On Sunday August 7, 2016 all roads lead to Mactan Shangrila as triathletes all over the world will come together and join the Cobra Ironman 70.3 Asia Pacific Championship. Traditionally, Triathlon is an individual sport and each athlete is competing against the course and the clock for the best time. There are two categories, professional and amateur. Amateurs which mostly make up most of the participants are also referred as “age groupers” as they compete and classified further based on sex and age.
Triathlons are timed in five sequential sections:
- from start of the swim to the beginning of the first transition(swim time)
- from the beginning of the first transition tot he end of the first transition (T1 time);
- from the start of the cycling to the end of the cycling leg (cycling time);
- from the beginning of the second transition to the end of the second transition(T2 time);
- finally from the start of the run to the end of the run, at which the time the triathlon is completed.
Swim distance is 1.9 kilometers, Bike distance is 90 kilometers and run distance is 21.1 kilometers which made up a total of 70.3 which is the half distance of Ironman. Others participate in relay too which means three different persons will race for swim leg, bike leg and run leg.
As they say, behind every man’s success is a woman. In this case, behind every single triathlete’s race completion is a triathlete yaya who never stops from worrying and praying for his/her safety. It does not start and end on race day because being a triathlete is a year-long commitment of training. The triathletes are always the stars of the race but there are also silent heroes in the race. These are the men and women at the sidelines rallying and cheering for them.
Here’s a list of the benefits and drawbacks of dating or being married to a triathlete straight from a real life TriYaya/IronYaya:
1.Triathletes have big appetite but what they eat, they also burn during their training and even on race day. You on the other hand, is trying your best to eat moderately because you can’t burn everything like them. It’s a real struggle dining with them.
2. If there is stay-cation, get to know the term race-cation. Our very first out of town trip is a triathlon event called Tabuelan 111. That is an annual triathlon event that usually almost all triathletes who joins Iron Man participate as a way of practice and training as well because it has basically the same distance. During race-cations, we usually arrive a day before the race to get his race kit, bike check in and yes, Carboloading. And again, he gets to burn all the calories while I cannot unless I also make an effort to exercise.
3. During the race, you will see all the triathletes men and women alike either very fit (yes with abs!) or those who are heavier or bulkier than me but can finish a triathlon competition while i can barely finish 10k. I am forced to get to know the sport and start to be fit myself. Since running is the easiest among the three, I was convinced to do road run with him and join short distance marathons. I also started my swim training. Getting fit is the best benefit i get from dating a triathlete.
4. If it is not a race-cation, vacations always include exercise too, a lot of exercise!
5. Get used to the sight of his or her bike inside your hotel room and inside his car too! They even have names for their bikes. I overheard him talking with his team mate over the phone and was really curious who were these girls that they were talking about and i found out that they were talking about their bikes! Meet Mikayla. 🙂
6. Going on a road trip has a different meaning with a triathlete. He is riding his bike and you are alone in the car. You meet at the pit stop for his energy drink. Well how’s that for a road trip?
7. Most of the time, you will be the designated driver after the race because more often than not they are really tired and who wouldn’t be?
8. His bike is an added expense to our trip and if you are traveling in an airplane, they need to buy bike case which is equally pricey as some of the accessories of their bike. It is an expensive sport but they will tell you that it is needed and that the price matches its use. There will be more excuses to upgrade bikes, tires, watches and shoes!
9. They sleep very early and wake up very early because training starts at 4 am. Movie dates are scheduled usually on a week day and they will choose a schedule somewhere 4pm so that we can go home early and sleep. Mind you, a part of most of our dates is a visit to Bike Shops and Sport Shops in general.
10. They rarely drink alcoholic drinks and we rarely go bar hopping. Although i am already retired at the weekly night out scene but sometimes you also want to unwind. So unwinding the triathlete way is him training and me having cocktails.
11. But when the triathletes drink, they drink too much! This happens after each race, they come together and drink their heart out.
12. Holiday for them means getting together for training. They do swim-bike-run simulation.
13. On race day, you will still be sleepy at 3am but they are all in high spirits! They can even wake up way before their alarm. You can feel everyone is pumped up as early as 3am! It’s a different kind of rush and buzz from the triathletes and it is totally infectious!
14. On race day, you will be waiting for hours praying that it is not your triathlete who is inside the ambulance. I personally wait near the transition area to check on him. I subscribed to Globe services (for Iron Man races) wherein they will send you a message on the whereabouts of your triathlete. After he is done with the bike leg, i will go to the run route and cheer for him at the road side.
But the sweetest moment of a triyaya is when you see your triathlete hit the finish line and beat his personal record because you know that he worked really hard for it. That will always be my proud moment that can never be replaced with anything else. All the drawbacks of dating a triathlete is erased when i see him proud and happy crossing the finish line! The best reward for a triyaya is to capture his finish line moment. I don’t mind waiting under the heat of the sun just to see his winning smile, that is priceless! Triathletes taught me perseverance, focus, hard work and discipline. They taught me to stay healthy and fit. I am glad to have met so many triathletes (men and women) and i salute each one of them because this sport is only for the tough. These are the people who live for their passion. As what Stephen Covey said “Passion is the fire, enthusiasm and courage that an individual feels when he is doing something he loves while accomplishing worthy ends, something that satisfies his deepest needs.” I used to be annoyed of his training and i felt like i am competing for time with his sport but as time passes by, i slowly understand that it is his passion and if you love someone, his passion will become yours. Although i still do not engage in triathlon as of writing but i keep a healthy lifestyle and support him and his sport 100%.
On that note, I welcome all the triathletes joining the 2016 70.3 Iron Man Asia Pacific Championship to Cebu and i wish you all a strong and safe race!
Here’s a Triathlete’s Prayer dedicated to all the participants:
Surround me, Lord, with your Angels of Strength, Stamina and Speed.
Water will soon thrash aroudn me and encompass my path.
Isolate me from harm; help me navigate to solid ground.
May my transitions be swift, and offer recovery with every labored breath.
Be my tailwind, Lord, when the pressure is up ahead.
Inclines may be steep and break me down but you will restore my soul.
Keep my focus on You as the road stretches out with no end in sight.
Each turn of my legs, moving closer to You and my goals.
Run beside me Lord. Remind me i never run alone.
Unlock my potential to finish strong as a reflection of your Greatness.
Never forgetting, You are the ultimate prize. AMEN.
To all the triyaya’s and ironyaya’s like me, we are as important as the triathletes in every race because we inspire them, see you all at the sidelines!
Feel free to comment or send me an email about this blog, i am thrilled to hear from you all!