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Ever run out of fun things to do on your birthday? I found a great way to celebrate mine. . . I joined the Philippine duathlon and tri team at the Mekong River International Multisport event in Thailand.

Here is a recount of my racing weekend.

I had planned on running a sprint duathlon the first day and a sprint tri, the 2nd day. But 30 mins before the race started, team manager, Melvin Fausto prevailed upon me to run as an elite in the olympic distance. . I had not trained for this at all, but I figured why not? Worse case scenario, i would be very tired and very slow. . but at least i would burn a lot of calories and could eat a lot.

But it turned out to be a good race! Planned a steady 10K between 1:52 and 1:53. Did a 1:53! My bike was suprisingly good, despite the lack of practice. . . Figured i would only bike a 1:30 and anything faster would be a bonus. I ended up with a 1:19. . . Last run was good too. About 26+. So, including time in the transition area my time was 2:42 which i was very happy with considering that my only serious training was my run. .

The Team did very well. We took 1st and 2nd place in the under 23 women, Monica and Annalisa. And 1st and 3rd under 23 mens, August and Ryan. Our defending champ Ryan, failed to defend his title as the field was really deep and strong this time with non-asian entries.

Next day, was the triathlon race where i registered as an age grouper for the sprint distance.

Boarded a ferry that took out us 750 meters. When the whistle blew, Ani and I jumped off the side of the ferry and swam. As planned, Ani swam with me but around 250 meters into the swim, i told her to go ahead since i was fine. I knew she had a shot in winning so sayang naman if she just paced with me. Sure eneough, she did!. Yey Ani!

Swim turned out to be nice and uneventful (compared to last year where i found myself halfway to Laos because of the current). Bike and run went well too. And i finish in 1:20.

The hightlight of Sunday was that national champ, George Vilog beat the Philippine record! He clocked in at 1:56. Its an ITU certified race so we’re waiting for final word that it will be honored by TRAP.

And so ends a great weekend of racing and hanging with some admirable people, the men and women comprising the Philippine duathlon and tri team. . . Good job team!

Next birthday uli!

March 18 was such a fun and inspirational day. Hundreds of women joined our Pinay in Action run\walk to celebrate women’s month and various women causes.

There were serious runners, like the Philippine team athletes, including one of whom chose not to run competitively that day, but instead carried her baby on her back on a baby carrier. There were kids of all ages, other moms who walked/ran with their kids, disabled athletes, grandmothers, cancer survivors and women of different profession, athletic abilities and backgrounds.

Together, we strive to raise awareness and support for breast cancer (no. 1 cancer killer for women in the Philippines, according to the DOH), cervical cancer (no. 2 cancer killer, which is caused by the hpv virus and is sexually transmitted), hepatitis (which may lead to liver cancer and is the 7th top killer for women) , breastfeeding and violence against women and children. We had booths with information on these issues, including screening and vaccination for hepatitis.

And of course, close to my heart, is encouraging women (men and kids) to start and maintain a fit and healthy lifestyle. Running and walking are one of the easiest exercises. All you need is a good pair of shoes, a place to run or walk and ideally a fitness partner to keep you company or keep you motivated.

There is so much to do, but it is good to know that we’ve gone beyond the first step to address these issues.

See you at the next race?