Another Cebuana made waves in the international scene while the rest of the local triathletes, runners and adventure-seekers tried out new place for sports and recreation while a one-year-old baby girl succeeded in her first kiddie run.
Young Cebuana Aaliyah Ricci Mataragnon all by her lonesome won a silver in the latest New Moon Khcycle MetaSprint Series action in Singapore held last Sunday.
Even before Mataragnon could even go to Singapore, her dad Ritchie who is also a triathlete expressed doubts about his daughter’s chances there as she competes with a stronger opponents from other countries under the female 14-15 division.
What made it worse was Aaliyah feeling unwell a day before the race.
But as the battle went on, Aaliyah, a member of the national developmental pool came out off the waters fourth in a group of 26 triathletes.
One by one, Aaliyah managed to overtake one triathlete to another and even posted the second best time in biking under their class.
Aaliyah who is known to be more comfortable with long distance running, managed to hang on and came out second to one of Malaysia’s top junior triathletes, Zoe Natasha Bowden as Bowden’s teammate Dayanee Kunaseelan ended with the bronze.
This is Aaliyah’s second time for this event, last year, she had a bronze under the 12-13 class.
Back in Cebu, the Aboitiz Land formally opened its mountain-adventure park in Cansomoroy,Balamban.
The Canso-X launch featured a camping, hiking, biking, trail running, duathlon, kiddie run, sunset yoga, a mountainbike clinic, and loads of fun.
The multi-sports festival saw Joseph Miller taking away a double victories after dominating the premiere division of the cross-country event and the off-road duathlon race, a good tune-up for his first Xterra Asia-Pacific Championship campaign in Australia.
Miller defeated mountainbiker Warren Viñan for the top spot of both the cross country and off-road duathlon’s premiere class.
Other winners in the cross-country event were Rio Hernando(novice), Francis Hernando (18-25), Jun Vincent Duron(26-35), and Noy Jopson in the 36-45 division.
In the duathlon, apart from Miller, Philip Duenas also grabbed part of the limelight as he top spot of the 26-35 division while Kit Cabonita won the 18-25 class and Tenggoy Colminares in the 36-45 division.
Junior triathlete Issa Priagula, may be the only female competitor of the run-bike-run event, she showed her worth of the medal finishing strong.
The trail run event, on the other hand, saw long-timer running partners Duenas and marathon queen Mary Joy Tabal dominating the 3-kilometer action.
Duenas finish the race in 11 minutes, just mere seven seconds ahead of Robert Daang (11:07).
Tabal made a great homecoming to Cebu after her Marathon de Paris campaign with the women’s open title in trail running .She finished her first trail run in 15:57, way ahead of Lyra Valles who ended in 23:12 while Adella Villegas finished third in 26:38.
In the kiddie run, top performers in their respective divisions were Jillian Anika Bernad,Vera and Veia Gonzales, Eduard Russell So, Yasmien Priagula, and siblings Mikele and Rafa Jopson.
However, the day also belong to one year and three-month old Veritas “Vera” Acuna-Cabusao.She conquered the 500-meter trail run for 8-under division.
“She stumbled five times but not once did she cry, throw tantrums or ask me to carry her the rest of the way.It helped too that she had fans and cheerers led by my trail-running friends Lyra Valles and Doc Willie Estepa and the race marshals”, said Vera’s mom, Haide Acuna, one of the pioneering ultra-marathoners of Cebu.
The following day, April 13, Leyte’s Andy Tunacao and Dumaguete’s Mereeis Ramirez conquered the natural terrains of Minglanilla via the Runnilla Eco-Trail Challenge.
Tunacao outsmarted Kenyans Isaac Simat and James Mibei for the top spot of the 30-kilometer battle.
Tunacao posted three hours, 15 minutes and 46 seconds, way up ahead over the two Kenyans Isaac Simat who ended in 3:30.55 and James Mibei who logged 3:40.
But while Tunacao had to exert extra efforts to maintain a good gap against the Kenyans and the rest of his challengers, Mereeis Ramirez had a walk in the park as she dominated the women’s title with so much ease.
Ramirez finished the race in three hours and 57 minutes even as she stopped for several times to ask and pick some flowers from the locals she liked along the way.
Jade Abellana missed a back-to-back title as she had a difficulty dealing with the route and almost got lost that cost him some precious time and ended second instead with 4:21.40 clocking while former road running queen Christy Sevilleno-Tutor settled third in 4:34.34.
April 13 also marked the return of triathlon in Sta.Fe in Bantayan, one of the areas badly hit by supertyphoon Yolanda last year through the second leg of the Triathlon.
Kristiane Lim and Lorhiz Echavez-Lopez scored back-to-back victories from two separate events.
After dominating last week’s NAGT in Danao City, both Lim and Lopez came to win the second leg of the Cebu Team Triathlon Championship Series.
Lim emerged topped the overall standings among all male pariticipants after finishing the swim-bike-run in 2:04:31 while Emmanuel Comendador came out second with 2:06:55 as Sherwin Managil returns to action at third place with 2:10:13.
Lorhiz Echavez-Lopez, for her part, emerged the fastest among the female triathletes in her 2:31:12 while Hannah Galo came out second in 2:48:43 and Meg Stevens at third spot with 2:49:47.
Lorhiz’s husband, Mendel also finallly got back in the sport and wound up second to Jorry Ycong under category A.
Other category winners are Marlon Galo in category B, while the distaff side saw Remedios Martinez winning the women’s catory A while Mirian Joy Libre and Robert Paul Martinez in category D and Stefan Lee Cagulada in class C.
In the kiddie tri, Dhexia Myle Bersabal topped the 8-under division while Mya Torralbo reigned the 9-10, Nina Francesca Villaba in the 11-12, Lorraine Hann in the 13-15 division while the boys side saw Xeemon Sage Cuyos winning the 8-under, Nyko Archival in the 9-10, and the Miguel Angelo Flores in the 13-15.
Team Shufa won the relay event through the efforts of Eillen Archival, Chai Capangpangan and Bernie Gomez.
Louie Villacin who opted for a sprint distance had no regrets of doing so after ruling the female open in 1:27:15 as Jan Dennis Sinda topped the men’s open action.
*Featured Photo by John Domingo / Fotosmile.