Monica mixes fun with racing
MONICA Torres walked leisurely into the finish line ramp without any trace of punishment on her face.
There was definitely no need for an aggressive sprint in the final stretch of her Cobra Ironman 70.3 Philippines Asia Pacific Championship campaign after Torres retained her Filipino elite female title with her pursuers nowhere in sight.
The multi-awarded veteran triathlete from Subic Bay arrived home 21 minutes faster than second-placer Maria Hodges in a 4:45:54 clocking that ranked eighth overall among elite women racers, which included some of the world’s best.
Hodges timed 5:07:02, Ani De Leon-Brown wound up third in 5:50:21 and Elona Louise Villacin placed fourth (6:03:16) in the 1.9-kilometer swim, 90K bike and 21K run event.
“I struggled in the swim but slowly regained my composure on the road,” said Torres. “It was on the bike that I began to make my move.”
Of the three triathlon legs, Torres is weakest in swimming. The 31-year-old, rose out of the water trailing Hodges by almost three minutes and Brown by less than two.
Torres engaged Hodges in a tight race on wheels and came flying out of the second transition for the 21k race
With the sea breeze canceling out the humidity on the road, Torres pulled away for good and clocked 20 minutes faster than Hodges on the final sequence.
“I guess it’s the desire to win. I enjoyed the race and it somehow took the pressure off,” said Torres.
It was practically the same relaxed atmosphere for Torres on the most grueling triathlon race in the country when she won it last year. Year after year and race after race, Torres has stamped her class as the country’s top female triathlete.
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