Well-prepared Tri SND dominates 70.3 team race

Ani de Leon left no rock unturned in whipping Tri SND Barracuda into shape for Ironman (IM) 70.3 Davao.

So it was not much of a surprise when her crew from Sultan Naga Dimaporo in Lanao del Norte province captured the endurance race’s Tribu Maisugon team competition on Sunday.

“These guys—they knew the common goal. My instructions were just simply to not get caught in the hype,” De Leon told the Inquirer in the din of the celebrations at Azuela Cove in Davao City last Sunday.

“We knew that it won’t come easy,” she went on. “But the fact that I believe in them and they believe in themselves? I think that combination is unbeatable. It’s very potent.”

Tri SND Barracuda registered 45:16:43 to emerge as the fastest squad among four other hopefuls in the special event that dangled P550,000, a bespoke trophy made by Mindanao’s very own Kublai Millan, and of course, bragging rights.

Kenneth Bonda was the team’s brightest star after finishing the 1.9-kilometer (km) swim, 90-km. bike and 21-km run event in three hours, 59 minutes and nine seconds that also had him winning the male 18-24 division.

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Jailani Lamama, Abdul Rahman Toroganan and Mohammad Hanin Maruhom, meanwhile, finished in that order to dominate the male 25-29 age group and also figure prominently in the team’s cause.

It was just as John Alcala, the Palawan IM 70.3 winner and a prerace favorite, had hoped for. He said in a previous Inquirer interview that everyone—especially himself—is bent on capturing the Tribu Maisugon.

Other fancied bets who wound up in the podium are Ines Santiago and Rhia Stawicki, who both finished second in their respective age groups.

Santiago, the first Filipino woman to race in the World Championship in Kona, Hawaii, clocked 4:42:11.

Stawicki, a dentist-mom who has blossomed into a fixture of local races, cleared the searing course in 4:19:17. INQ

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