From cheerleaders to IronMan players

By Calvin D. Cordova |August 04,2016 - 09:47 PM
Some of the members of Sports & Adventure Team who will see action in this Sunday’s Cobra IronMan. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

Some of the members of Sports & Adventure Team who will see action in this Sunday’s Cobra IronMan. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

At first, they were just in the sidelines, cheering on their children in triathlon events. They then decided to join the fray and show what they can do in the physically demanding sport.

The 15-man Sports and Adventure Team/Jerome’s Pawnshop looks to come up with a good showing in this year’s Cobra Energy Drink IronMan 70.3 Asia Pacific Championships set this Sunday at the Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa.

“Our objective is to really finish the race and have fun,” said Raymond Priagula, whose daughter Isa is one of Cebu’s promising triathletes.

“We used to watch our children compete until we decided to join triathlon events to show that we are also capable of taking the sport and we want to test ourselves,” said Priagula.

For this year’s Ironman, the group will be fielding first-timers and veteran triathletes.

Consistent podium finishers in the triathlon events are Brian Lim, Don Dublin and Poloy Minardo, said Priagula.

Other members are Jerome Avila, Robert James Gacayan, Douvert Oracion, Brian Belandres, Kevin Alvarez, Glen Paradero, Edgar Velarde, Anthony Tan, Christopher Mendoza, Rue Reinhardt Pañibor, Marjoel Molina, Rojard Soriba and Porfie Ambuang.

The group started from scratch, went through rigorous training to make sure they can keep up.

“Some of us started without a bike, some didn’t know how to swim. The group was into airsoft first then we started joining triathlons,” Priagula shared.

Some of the members hired trainers, while some acted as coaches.

Dublin and Soriba served as the team’s triathlon coaches. Alvarez and Pañibor acted as swimming coaches.

“We also got useful tips from the Internet. We did a lot of research to learn more about triathlon,” said Avila.

The team competed in various triathlon events in Cebu as part of their preparation for Ironman.

Being a triathlete made the team members more disciplined individuals.

“No more nightlife. You really have to train hard and be disciplined lest suffer in the actual competition,” said Avila.

The sport also helped the team become a close-knit family.

“When we join tournaments or when we train, we also get to bond. More than competing, this has become our form of bonding,” said Avila.

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