20 January 2014

Santiago, Breen top Subic triathlon race

UNIVERSITY of the Philippines’ student Mervin Rendel Santiago and Aileen Breen opened the 2014 triathlon season with a bang as they emerged the fastest triathletes among the age-groupers who saw action in yesterday’s kickoff leg of the 2014 National Age Group Triathlon series held at Dungaree Beach in the Subic Bay Freeport.

The 21-year-old Santiago, who last November topped the Anvaya Cove Invitational Triathlon, atoned for his poor showing in the swim leg with big finishes in the bike and run leg to win line honor in the male division at two hours, 13 minutes and 56 seconds.

“This is a good way to start the triathlon year. I knew I will be left behind in the swim, but I also knew that my strength is in the biking and running and I was confident I will be able to catch up with the early leaders,” said Santiago, a graduating student taking up Bachelor in Physical Education, who won the gold medal in the 20-24 age class.

Not to be outdone was Breen, who showed that she has recovered from a fractured right shoulder by becoming the fastest lady triathlete at 2:49:40 to claim the gold medal in the 35-39 bracket.

“I’ve been injured for six weeks, but it’s getting back now. It’s a good start to train again and I love competing in the NAGT because it’s a well-organized race,” said Breen.

The one-day race was organized by the Triathlon Association of the Philippines, in cooperation with Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority and supported by the SBMA Tourism Department, Asian Centre for Insulation Philippines, Inc., Gatorade, Standard Insurance, Green Triathlon, Lifestyle Subic Bay and Philippine Sports Commission.

Other winners in the standard distance (1.5 Km swim – 40 Km bike – 10 Km run) among the men were Juan Gabriel Velasco (25-29), Jet Ramos (30-34), Jessie Jay Calara (35-39), Hiroshi Takei (40-44), Keita Hasegawa (45-49), and Joey Andaya (50-54) while Chloe Jane Ong (25-29), Richelle Hizon (30-34) and Elaine Andaya (40-over) in the women.

A total of 200 triathletes saw action in the event, with members of the national teams showing their stuff to jump-start their preparation for international tournaments this year, including the Asian Games in Incheon, Korea. (Manila Standard Today)