Despite big waves that battered the shores of the southern town of Oslob on Oct. 6, 2013, the swim leg of the Hunat Sugbo triathlon, the first ever event of such kind to be held there, started as scheduled at 8 a.m. Around 400 triathletes competed in the swim, biking and running events in the standard and relay categories.
The event was organized by a Cebu City hotel and drew participants in the Visayas-Mindanao area including parts of Bohol and Negros and the cities of Iloilo and Cagayan de Oro.
Aside from the early finishers, differently-abled swimmer Arnold Balais also drew attention and invoked sympathy and inspiration from the spectators when he emerged from the rough sea water and proceeded to where his crutches were placed.
After battling the waves, the triatletes proceeded to the transition area where their bikes were stationed and then embarked on the 40 km. route along the highway that stretched to Barangay Granada in nearby Boljoon town and back.
After finishing the bike route, triathletes followed the 10 km. run route along some streets of the picturesque and historical town with residents and guests cheering on the sides.
After more than two hours, finishers received their medals of participation at the finish line which was placed at the historic Baluarte, one of the old structures in the coastal area of Oslob that date back to the Spanish era and located right in the Cuartel Heritage Park.
Shortly after lunch time, award-winning triathlete Abet Biagan of Fish 18 Sport was declared winner after finishing the entire route in two hours, 14 minutes and 25 seconds. Coming in second was Elmo Clarabal of Equi-Credit (2:24:19) with Ralph Arche of Parklane Tri Team in third place (2:25:00).
On the women’s side, Lorhiz Echavez-Lopez grabbed the top spot with a 2:46:16 record followed by Nia Aldeguer (2:48:32) and Hannah Lou Galo of Parklane Tri Team (2:57:22). Kristianne Lim of Parklane Tri Team was the Male Sprint Category’s top finisher (1:42:01) followed by Yuan Chiongbian (1:42:41) and Ralph Eduard So (1:42:41) of Magic Stationary Product.
On the Female Sprint division, 13-year-old Aaliyah Mataragnon of Magic Stationary Prod was the top finisher (1:49:32) followed by Shaia Ruth Uy of Team Cebu (1:55:14) and Christine Joy Guillergan of Iloilo MultiSports (2:08:06).
Meanwhile, four lady bakers and their assistants, battled it out in preparing the best tasting ‘podrida,’ a kind of cookie which has a sweet filling, in the Sangka sa Kaha contest held just a few meters away from the start and finish area of the triathlon event.
Erlinda Butron of Brgy. Poblacion was declared winner. The other participants were Aniceta Friolo and Nestoria Poson, also of Brgy. Poblacion, and Rufina Ondac of Brgy. Bonbon. (Roger Serna)