In an exciting turn of events, a week before Oceanside 70.3, we received an email from WTC’s Director of Athlete Development and Communications. Based on the size of Fil-Am Tri we were classified as a Division ll Tri Club – as a Division II Tri Club, we were pitted against Orange County Tri Club for the largest number of participants in this division (32!). Points were accumulated based on volunteers and athletes participating in IronKids, IronGirl, and the 70.3 event as an individual or relay team.
Oceanside 70.3 is always an exciting event – nestled in beautiful southern California, the course attracts a huge pro contingency as the first North American 70.3 of the year. Some great action shots (including one of “Norpedo” in his FAT kit on p.2) were featured in Lava Magazine:
It’s a great race for athletes forcing one to stay honest post-holidays and train through harsh winter conditions when the couch is so much more inviting, yet still have enough time to tweak their training before their “A” and “B” races.
The weekend kicked off with the Masayon, Alvior, Bahia, Carillo and Yance kids excitedly participating in IronKids and earning a coveted medal and that infamous finish line feeling.
The big kids then loaded up on carbs at a dinner hosted by Tita Azon and Tito Jacob - it was well attended by over 40 FAThletes and family and a great way to connect with several names we’ve seen on Facebook, but never met. Freddie Roach (Pacquiao’s coach) said it best when he said, “You Filipinos sure like to stick together”. Plenty of “eat, eat, eat’s” were heard and everyone left, bellies stuffed and ready for a good night’s sleep.
The transition area for race day opened at the usual 4:45AM. The swim is a brisk loop in Oceanside Harbor. The bike course takes you through Camp Pendleton where you can see military base sites normally closed to the public. Bits of the course even had soldiers training and shooting target practice. Yipes! But, the “tour” of Camp Pendleton was anything but leisurely – after a deceiving easy and flat start for 30 miles, the climbs / headwinds reared their ugly heads. FAT’s showed their support encouraging each other up the climbs and to the finish. The run was a beautiful (but hot!) run by the Oceanside Pier where our FAT barangay set up a station / cheering squad with the other tri clubs. The encouragement and laughter was much needed and appreciated – most of our awesome FAT supporters either stayed overnight or left their homes as early as 3AM to make the 640AM swim start. Ayos! Lots of high 5’s were shared and went around – Ironman Roehl Rosales, Brian Masayon, and Boni Guilla even graced us with their professional photography skills for lots of “peekchures, peekchures”.
With a showing of 32 athletes strong from Southern California, Northern California, East Coast and even as far as Manila, FAT was pleased and grateful to earn the Division II podium! What a pleasant surprise and fantastic way to kick off the 2013 season!
The FAThletes, family and friends then ended an awesome weekend with a post-race BBQ potluck graciously hosted by Mike Vitug and FAT.
Maraming salamat for everyone’s support and participation. It was a wonderful weekend and we look forward to continuing to bring Fil-Ams together through the medium of endurance sports. Mabuhay!