Tabuelan 111 Triathlon: Quadru-thlete Junki Flores

As if training for the upcoming 1st triathlon Ironman 70.3 last year in Cebu was not hard enough, the TAGGHAP (Triathlon Active Group For Good Health And Performance) organized an almost half-ironman distance triathlon, Tabuelan 111, which was to happen months before the Cebu Ironman 70.3.

Photo by Reynan Opada

It started as part of the fiesta celebration of Tabuelan, a perfect host for triathlon events as the town mayor, Rex Gerona, is also a triathlete. So aside from getting the perfect peak training for the scheduled Ironman 70.3 on August in Cebu, participants will also get the much needed Divine blessing from the town’s patron Saint John the Baptist, which might come handy in the grueling intense race of Ironman 70.3.

As such, it’s a well-attended triathlon event from the pro’s, to elite, to age grouper personalities coming from different provinces of the Philippines. Aside from Cebu, the provinces with the most attendants coming from are: CDO, Bohol, Dumaguete, Davao, and Negros.

According to one of the organizers, the athletes we can look forward to this year are: John Phillip Duenas, who just won over Arland Macasieb at Dipolog Centennial Triathlon, and Mendel Lopez who was very close to getting the championship title last year; and for the female, Amale Jopson might find it easy this time.

Another personalities to look forward to in Tabuelan 111 are their very own local athletes. Tabuelan has 12 barangays, and each barangay will have a representative to a relay team. In this way, Tabuelan’s Mayor does not only aim to encourage his town to develop the love of sports, but also to encourage the other municipalities in Cebu (and other) to make sports active in their community.

Tabuelan's Barangay Athlete Representatives in 2012 (Photo by Reynan Opada)

Tabuelan’s Barangay Athlete Representatives in 2012
(Photo by Reynan Opada)

Following is a Q & A with quadro-thlete Junki Flores, one of TAGGHAP members, organizer of Tabuelan 111.

Quadru-thlete: He swims, bikes, runs, and organizes triathlon.

Junki Flores of TAGGHAP (Photo by Jason Dorado)

Before triathlon, what were you into? What activities before, which you think, gave you a good foundation for triathlon?

In sports, I started basketball, soccer, tennis, badminton; then I got hooked with golf, and then MTB (mountain-bike) in 2001. I had a solid biking foundation from BMX in high school, and I found MTB to be more active sport compared to golf. Biking then became the main weekend menu as we conquer mountains in Cebu.

Then, there was a duathlon sponsored by Columbia. It was a brutal biking experience, and my first running experience too. I told myself, if I can do duathlon, perhaps I can also do triathlon.

On June of 2010, I found myself swimming in the fish port of Danao City together with well-known triathletes from Cebu. It was a sprint distance, and I was the last person to come out of the water because I was only doing breast stroke swim during that time.

But now I have done 2 (two) Ironman 70.3, 2 (two) xterra off-road triathlons, and another upcoming Miami 70.3 on October 27, 2013.

Among the the 3 disciplines in triathlon, which are you most confident with?

In the 3 events, I am a better biker than a runner or swimmer; but I like swimming most because it builds the upper body. In running, I learned the proper form proper way, and built stamina so I’m more confident with it now.

All the events need constant training that is why simulation is important.

You have experienced both off-road and road triathlon, do you have preference over another?

Both are equally delicious.

Training with a coach or self-training? Why do you prefer one over the other?

I normally do self training. But I seek a coach’s help if I want to perfect the form, especially in swimming.

What is your typical training week?

I have no specific weekly training program. But normally, I alternate biking and running on week days, then long bike or run on weekends.

How do you consider yourself in triathlon competition: competitive, mid-packer, average?

I am competitive. But I’m happy just to see myself finish, and sometimes win my age group.

What fascinates you most about triathlon?

Triathlon can make us maintenance-free.

I advocate good health and exercise. Triathlon is full packed with very simple way of keeping your body strong, both internally and externally. Our body have internal muscles holding the heart, liver, lungs, the bones and the like. External muscles is also necessary to build.

And, triathlon will guarantee both physical strength. Thus being a triathlete means that our maintenance is being taken cared of.

From training for triathlon to organizing one, how did the idea of putting up Tabuelan 111 came up?

It was my idea to do triathlon for Tabuelan fiesta when the mayor became a new our member to our group, TAGGHAP (Triathlon Active Group For Good Health And Performance).

What is your role in making Tabuelan 111 a reality?

I plan, design, organize, orchestrate, direct. Name it.

Why 111? Why did you not make into exact half-ironman distance, which is 70.3miles or 113km?

Because 111 is easy to remember. It’s 2k swim + 88k bike + 21k run = 111km.

Tabuelan 111 is probably the longest distance triathlon that is organized by locals, and is not connected with any triathlon association, why?

It is not necessary, it will only complicate the dish.

Future plans for Tabuelan 111?

It will be an annual event. Then, we’re planning for a full ironman distance in 2016.

Also, we’re planning for a Tabuelan Xtreme Triathlon for March 2014.

Share 3 races in your bucket list?

I aim for ironman 70.3, then Timex 226, then full IRONMAN somewhere.

Now, to that all important bike porn question – what’s your bike setup?*

Kouta Kalibur TT frame, 3t Brezza aerobar, Dura Ace group set, Zipp 606 wheel set, Adamo saddle, Rotor 155 crankset

For photos of the 2012 Tabuelan 111, you can check Reynan Pics here, and John Domingo’s album here >>.
For triathlon / duathlon events in the Philippine, you can check our list here >>.
(* This question was ripped from

Posted by:


Rose Buenconsejo. A runner who runs after runners, and their stories, and her dream to become a NEDBANK.
Promo Girl,
View her aktib race calendar >>

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: