August Benedicto Crossing the Finish-Line
How watching an Ironman 70.3 Inspired Me
It’s not an everyday scene to see a triathlon. In Manila, the closest thing you would see are fun runs – and they’re not even as intense. Triathlons are composed of three stages: swimming, cycling, and running. The one I watched stretch out to 70.3 miles, which makes it a real endurance test for its participants.
Last March 11-12, I witnessed my very first IRONMAN 70.3 Triathlon Race. It was inspiring– life-changing, even– in many, many ways. Here are some of the reasons why:
(Want a recap for this year’s IRONMAN 70.3? Check it out here!)
Male, female; tall, short; ripped, slim; Filipino, Australian– you name it. I saw all kinds of people who joined the event; including professional athletes who compete in the Olympics. Despite their differences in terms of physique and experience, they have a common goal which is to finish the grueling challenge. I think that’s inspiring because it only goes to show that everyone can do it.
Different people part of IRONMAN 70.3
So whether you’re new to the competition or not, it’s really nothing to worry about. Everyone started somewhere, right? These people had to train long and hard first before they eventually join marathons to triathlons.
So as a newbie to running, I got inspired to train more for now in hopes that I can do my own IRONMAN 70.3 triathlon race one day.
A festive drum ceremony to open the IRONMAN program
As early as 5AM, we saw that the participants were already on stand-by. The atmosphere was tense in a way that you could see everybody warming up immediately– stretching, getting used to the coldness of the sea, etc. As my friend told me, triathlons are no joke. It requires a great amount of stamina, strength, and mental preparation. But despite the unwavering focus of everybody, there were still smiles everywhere which I really admired.
People were encouraging one another, wishing each other “good luck”, and even joke around about not being able to cross the finish line. This complemented the intense vibes really well. This might be a serious competition, but people still made it feel lighter. You could even see them smiling as they push themselves to finish the whole course of the race. The whole triathlon community is, indeed, a special group.
Prayer before Gun Start
The whole program from start to finish is very organized. I find this very appealing to someone who wants to join the race someday.
Of course, you would expect the race to be tiring. Subic is known for its spacious roads which is conveniently near the ocean. Although, the heat can be very harsh which makes the whole thing a lot more difficult. But at the least, you could expect that you would still be well taken care of.
There are marshalls almosts everywhere to guide/assist you in case something happens and there are hydration stops in ideal locations to make sure the participants can still function well.
Marshalls making sure everybody is safe and are on the right track
At the end of the race, the whole crowd would be there to applaud you for finishing the 70.3-mile challenge. The feeling will be more rewarding as a lot of sponsors would be waiting for you to give you the finisher’s kit. Talk about a sweet ending!
The organizers providing hydration for the runners
Now, I could only share this much of my experience and hope it inspired you that way it did with me. Try attending the next IRONMAN 70.3; I assure you that being there in person would be entirely different. There are so many things and people you would see/encounter that could motivate you to be physically healthy.
You’ll never know, you might even consider running one yourself in the future.