Freeman Cebu Sports

Cebu’s Pride 2 of 2: History of triathlon in Cebu

Allan Choachoy - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Triathlon is considered as an extreme sports because it covers three discipline from swimming, biking and running. The are several distances for a triathlon race, the sprint, Olympic distance, 70.3 Ironman or the Full Ironman. Mostly, it is in the preparation or training for the race that involves lots of sacrifice, hard work and discipline. Also, it is very time consuming because you have to balance your time on training on each discipline, the timing when or what to train during the specific date or time. It is an individual sport and races against you and yourself alone but during training it is the team that helps you all throughout and the cheers from the support group is what makes the sport fun.

Back in March 2013, Hard Multisport was born. It was during a race in Talisay that formally launched the team. The team’s mantra is “We are a triathlon team, who understands that no one sport is enough, despite having busy schedules both from commitment as working professionals and responsible parents or children/ siblings, we take and find time to indulge in the multisports that we enjoy, together we are One Team One Goal! We are the true Triathlon (working) Professionals.” The main reason why the team was created was to set up practice schedule for swimming, biking and running. It is much easier when they train as group as supposed to be doing it alone. Hard Multisport don’t have any formal membership requirement. Anybody who needs a buddy for training are welcome to join the team. You only need to share the same passion of helping each other and join at least one of our training sessions, to be officially accepted to the team. 

At the start of the 2014 triathlon season, they saw their team membership grow with 70 members at the end of that year and right now, close to 150 members. Hard Multisport has been receiving awards “as the biggest Team delegation” in local triathlon races. And for this coming Cobra Ironman 70.3 Asia Pacific Championship, the team will be sending 50 members. The founding members of the group Gregg Gabison, Earl Villamala, Neil Desamparado & Richard Seville. Lasang Tri team started as a running group, who trains almost every afternoon at the open lot in the Cebu Business Park. The group is headed by Kenneth Toledo, one of pioneers of taekwondo in Cebu. Back in 2010, Kenneth created the Lasang runners during the peak and boom of running in Cebu. After dominating the running scene for quite some time, the team decided to level up the challenge and made the transition from running to triathlon. The team is trained by cach Mohammad Sherwin Managil, an elite runner who also shifted from running to triathlon. Without much training, coach Sherwin decided compete in the Timex 226 in 2012. He relied heavily on his running background and won 3rd place in his age group with a blistering time of 11:07:40. Coach Sherwin struggled in the swim, but coasted through in the bike leg and destroyed the pack in the running section. Coach Sherwin also finished 7th overall in the race. The Lasang Tri Team is composed of Harold Toledo, Dr. Lalaine Sacris, Dr. Alan Sacris, Dr. Faith Cagulada, Atty. Jan Cagulada, Eugene Choa, John Sin, Clarence Taguiam,  Lloyd Ompad, Bibi delos Reyes, Maureen Little, Chester Ang, Wilmer Go, Faye Pacomo, Danny Cristobal, Jade Abellana, Hazel Sanchez, Adrian Catingub, Dr. Katrina Catingub, Arby Bacasmas, Marco Mempin, Kendrick Sulay and Doreen Jabines.

From the South to North, there’s Tri Liloan, the official triathlon team of the Municipality of Liloan. It all started in March 2014, a group of young mountain bikers from LICOMBA (Liloan-Compostela Mountain Bikers Association) led by Donray Noval, Lyle Balverde, Reylan Lapiz, Ariel Arcelo and Ralph Vincent Ruiz conceived the idea of forming a Triathlon team that was later named Tri Liloan. Since the sport is quite an expensive one, the group approached then Mayor Duke Frasco to ask for assistance and got the full and immediately funded their tri suits to be used for future races.

The team welcomes any from resident of the Municipality of Liloan who are interested in the sport of triathlon. They are not limiting their members from Liloan though since they have friends from other cities. However, only the bonafide residents of Liloan can avail of the free registration sponsorship.  As of the moment, the team is focused on the underprivileged but deserving athletes who can excel in the sport. It is currently forming a grassroots triathlon program called Tri Liloan Juniors composed of athletes coming from the various public high schools in the town. They will be trained to become potential triathletes. At present, the members of Tri Liloan includes Jan Carlo Cañete, Allan Aguipo, Reylan Lapiz, Wendell Tac-al, Emil Motus, Ralph Vincent Ruiz, Ralph Christian Macasero, Ralph Gregory Noval, Zamir Canales, Lucille Ruiz, Denise Abcede, Anthony Bruce Samonte, Ariel Arcelo, Ian Cesar Cañete, Jan Roque Rosal, Mikhail Joseph Gallur, Jewel Jay Pasco, Aljew Fernando Frasco and Vice Mayor Duke Frasco.

Triathlon is indeed a sport where in you can push to your limit and set goals. The achievement and accomplishments give you a sense of purpose in your life! Remembering again the famous IRONMAN that says, "To accomplish something extra ordinary, one must have an extra ordinary dream!"

Triathlon is growing in Cebu. Don't confuse your passion for the sport as a reason for you to brag about your skills, achievements, and gear. A triathlete is never an elitist to begin with because he shares his passion with other triathletes. He also shares his knowledge, experiences, and tips with others in tune with his desire to help others become the best they can possibly be. Indeed, you can only achieve your best if you train and compete with the very best. Let us all work hand in hand and making this a better sport instead of clashing with each other and making everyone look like clowns.

SIDELINE:  There is actually a Team 2ga 2ga (complete name is Team 2ga 2ga Bwahaha) that joined last year's San Remigio 8080 and this year's Sogod 8080. You may confirm it from Cornerstone. The team will also be competing in the coming IM70.3 this August. To those who felt that their team (or their team's performance) was alluded to as Team 2ga 2ga, you're out of luck. They got the name first.  (FREEMAN)






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