Tri United Marks Scorching Start of Triathlon Season
Tri United’s opening leg at Plaiya Laiya attracted about 250 triathletes. The second leg is scheduled for June 30 and July 1, also at Playa Laiya in San Juan, Batangas.
National team top triathlete 20-year-old Nikko Huelgas topped the elite category of the 1-km swim, 30-km bike and 7.5-km run competition in one hour and 30 minutes.
“This is my first Tri United and I really had a great time as it was very well organized. I enjoyed the easy 1K swim, the water condition was excellent. The bike leg was a bit tough because there were rough roads along the way. But overall it was great fun,” said Huelgas, who was seventh placer at the Asian Triathlon Championship in Japan.
Kevin Eijan Santos, the reigning Philippine National Games junior champion, clocked 1:39 for second place. National team coach George Vilog, who came in two minutes later, finished third.
Unilab Active Health triathlon team led by Unilab president and CEO Clinton Hess and executives Alex Panlilio and Lester Castillo also competed. The other members of the team are: Ani De Leon Brown, Bic Ferreria, "Bull Runner" Jaymie Pizarro, Dan Brown, Mike Vaca, Ed Inocentes, Paolo Abrera, Jake De Guzman, Adel Samson, Javy Olives, Martin Carandang.
“We are very happy with the turnout. It was a good mix of seasoned triathletes and beginners. The participants are generally satisfied with the routes, the weather cooperated, and Playa Laiya provided a great venue,” said Panlilio, Head of Unilab Active Health.
The top three in the team competition (based on aggregate time of 10 fastest members) were PLDT Bike king, Unilab Active Health and T12 Camelbak Tri Team.
Winners in their respective age categories are: Jaime Navarro and Kim Kilgroe (18-24), Martin Carandang and Jayline Balatibat (25-29), Andy Leuterio and Alessandra Gonzalez (30-34), Dan Brown and Ani Brown (35-39), Rayzon Galdonez and Berns Tan (40-44), RJ Lorenzo (45-49), Celma Hitalia (45-above), Rune Stroem (50-54), and Artemio Engracia Jr. (55-above).
Top finishers Dan Brown and Andy Leuterio, triathletes and coaches, also lauded the organizers of Tri United. “The bike part was quite challenging though. I have three students who joined the event as well. We had an enjoyable time,” said Leuterio.
Brown, who is one of the brand ambassadors of Unilab Active Health, said Tri United proved once again that there is a very high interest in triathlon in the country. Brown added that most of the participants of The Next Step Tri Clinic sponsored by Unilab Active Health joined Tri United. One more running clinic is scheduled for May 23 at the Unilab gym in Mandaluyong.
Some of the Next Step Athletes, according to Brown, who joined Tri United were: Clinton Hess, Mike Vaca, Marge Buot, August Benedicto, Carlo Pedregoza, Team Greentennial Relay and Ani De Leon Brown.
Tri United was sponsored by Alaxan FR, Enervon HP, I-ON Energy Drink, Hydrite, Landco, Bikeking, Pocari Sweat, Timex Crystal Clear, Orbea, Runner’s World, Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Weekend Warrior and SwimBikeRun.ph.
Photos and race results can be seen at www.unilabactivehealth.com.