Bataan International Triathlon: Merging history and sports in Bataan
MANILA, Philippines – Early Saturday morning (May 3), a colleague and I together with a few others gathered somewhere in Quezon City to meet with Ms. Xchosa T. Deniega, the Bataan International Triathlon(Bi3) Media Affairs Head, and our contact person who will take us up North (to Bataan) for the event’s course preview. We all met at 5 am and by 6, we were already off to our weekend work which – later on – turned out to be an escapade.
The ride to Bataan was long. But despite the fact that it took us almost three hours to get to our destination, the view of serene plains and proud mountain ranges were more than enough to soothe bleary minds.
Before the clock hit 9 o’clock, we arrived at Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, the heritage resort which served as our home in Bataan.
Apart from the challenging slopes and the fine waters of Bagac, another factor that made the organizers, F&F International Events Group, Inc., choose Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar as the venue for the Bi3 (set to happen November 29-30, 2014) is its advocacy to celebrate both Filipino athleticism and culture during the event.
True enough, just upon arrival at the main gate of the resort, guests will already be treated to what seems like a role play of the bygone Spanish days in the country. Guards in guardia civil uniforms assist guests in entering the resort while attendants in their traditional Barong Tagalog and Baro’t Saya perform further accommodation duties.
Once done with the registration, guests have the option to either walk to their room or house (if already available) or they can take the tourist jeep which drives around the resort all day to serve both local and foreign visitors. Kalesas are also available but unlike the jeepney ride which is free, guests will have to pay a certain amount to have the classic wheels tour them around the place.
And unlike in historical sites where people can only look and pass by the things preserved in old houses, in Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, guests have the freedom to touch and use every vintage-themed item available in their rented room or house.
While the heritage resort offers a unique vacation experience made possible by its traditional theme, its surroundings also make a perfect venue for multisport events like the Bi3.
According to the athletes who joined the course preview last May 3 and 4, the beach water was so clear that visibility did not become a problem while they were swimming. The bike course, however, was extra challenging as some slopes were followed by sharp turns. As a result, some athletes had to dismount their bikes while climbing.
But for aspiring participants who still need further training to qualify for the long-distanced race category, you will be glad to know that the Bi3 offers a total of four race categories.
The Largo, Rapido (Sprint), Karera de Bagac (Off-Road Bike Race), and Junior Aquathlon with the following details are open for all:
November 30, 2014 (Road Bikes and Tri Bikes only)
- 1.5KM Swim, 55KM Bike, 11KM Run
- Solo – P3,300 (Early Bird: P3,000)
- Amigo “Buddy” – P6,000 (Early Bird: P5,700)
- Relay – P7,800 per Team
November 30, 2014 (Road Bikes and Tri Bikes only)
- 750M Swim, 30KM Bike, 5.5KM Run
- Solo – P3,000 (Early Bird: P2,800)
- Amigo “Buddy” – P5,500 (Early Bird: P5,100)
Karera de Bagac (Off-Road Bike Race)
November 30, 2014 (Mountain Bikes and Cyclo-Cross Bikes only)
- 30KM Off-Road Bike
- Solo – P2,500 (Early Bird: P2,100)
November 29, 2014
(6-8 years old)
- 100M Swim, 1kM Run
- Solo – P2,000 (Early Bird: P1,800)
- Parent & Child – P3,700 (Early Bird: P3,400)
(9-12 years old)
- 200M Swim, 1.5km Run
- Solo – P2,200 (Early Bird: P2,000)
- Parent & Child – P4,000 (Early Bird: P3,700)
(13-16 years old)
- 300M Swim, 2KM Run
- Solo – P2,500 (Early Bird: P2,300)
To register in any of the events, visit www.bataaninternationaltriathlon.com or manually register at any Seafood Island branch in Luzon.
Who are qualified to join the Bi3?
Coach Jojo “Jomac” Macalintal, an International Triathlon Union-accredited coach and Bi3’s coach ambassador, told INQUIRER.net that given the six months interval between the course preview and the actual Bi3, he can say that amateurs who are looking into enrolling in full-time triathlon trainings may still make the registration cut if they will seriously prepare for the event.
The same goes for Bi3 Marketing Head Ias Bernardo. Bernardo said that aspiring participants will have to undergo an extensive preparation as triathlon is an endurance sport where athletes push their bodies to the limit. “Preparation is key to safety,” he added.
When asked about the costly expenses (and fee) for the race categories, Macalintal said that a P30,000 bike will actually do for the bike category. According to him, what the athlete will need more is a durable helmet that will keep the head guarded should the participants encounter a mishap along the way.
While in a separate conversation, Bernardo said that the reasons behind the above-average cost of triathlon events are the bigger-in-scale logistics that the organizers have to do as well as the wider area that they have to secure for the race participants.
History and Sports together
The Bi3 does sound like a busy two-day event, but in reality, each of the race categories will only take about three to four hours of your day. So if you or your company are registered in only one category, you can have the rest of the day exploring the wonders of the Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar.
Guests may watch the events if they are eager to find out the results of the races. But if they want to maximize their time at the venue, they may enjoy the beach, indulge in photography, and explore the food that the heritage resort has to offer. Bicycles for rent are also available so if you want to cycle around the resort, you have this option, too.
On the other hand, if you want to know more about the resort’s history, you may join the heritage tour and the cultural show that are included in any of the resort’s accommodation packages.
Tournament turned escapade
Even if you do not want to, you will really end up enjoying the place as if you are on vacation because that is the type of relaxation Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar offers. While the entire place keeps you close to your Filipino roots, and while athletes are seen everywhere, you will still have the opportunity to relax as the environment is serene and nature-embraced enough to pacify your exhaustion.
Apart from celebrating Filipino athleticism and culture, the Bi3 also appears to be an event that promotes quality time for families or groups seeking break from their daily routines.
The Bataan International Triathlon is organized by F&F International Events Group Inc. owned by Raymund E. Magdaluyo.
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