One of the more inspirational Filipino athletes I fortunately chanced compete just recently is August Benedicto. It so happened also that I am getting more and more into triathlon. In fact, this coming May, I registered in my first ever triathlon at Triman, a sprint distance (well for all, but already of sizable distance for me). Going back to August, his life resonates with those of a number of Filipino athletes, struggling but all heart in their beloved sports.
 
Growing up, August worked hard to help his family by delivering ice blocks using his bicycle with sidecar. He was not thinking about becoming an athlete then, but simply being a good son, the second in a family of eight. This dire situation growing up is the recurring theme in most national athletes’ story of life. Amidst this environment of barely making it through the day with nary a decent meal were honed our country’s toughest and strongest.
 

Photo Credit: August Benedicto website. Click the photo to go to his website.
Photo Credit: August Benedicto website. Click the photo to go to his website.

 
Before triathlon even materialized in August’s life, he was a track and field runner in his high school days and much later, given the natural endurance and strength he got training on the bike as an ice delivery boy, a duathlete. However, it was in the later that he excelled in and became a member of the national team. It was also while training in this discipline that he got acquainted with and later became friends with 4x Ironman World Champion Chrissie Wellington, among other professional triathletes, who was then training under Brett Sutton gunning for her first world title. This was when this flame of becoming a triathlete was ignited.
 
Throughout his struggling years up to the present when he is now the most sought after and admired Filipino elite triathlete, there were a number of generous sponsors along the way that made his duathlon and triathlon journey more pleasant. Among these is no less than the No.1 running shoe company in the US and Runner’s World magazine Hall of Fame for best running shoes, Brooks Running. Brooks has been ensuring that August’s first experience of winning his first track and field medal on borrowed over-sized shoes at age 15 was a thing of the past. And that he will continue to “run happy” each time he trains and competes. Indeed an inspiring partnership that our country’s roster of elite athletes very much needs.
 
Click picture to go to Brooks Running Ph website.
Click picture to go to Brooks Running Ph website.