WHAT: Alaska Ironkids Triathlon 2014
WHEN: April 13, 2014
WHERE: La Stanza, Marikina City
It was another showcase of youthful agility, strenght, stamina and sportsmanship as Alaska Milk Phils. held another triathlon event catering to kids as young a 6 and young teens not over 14 years old.
Arriving at around 6:30 A.M. I can see that some of those belonging to the oldest age category, the 13-14 group, are already making a dash for the Transition 1 area just outside La Stanza where their respective road bikes were parked. I saw that the whole area fronting this Events Place and Lifestyle Club was cordoned as Finishline and bike transition area. And these teenagers are a-flying!
The great thing about Ironkids races is the fact that with these young competitors are with their respective parents and some siblings making this a family bonding weekend affair. It is nice to note also that as per my observations, most parents themselves are triathletes, runners, swimmers, bikers themselves. But sometimes this relationship can prove very critical as I observed during the awarding ceremony as the maternal instinct of a mother came to fore in protecting her child from not getting what he deserved. With patience and understanding, everything was settles with everybody happy.
The “bulilits” will not be left behind. Their wave came after the much older ones but the spirit of competition was no less fierce! In fact I was more impressed by their sheer will not only to complete this multisport event but to compete with each other as well. With their shorter limbs and arms and less efficient swim stroke than the more seasoned 11-12 and 13-14 triathletes, these kids barely out of infancy showed us all what determination is all about! And being a swimmer myself, I know the degree of effort they put in every stroke to complete the required laps.
I was a bit dismayed that the transition one area, though at an arms reach, was not readilly accesible. Since the road was narrow, both sides were fully cordoned off to spectators. However, overlyeager and excited parents, including me, cannot be dissuaded by this situation without trying. We braved the unsteady pile of sand and rocks full of ants on one side where a construction is ongoing, to be beside this area. There I saw how this cute little girl really took time without much care for her overall finishing time just to carefully wear her bright pink bike gears before riding her pink bike! How kikay and cute was that!
All the while I thought that all age groups had been set off only to see a group of kids of varying ages gatheredin one corner and still redying to start! I then learned that this was the Fun Group. This was added to answer the request of those just testing the waters of triathlon, just to see how to go about the sport without the pressure of competition and time. An ingenious one I suppose as not all started in the sport from age 6!
The awarding ceremony folkowed while the team relay competition was ongoing just to hadten things as some younger ones already done with their race were getting restless. Here were the results of this very exciting race with additional shots I took of the goings on.