Freeman Cebu Sports

Advocating unity through sports: Tri-SND Barracuda carves out a niche in Philippine triathlon

Emmanuel B. Villaruel - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  Since the team was established nearly a decade ago, Tri-SND Barracuda has certainly carved its own niche in the Philippine triathlon landscape.

There’s no doubt about that.

Exactly a week ago, the spirited triathletes from the municipality of Sultan Naga Dimaporo in Lanao del Norte hogged the limelight during the prestigious Megaworld Ironman 70.3 Philippines participated in by close to 2,000 athletes from 46 countries across five continents.

Led by John Dedeus Alcala, the top bets of Tri-SND Barracuda swept the third to fifth overall spots in the elite male category of Ironman’s grand comeback in Cebu staged last August 7 at the sprawling Mactan Newtown in Lapu-Lapu City.

Alcala snatched the third place honors of the grueling tri-sport race that consists of 1.9-kilometer swim, 90km bike and 21k run with a time of four hours, 37 minutes and 54 seconds. His comrades Satar Salem and Jailani Lamama wound up fourth and fifth with 4:38:39 and 4:39:38 clockings, respectively.

It was Tri-SND Barracuda’s telling way of announcing that they’re back in the triathlon scene still with fervor burning after a longsome pause from the pandemic.

Formed by incumbent Sultan Naga Dimaporo Vice Mayor Ulwan Dimaporo way back in 2014, Tri-SND Barracuda showcases unity and harmonious relationship among Maranao and Christian athletes.

“We are so close to each other like real brothers and sisters. Never did we expect na ganito mag-excel or makilala kami sa triathlon community because in the first place, we created this team just to show or let the other athletes feel na we can be united through this sports such walang discrimination ma-Muslim ka man or Christian,” said Dimaporo, himself a multi-sport enthusiast.

Through the years, the Tri-SND Barracuda has somehow performed beyond expectations, always making their presence felt in major competitions they joined all over the country.

Testament to that is their most latest recent triumph in the Cebu Ironman 70.3 event.

“I’m overwhelmed and grateful because the team performed beyond expectations. Our trainings had paid off. Most of us, if not all, did a personal best. Na-beat namin yung previous time namin sa same distance and we all crossed the finish line strong,” Dimaporo proudly shared.

A week prior to the Cebu Ironman, Tri-SND Barracuda also dominated the Sunlife Bohol 5150 Triathlon at The Bellevue in Panglao Island.

They credited their non-stop trainings, with or without a race, as a vital component of their consistent performance.

“We see to it that even without a race, we still keep our body moving para when race comes, our body is prepared. We also follow training programs provided by coach Dan Brown and coach Ani de Leon Brown of the Next Step Tri. Of course, you have to be passionate about what you are doing para hindi ka mahirapan kasi the training part is the hardest part. If you do not love what you do and you lack the motivation, training pa lang talo kana,” Dimaporo pointed out.

When pressed on the chief driving force behind their success, Dimaporo replied: “Allah SWT.We are nothing without Him. We are thankful to Almighty for our strength. Also to our coaches of the NextStep Tri and of course our teammates who motivate each and everyone.”

Given all the accomplishments they enjoyed at the moment, Tri-SND Barracuda will not rest on their laurels as they continue to march forward with vi

gor in their hearts and one goal in sight that is not only winning but also spotlighting sports as a shining catalyst for unity.   

“We’re always aiming to do better from the last performance and be a success contributor to the team. Also, we want to be an inspiration especially to the youth who wanted to be in sports and above all mapakita namin specifically na this team is nagkakaisa, that we can be united, regardless of religion and ethnicity, through sports,” Dimaporo ended.


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