Fil-Am tri had a great success on our first ever fundraising event. The event was composed of 500 meter swim, 13 mile bike ride and 4 mile run on Sunday, 22nd of October in Long Beach, CA. The day before the event, the Nor Cal leaders JR Calanoc and Joe Dulay along with the SoCal leaders Noriel Simsuangco and Thomas Zaide was a at swap meet trying to get the final equipment for bike rack set up followed by grocery shopping and final administrative work.
(Day of Event)
It was a gloomy morning, when we started setting up the bike racks, tent and transition area. The forecast was a 30% chance of rain that day. It has been raining the day prior. The outside temperature was low 60’s deg. and the event was set to start at 7:15am. The roads were still wet and we were hoping not to cancel the bike portion. An hour had passed by and there were no signs of rain. Our morning was blessed with one short episode of very mild drizzle on a slightly overcast and gloomy sky (perfect for racing). The participants started to come in one by one, hanging their bike racks and got their body marked. To our surprised we had an additional 16 participants that signed up onsite on top of the 19 online sign up we received. We now have a total of 35 Triathletes ready to take on our swim-bike-run event. Thomas Zaide lead that race briefing while JR Calanoc kept busy taking action video/go pro shots of the team. Joe and Noriel had the privilege on joining the event to help out as the “sweeper” for the swim and the bike portion. The air horn goes off and everyone dives into the chilly bay water of Naples Island. The 1st swimmer out of the water with a little over 8 minutes is Robert Picou of Tri Connection. He was followed closely by Daniel Achondo at (8:52min) and Noriel Simsaungco (8:56min) of Fil-Am Tri. Since the bike portion was not counted in the overall timed ranking, everyone took their time on Transition and went on to ride a 13mile bike ride. Upon their return, the participants were greeted with a box of donuts and mango puree juice in transition! There were many laughs and cheering coming from the spectators and volunteers. We were amazed on how much support we received from family, friends and other FAT and Adobo Velo members. When the last participant’s bike was racked, many of our fast runners are already on the way back from the 4 mile run. Greeting at the run finish line was a “FAT Finisher Banner/Ribbon”. The man who lead the fastest runners that day was Sergio Arias of ARC (A Runner’s Cicle) elite runner at 23:26 min (pace of 5:51 min/mile) followed by Noah Nodalo at 25:54 (6:28 min/mile) and Daniel Achondo 26:05 (6:31 min/mile). It was a memorable moment when Noah Nodalo crosses the finish line wearing only “speedos” to honor Lance Armstongs finish at recent race “Super Frog 70.3”. The post race meal started with empanadas and pancit prior to the last runner crossing the finish line. There were many picture (peek-chure) taken and lots of chit-chats and laughters. During the awarding we were surprise buy the ABS-CBN foundation President Robbie Fabian who arrived and helped with handing out the awards to the top finisher. It was day filled with fun, excitement and memorable stories but the best part was when we found out that we had a total donation of $1,000 donated to Bantay Bata. This amount will feed 150 malnourished children for 1 whole year. We made a difference and that day and that is what really matters! Go Fil-Am Tri!