From different walks of life, they came, joined in the spirit of competition, all under the banner of Alaska Tri-Aspire. Decked out in their signature red, the latest Alaska Tri-Aspire team headlined this year’s IronMan 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championship, picking up multiple wins and podium finishes.
The race: Exhausting.
The mood: Enthusiastic.
The camaraderie: Priceless.
If there was something that they all had in common, it was their mutual desire to push themselves to their absolute limits, and see how far they could take it from there.
“I think you need to always step outside of your comfort zone, try to test yourself. It’s important to really push your limits,” said triathlon legend Belinda Granger. No stranger to the Cebu crowd that cheered the triathletes on for nearly every kilometer of the competition, Granger was on hand to motivate the gathered competitors.
It was a sentiment that rang true for the entire team, regardless of their origins, such as Dimity Lee Duke, who had spent time as a paramedic in her native Australia, or young Sam Betten, who grew up watching his idols compete before deciding he wanted to be like them.
The only Filipino on the team, August Benedicto is a prime local example, having delivered ice via bicycle while growing up to earn enough money to put himself through school. “
“Every day, ganon ang ginagawa ko, until high school, first year until fourth year, until napa-aral ko amg sarili ko no hindi ako humihinigi sa parents ko ng pera para ipanggastos pang-aral ko dahil din sa pagtitinda ng yelo.”
When he began joining cycling competitions thanks to the generosity of sponsors, Benedicto’s natural talent shone through and it wasn’t long before he began signing up for triathlons. “Sabi ko, ‘husayan ko kaya’? Ayun, lahat ng ginagawa ko, ginagalingan ko din.”
Switzerland’s Caroline Steffen, the Warrior Princess herself, echoed the sentiment, saying that the desire to improve is an ongoing one, especially for one used to the thrill of competition: “It’s pretty hard for me to just lay back and let it go.”
Regardless of their reasons, their collective desire to improve and better themselves throughout their lives brought them to Tri-Aspire, and together, there’s no limit to what they can achieve as a team.