“An Ironman distance is 3.8 kilometers (2.4 miles) of Swim, 180 kilometers (112 miles) of Bike and 42.2 kilometers (26.2 miles) of Run. More than the distance, that also takes months or even a year of preparation mastering the three disciplines and also nutrition to be able to surpass this physical and mental challenge. 124 Filipino Triathletes set off an a journey to conquer Ironman Langkawi, which is said to be the 3rd toughest course in the world.”
When it comes to milestones in the world of Triathlon, the list of a lot of triathletes would include finishing a half Ironman distance, finishing a full Ironman distance and competing in the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. While there are many half ironman distance available, there are just a few events which are also a qualifier for the world championships in Hawaii. Ironman Langkawi is one of the Full Ironman distance race that’s also a qualifier. Ironman Langkawi is also a budget friendly race with more affordable airfare and hotel accommodation given the proximity of Langkawi to the Philippines.
124 Pinoys Set to Conquer Ironman Langkawi
Several triathletes who have competed or will be competing in the Ironman Langkawi was present to guide us through the road to Langkawi they took en route to the big race. Among the triathletes present were Ivan Fojas, SBR.PH’s Carlos De Guzman, Coach Julian Valencia, Coach Norman Pascual, Retzel Orquiza and Coach Vince Garcia. Among the more important aspect of their insights is on the preparation of the race. The race meant training about 9 times a week as well as loading up the mileage on weekends. Most of them have a regular day job so they have to squeeze in the trainings before and after work. So it’s a real challenge managing their work-life and training schedule.
Another important aspect of the sport is nutrition. “It’s the fourth discipline.” according to SBR.PH head Carlos De Guzman. You really need to plan the nutrients you load and also how you would take them during the race. Some go for gels. Some would go for chocolate bars. Some would go for rice. The body reacts differently so part of the training is knowing which is best for you. Another important part of the race is the mental part since doing the three sports for more than 10 hours can be really tough.
This would be an exciting event for the Philippines as they would have a record setting 124 delegates coming from the different triathlon teams in the country. They would be vying for 40 slots for the Ironman world championships in Kona. The prospects are also high for our female delegates. This is a larger delegation compared to the 90 member team that raced in at the Ironman Asia Pacific Championship in Melbourne, Australia. Majority of athletes qualify for entry in the world championships by placing high in their age group divisions at one of 35 international Ironman qualifying races. Some athletes also win spots in the race through the Ironman lottery. The sport of triathlon has grown by leaps and bounds and a lot more people are challenging themselves for the Kona Slots or just the bragging rights to be called an Ironman.
Some of my friends would also be competing for this event. It would really be a challenge but I know they’ll be able to cross the finish line and feel the satisfaction of all the training and sacrifices of the past few months. Good luck and enjoy the race.
Here’s the race route from Ironman Malaysia Langkawi Site.