Last weekend saw the inaugural Alaska Ironkids Swim. Bike. Run. race in Davao. For the very first time, the Crown Jewel of Mindanao got the chance to witness world-class triathlon action courtesy of all the impressive and talented kid triathletes.
The action kicked off on March 23 when the Alaska Milk Corporation held the Dagan at Sayaw event at the People’s Park for the benefit of the House of Hope, a local foundation in Davao that serves as a temporary home for children battling cancer. The event featured a 500-meter run and a Zumba class. As promised by Alaska, milk packs would be donated for every corresponding participant.
A total of 570 people joined the Dagan at Sayaw run and dance event but Alaska Milk’s generosity didn’t stop there – announcing that the number of donations would be tripled. At the end, more than a thousand milk packs were donated.
Come race day, excited faces filled the shoreline of the Azuela Cove. More than a hundred kid triathletes were out to prove why they deserved to be Ironkids. Some of the highlights include Clifford Pusing who dominated the 13-14 Boys’ age group. Pusing clocked in at an impressive time of 41:28, 24 seconds faster than his trailers, Adrian Dionisio and Irienold Reig Jr.
Later that day, Pusing took part in the Ironkids relay category, where he and his team dominated the race as well.
Meanwhile, it was Moira Erediano besting the entire 13-14 girls’ division. Her sprint finish race towards the finish line against Marielle Estreba kept the crowd on their feet. In the end, Erediano edged Estreba by just a second.
The 11-12 age groupers followed soon after with Earol Belonguil and Asia May Araneta leading the Boys’ and Girls’ divisions respectively. Carron Canas and Chloie Dairo led the 9-10 categories.
The 6-8 age group was what drew everyone to the starting line. As Ironkids race director coach Ani De Leon-Brown would have it, “this is the best division! Napaka-cute nila!” But their size didn’t stop them from giving it their all! All 6-8 age group racers finished the race in impressive fashion.
As soon as the last kid crossed the line, Alaska Milk held the Modagan Ta Tanan – a 500-meter run inviting all kids and parents to join in on the fun. August Benedicto, who placed second in the Asian Elite category that weekend, led the pack with his family. Similar to the Dagan at Sayaw event, Alaska had promised to donate milk packs to the House of Hope for every runner who joined.
The Modagan Ta Tanan run ended the Ironkids weekend on a high note. With everybody’s race training paying off, and the feeling of helping the kids’ in need – the 2018 Alaska Ironkids was more than a success.
As long as these kids are pushing themselves to become Ironkids, the future of Philippine triathlon looks bright.