Freeman Cebu Sports

Complete not compete!

EVERY POUND COUNTS - Allan Choachoy - The Freeman

Last weekend, over 400 cyclists braved Giro d Luca which covers 500km in a span of three consecutive days.

This feat could be easily be accomplished if one is a professional cyclist and earns a living by racing, but the majority of the participants are the common working class heroes who I consider the real professionals.

Some of these riders have eight-hour day jobs and family responsibilities, but they still manage to answer the challenge.

Four members of the Metafit  Tri Team and Team Peks namely Bernard Palermo, Danny Loquias, Pimco Pimentel and Christian Demoral are great examples of this type of rider.

Demoral, one of the motivational coaches of the Metafit boot camp, just got engaged recently.

He also prepared for the Giro d Luca and was successful in balancing his workout routines. On weekends he goes for long rides between 80-kilometers to 102-kilometers. On weekdays he focuses on power training like climbing the hills of Barangay Busay and Budlaan.

Demoral explained that the rules for Giro d Luca was just simple "this is not a race and the objective is to have fun."With that, Demoral and his friends enjoyed the scenic view Bohol while traversing 500kms for three days.

The event was broken down into three stages. Day 1 had a 200km distance from Panglao to Guindulman and back. Day 2 was a hilly route from Panglao to Carmen and back with a distance 150km. The final day was a 150km distance from Panglao to Tubigon and vice versa.

We were given a choice on which pace we ride. There were three groups the– 30km per hour pace, 25km per hour pace and the 20km per hour pace.

There were marshals, support vehicles, bike mechanics to help you if there are any problems with yourself and your bike. But you could always stop and ask them to take you back to the hotel.

The event was definitely a celebration as you could feel the vibe all throughout the duration of the race. The camaraderie of bikers was there. I personally can attest to that, they were really kind on helping you and even giving you nutrition and hydration. There were also pit stops along the route each day where you could replenish water and at the turning point you are given snacks.

Each day was capped off by raffling items from the sponsors. By the end of the event, a sumptuous buffet awaited the bikers. Out of the 400 plus participants this year, around 300 finished the fun ride and received a finisher’s jersey with a bragging right to claim that they completed the 500km ride in three days. The experience we had was life changing. The ride was very challenging, but it was not enough to break us, instead, it proved on how mentally and physically strong we are.

Loquias, for his part, just recently started cycling last year and he was one of the latest additions to the group who started to get serious about the sport. Just at the time he bought his first road bike, he promised himself that he will sign up for this years’ Giro d Luca which has became an ultimate tests for a cyclist as less than 50 percent can finish the three day fun ride.

Danny was very persistent in his training, waking early morning just to put the mileage on his bike and adding noon time quickie just to get used to the heat. Aside from having a full time job, Danny said most of his motivation comes from his loving wife Kristin Iris Loquias and their two-year old daughter Kate Dominique. The ride was mentally challenging as well, so during those brutal times on the saddle the only thing that keeps him going was the hugs and kisses he gets at the finish line. Danny also pointed out that nutrition and hydration must be time strategically.

“Importante gyud ang motivation and love from family, relatives and friends. Dapat naa ang supporta ug labing importante sa tanan prayers” said Danny who trained for almost two weeks with the Metafit boot camp and finished this year’s Xterra Duathlon and Bantayan Duathlon just to prepare for the said event.

For his part, Pimentel became the biggest surprise as he finished the ride easily. “Wala gyud ko preparation so Giro” said Pimco. Pimco works out religiously in our boot camp pushing himself to the limit.

Actually Pimco used the triathlon races as his training. He conquered the San Remigio 8080, Bantayan Tri X, Xterra and recently the Bogo Off Road Triathlon. Pimco set the standards high and showed that even after a grueling three 500km bike ride, he still managed to do a four-minute workout with pushups, squats and burpees the next day. By the way Pimco is a Sales Executive of Mitsubishi Motors and both sons are accomplished swimmers as well. He is also has a very supportive wife Kristine Pimentel as one of his inspirations.

Meanwhile, Palermo was the most photographed and has won most of the raffle prizes among the four  Metafit Tri Team and Team Peks member who participated in the Giro d Luca.

Bernard was able to finish Day 1 with some minor leg cramps even with less saddle time during his preparation. Some bikers gave up before reaching the turning point due to heat and fatigue but not Bernard.

He said that the beautiful scenery of the coastal road from Baclayon to Guindulngan kept him going and going. During Day 2, the beautiful view of the Bohol Tarsier Conservatory and the man-made forest took most of his time with tons of selfies and even had time to stop and chat with some participants from Manila.

 Unfortunately at the top of the climb Bernard experienced chest pain and which later made him decided not to finish the challenge. On the last final day it was clear to Bernard that it is better to be safe than sorry and decided just to take it easy and pedaled only 17km and stopped at his mother’s hometown in Dauis.

 “It was a very nice experience. I was able to go to places in Bohol by doing one of the things that I love to do – Biking!” Bernard said.

Congratulations again to Christian, Bernard, Danny and Pimco. You guys are inspiration to all of us and keep it up! Keep on pedaling and remember “our goal is complete not compete”.

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