I am quite naive when it comes to triathlon. Except for the names which always got printed on the newspaper’s Sports section, I really do not know much triathletes. But anyway, the ironman fever is so high in Cebu, I cannot avoid giving out my opinion!
But before going down to my list of Cebu-based triathletes bets, I want to wish Monica Torres a “I proud ya, girl” big time for being the only Filipino representative in the PRO category!
HOW CAN THIS GIRL HAVE EVERYTHING?!?
SO NOW INTO MY LIST OF CEBU ATHLETES BETS!!!
First, The GIRLS! Because girls will always have special place in my heart especially in an endurance sport where it’s male-dominated!
Newbie vs Mom?
There are only 2 Cebuana triathletes names that are very familiar to me: Cianyl Jamae P. Gonzales of Team Parklane and Lorhiz Echavez-Lopez of Team Omega Pro.
And, I’m bias to be siding on Cianyl, over Lorhiz, since she’s the only female triathlete that I’m able to follow how she grows in the sports from seeing her finished 4th overall in the swimming 2 years ago in Xterra. She had her first close to ironman-distance at Tabuelan 111 this year, in where she landed 2nd in the female elite category. And, now first time in Ironman 70.3, and she’s gunning her chance under Filipino Elite category.
Most of all, she is my bet because I have a photo with her!
Lorhiz Echavez-Lopez, the athlete mommy with that body, and probably the reason why she’s not in top of my list because this girl writing this post is just simply envious of that sexiness! I think one thing they, Cianyl and Lorhiz, both in common is that they started in swimming before going to triathlon. But Lorhiz has a top former national team runner Mendel Lopez as a coach in running, so she has an edge on running, in which a triathlon race will be won.
The Runners, The Biker, The Swimmer
So running has been the longest most popular event / sports in Cebu, and so probably the reason why there are quite a few of them now making mark in the triathlon. Mendel Lopez, Sherwin Managil, Alvirg Busa, and John Philip Duenas are names that can easily catch your attention.
But top on my list from runners side among the four are: Mendel Lopez of Team Omega Pro and John Philip Duenas of Team D-Max. It cannot be denied that majority are expecting John Philip Duenas of Team D-Max, an ASICS-sponsored athlete, to be the Cebu-based athlete to be on the top among them. While his athlete Mary Joy Tabal is on her peak in running, Coach JPD may also have the same experience in triathlon. It’s probably JPD’s time to reap what he sow from his hardwork.
But it’s hard to overlook Mendel Lopez of Team Omega Pro, who used to be the runner who topped them all and probably played a role of coach to these runners-turned-triathletes group. And, let’s not forget that Mendel got a podium before he lie-low in sports to put more attention to his business. I guess that there’s no question that he could easily trump over Duenas, but does he come as prepared as Duenas to the starting line?
From the biker group is the off-road triathlete sensation Joseph Miller of Team Reborn. He wowed the crowds and officials last Xterra 2014 in Liloan, Cebu when he came first overall, which led him to be sent to races abroad. But can he bring his off-road powers to the road race?!
On the swimming discipline side is Kristiane Lim of Team Parklane. Though this guy has been winning the weekend local triathlon races, but he has yet to show a solid big win on longer-distance triathlon events. He’s not a newbie, but then he still has the aura that he is. But one thing is sure, like any Type A triathletes, this guy has a very competitive streak in him. And, I think it’s on very peak this time! =)
So whoever is going to make it, congratulations and thank you for giving Cebu a very good fight!!! Best wishes to all participants! Enjoy, Cebu!