 2016 Ironman 70.3 Vietnam – the Alaska Tri-Aspire team. Their individual accolades speak for their skills, and in their first race as a team in the scenic city of Danang, Vietnam, they showed what they are capable of against over 1,000 of the world’s best.
In the women’s division, the champion of last year’s Ironman 70.3 Vietnam Caroline Steffen successfully defended her crown after finishing with a time of 4:12:18. Meanwhile, her teammate Dimity Lee-Duke from Australia came in fourth overall.
For the men’s division, Tim Van Berkel finished with a time of 3:55:08 for second place, less than a minute short of this year’s champion, France’s Cyril Viennot with a time of 3:54:09. Tim Reed raced to finish fourth overall in a fast and intense competition.
Although they came from different places in the world, the Alaska Tri-Aspire team represents the Philippines in some of the world’s toughest triathlons such as the 5i50, Ironman 70.3, and XTERRA events at the Asian Beach Games, Asian Games, and the Olympics.
In their first race as a team, they raced through a 1.9-kilometer ocean swim in front of the Hyatt Danang Resort & Spa. From there, they all raced through a scenic two-loop 90-kilometer bike course that took them along Danang’s pristine coastline and passed by some of the city’s landmarks. Finally, they faced a 21-kilometer long out-and-back run course that took them through the city’s famous beach resorts and finished at the foot of the historic Marble Mountains. The tropical weather also proved to be a challenge but it was perfect to prepare them for their summer Ironman events.
The race’s outcome already provided us a preview of wonderful things to come with the new Alaska Tri-Aspire team. Not only have they proven that they can hold their own against some of the world’s best – they have proven that they can win.
Next stop for the new Alaska Tri-Aspire team will be the Ironman 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championship which will take place on our very own Cebu City, later this year on August 7.