The Journey to Cobra Ironman 70.3 Cebu Philippines



The Journey to Cobra Ironman 70.3 Cebu Philippines

It was about this time last year, Risha and I were looking at the 2012 Cobra Ironman 70.3 Cebu results. We were amazed at the outstanding performance of some people we know who were able to defy the odds and finished this incredible race. We looked at each other thinking “I wonder if we can do this or if we should even join?”

I’ve been running for 2 years, done several 21km distances, but I can barely finish a 50m swim without gasping for air and to this day my last biking memory was on a BMX in CCP way back in the 90’s. So Obviously, I was not really very confident on finishing a 1.9km swim, 90km bike and a 21km run.

It was August and Ironman 70.3 Cebu registration was going to open on December, so we still had 4 months to decide – whether we will really do it or not. Armed only with our determination, we decided to give it a go!



We got invited by Nylah, a triathlete friend, to attend a Triathlon for beginners talk by Coach Norman. It was here where we got a glimpse of how to really start training for a triathlon.

photo 2

We decided to try out swimming first. Learn how to swim before investing on a bike, that was the idea. We tried a few laps, posted some pictures, and it caught the attention of another friend, Ria, who also wanted to “try”. Eventually, we met her friend Don, and just like that the Pinoy Fitness Tri-team was born.


We knew training for an Ironman 70.3 is not going to be a walk in the park. It took me 2 months of swim practice until I was able to complete a 1KM straight swim. I was slow, but that gave me enough confidencen to buy my first bike.

first bikes

It was a tough choice between getting a road bike or a tri bike, but thanks to Jami Ramirez of Dan’s bike shop, I eventually settled for the Specialized Venge, and Risha fell in love with her Specialized Amira Lululemon.

Reujen, a triathlete friend, became our guide on how to ride a bike. I had to learn everything from shifting, turning, basic bike skills (like how to drink while biking) and eventually upgrading to bike pedals and cleats.

Come December, we finally registered for Cobra Ironman 70.3 Philippines… Crazy!


At this point, I knew that I needed a more structured training plan to help me get through and prepare for the big race. On January 2013, I approached my CrossFit Coach – Ferds Catabian, who’s also a Triathlete, and asked if he can guide me on how to properly train for a 70.3 distance. He gladly agreed and I was then finally armed with a comprehensive training plan.

From here, my Triathlon journey began…

first nuvali ride


Weekend Rides @ Nuvali


Weekend Long Runs (with Reujen and Lala)


Our first sprint distance race @ Tri United 1, with Ria (Spot Monching)


At Pico-Tri with Team Norman and Friends (Find Mr. Romano)


Friday Morning Swim Sessions


Alabang to Naic with Team SecondWind


Jala Jala weekend Ride with Coach Jeff and Friends


Century Tuna 5150 Pre-Race


Pinoy Fitness @ Century Tuna 5150


Team Ride from Sumulong to Pisong Kape


Stranded at Sumulong Hwy (Rainy Weekend)


Ironman 70.3 Pre-Race



We Made it!

The goal of becoming a half-ironman finisher became more than just an aspiration. The race became the culmination of the months of training, friendships made and experiences collected. It is not about who’s faster or stronger, it’s about watching each finisher and knowing that each person who crossed that finish line has an interesting story to tell…

Thanks to all our friends and sponsors who believed and supported us! To Cavalli Business Center and Nessotech for sponsoring our tri-suits, to Brooks, TYR, GU and Saltstick for providing us the necessary gear and nutrition to help us get through our training and races.

Read teammate Ria’s Personal Story -> Click Here

Again, Congratulations to all the Finishers of the Cobra Ironman 70.3 Philippines!

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