Priest overcomes rough start to finish Cobra Ironman
Despite a rough start, Fr. Brian Brigoli completed the Cobra Ironman 70.3 triathlon for the second year in a row.
He finished the men’s 35-39 age event in seven hours and 35 minutes–four minutes more than his record in 2014.
A strong sea current that picked up after the start of the race could have eliminated him in the first round of the competition.
“I really thought I won’t be able to make it to the next round. I almost gave up. The current of the sea was just too much and I could barely move forward,” Brigoli told CDN over the phone.
But it really pays off to be close to God in prayer. “I was really praying for a miracle to happen,” he said.
And it did. A marshal announced that organizers decided to extend the cut off time of 70 minutes and allowed the remaining swimmers to take a shortcut to the finish line in that swimming round.
“I knew it was really beyond me to finish that round. We need to have faith in God and the will power to go through obstacles,” he said.
“I realized that the race wasn’t only about physical part. One needs to have the will power and the determination. Even if the body is incapable, if your mind is strong, you can do it,” the 36-year-old Cebuano priest added.
It took an hour and 48 minutes for Brigoli to finish the swimming round. He said he used two weapons during the triathlon: prayer and determination.
The Cobra Ironman 70.3 triathlon included a two-kilometer swim, followed by a 90-kilometer bike ride, and rounded out with a 21-kilometer run. As opposed to the first round, Brigoli performed better in the bike and run part.
He finished the bike ride in two hours and 50 minutes, and completed the run in two hours and 40 minutes–an improvement in his previous record of over three hours in the two rounds.
Brigoli is hoping to improve his record in next year’s Ironman triathlon. “Yes, I will still join in next year’s race. But I have to really practice, especially in swimming against the current,” he said.
The greatest lesson he wants to impart to people who engage in triathlon and other physical activities is to never forget about God.
“Faith can’t be separated with these kind of things. Even if one has the physical capabilities, it’s really nothing if the faith dimension isn’t there,” he said.
Brigoli is the chairman of the Cebu Archdiocesan Commission on Cultural Heritage of the Church. He also serves as a professor at the San Carlos Seminary College in Mabolo, Cebu City.
He is kept busy as chairperson of the Venue Committee for the forthcoming International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) which will be held in Cebu City on Jan. 24 to 31, 2015.
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