Benedicto’s fitting birthday gift | Inquirer Sports

Benedicto’s fitting birthday gift

By: - Reporter / @junavINQ
/ 03:17 AM August 14, 2016

WHENEVER August Benedicto takes the challenge of conquering the toughest triathlon race in the country, he never fails to think of victory as a fitting birthday gift for himself.

For the second straight year, Benedicto got what he wished for after defending his Filipino elite male title in the recent Cobra Energy Drink Ironman 70.3 Philippines Asia Pacific Championship.

“I just stayed focused and paced myself the entire race,” said Benedicto, who celebrated his 32nd birthday a few days before the Aug. 7 race.

But the seasoned triathlete from Paniqui, Tarlac, admitted that the contest has become tighter each year after he crossed the finish line at Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort & Spa less than a minute ahead of the field in his division.

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Benedicto clocked 4:26:46, 16th overall among male pro racers, in completing the 1.9-kilometer swim, 90K bike and 21K run test of grit and stamina recently held in Cebu.

John Chicano and Paul Jumamil braced for a close finish, pacing their group from the swim until the early stretches of the run segment on the tree-lined pathways of Lapu-Lapu City going to Punta Engano.

Benedicto, however, summoned the champion in him and slowly trimmed down the gap going into the finish line.

He finally caught up with Jumamil with a few kilometers remaining and left, the struggling Chicano, for good.

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Jumamil placed second (4:27:49) and Chicano, the leader going into the run leg, at third (4:28:04).

“I always feel motivated when I think that I should win the race because it’s my birthday,” said Benedicto. “Nobody wants to feel bad on his birthday, right?”

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TAGS: August Benedicto, Triathlon

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