Meeting Ripples Rafanan Faelnar for the first time at the launching of Bogo 8080 Triathlon, which will happen this May 11, 2014, she appears to be more of a beauty queen than a former National Team triathlete. Seeing her effortlessly beautiful handling a baby while talking business with a very calm demeanor, it was hard to imagine her getting manly just to catch up with the male triathletes who were dominating the races during her time. But I believe that’s how talented runners are — very calm.
And, now she’s back being more active in the triathlon scene, with a bigger challenge: being part of the organizing team on top of being a mother of 3. She is part of Cornerstone Team, a group of experienced athletes and business individuals: Steve Maniquis, Quinito Moras, Joel Juarez, and others. Their team is the organizing group behind Bogo 8080 and more upcoming 8080 triathlon series, more here >>. One of their goals is to bring back the northern Cebu back to where it was or even beyond before the Yolanda struck it.
In the following Q & A, let’s get to know more about one of Cebu’s pride Triathlon Queen, Ripples Rafanan Faelnar, who is now back in the game, not to compete (yet), but to help in giving triathletes a good race, Bogo 8080 – May 11, 2014, to compete on!
Runroo: You were the Cebu Triathlon Queen, can you tell us what it takes to be a queen at your time? How it is to be a female triathlon on those days?
It was tough at my time because there was not much ladies in Cebu who were into triathlon yet, and I had to keep up with men. I only got to race with ladies in the national and international field so I had to keep up, and work hard for a podium place.
Runroo: How did you get into triathlon?
I got bored swimming all my life so I tried a much challenging sport.
Runroo: You once became a National Team athlete, what did it take you to be part of it?
Training was like breakfast, lunch and dinner.. Those were tough times!
Runroo: Who were your fierce competition at that time?
It was Nancy Pajarillo from Laguna that time. I then later on raced with lady triathletes from Manila: Ani de Leon, Lakambini Alto and Sandra Araullo.
Runroo: What is your most memorable race and award most proud of?
The last peak of my career was the best one. I raced in Malaysia with Ani de Leon. We had a 1st and 3rd podium for the Philippines. It was so memorable to have our national anthem, Lupang Hinirang, being played as two Philippine flags were raised! 🙂 That was in 2003.
Runroo: When and what made you decide to stop racing competitively?
I decided to have kids by the next year of my peak in 2003.
Runroo: Is there any difference with the triathlon scene and triathletes today from when you started?
Yes. Triathlon has been aggressive lately. As I watch races lately, I could say where were these ladies when I was number 1. LOL (laugh out loud). I terribly miss racing!
Runroo: Of the female triathletes today, who among them do you see your self?
I was a big fan of Magali Messmer (Swiss) but I’m not sure who resembles her in the local scene. Most of the triathletes now are joining for fun. I was more into racing and taking the podium, which was giving me the pressure later on because I did not want to miss a podium in every race I joined.
Today, I would like to see myself as how Cel Maniquis joins and takes podium stands on every race despite that she is busy with different challenging roles as a wife, a mother of 5 kids, and a businesswoman.
Runroo: Now you’re back in the triathlon scene, but as part of Cornerstone, an organizing team, how did you become part of the team?
It was the Maniquis couple’s vision to organize quality races for a cause. Since I was working with them on their swim for 70.3 IM, they assigned me to take care of the technical of swim part for triathlon races. It is my advocacy to help those interested to race and take part in swim events, so the offer was very appealing to me.
Runroo: Being an experienced triathlete out in a race before, what are those things that you wish you could change? And, are those things / changes triathletes can expect from Cornerstone events?
Of course cornerstone wants to deliver innovative races. We invested on timing chips to provide reliable and accurate results, innovative give-aways, signature race distance/routes, cross events like race and party.
Coming soon are race clinics, duathlon event, and new format fun runs as we work in partnership with Coco Running.
Runroo: What was your ultimate bike set-up back then?
I had 2 bikes before: one was road set-up and the other one a 650c triathlon set up. I enjoyed more racing (and training) with my road bike as it was faster than my 650c. I need a faster ride as I had to catch up with men on weekend long rides. 🙂
Runroo: Will you ever go back to racing competitively again?
I have an early stage CA right now. It’s amazing that it takes something like this for you to have a good hard look at your life and reassess things. It has made me realize that I should be back healthy and therefore I have no excuse to lag on eliminating this disease.
I’ve got a little few weeks before our big event of 2014, the 8080, and I fully intend to be there at the start line in a better condition than I have ever been in before, as a technical for now.
Racing continues to be a dream for now. Life is short so I intend to make the most of it!
Join her at Bogo 8080, more info here >>.