Tri United series winners Augusto Benedicto learned how to bike as a delivery boy, and Lezette Albarote learned how to swim at 35.
Be inspired with tips from these champions.
It was a scorching hot day when triathletes Augusto Benedicto and Lezette Albarote crossed the finish line in the recent Tri United 3 race. After hours of swimming, biking and running from Subic to Pampanga, the two were declared male and female champions in the Long Distance category.
These two hardworking athletes continuously exceed themselves, and what is more admirable is that both come from humble beginnings: August started biking as an ice-delivery boy in Tarlac, while Lezette didn’t even know how to swim till she was 35!
These triathlon inspirations finished strong in the recent Tri United 3 race held Oct. 25. It is the third leg of the Tri United triathlon series organized by Active Health which aims to develop progressive athletes. Active Health has a four-way approach in helping the active community. It provides training through sports clinics, gear through Active Health merchandise, nutrition through supplements, and events through races such as Tri United 3.
According to Lester Castillo, Active Health sports and PR executive, over 800 participants joined Tri United 3 which has two individual categories: Tri King Distance which covers a 1 km swim, 60 km bike and 10 km run, and Long Distance, which is a gruelling race composed of a 1.9 km swim, 90 km bike and 21km run.
August, a member of the Active Health Elite Team, topped the male Long Distance category with a time of 4:48. Swimming was the most difficult leg for him, he says, and biking on the uphill roads.
The 33-year-old athlete has been pedaling since he was a kid, delivering ice to customers all over Paniqui, Tarlac. He would do this every morning and afternoon in between school to earn his allowance. Through this unintentional training, he developed stamina, an athletic built and strong leg muscles, which led him into joining track-and-field competitions and junior duathlons.
Coaches saw his potential and encouraged him to join triathlons. He trained hard in swimming, and now August is a consistent podium finisher here and abroad. He considers himself a “progressive athlete”—someone who keeps on training even after winning. He takes Enervon Activ Multivitamins for optimum physical and mental performance, and Active Health Carb Gel during the race for endurance. Afterwards, he drinks Enervon HP chocolate drink for faster recovery.
“I train daily. Either I swim in the morning, bike or run in the afternoon,” he says. “I value the coaches, sponsors and people who support me, so I push myself to always do my best.” His number one supporter is his teammate and partner Anna Stroh. The couple is expecting their first baby soon, something August is very excited about.
He adds that while winning feels great, it’s just as important to have fun while at it—and Lezette Albarote agrees. The female Long Distance category winner got into triathlon to have fun, and later on to exceed herself.
Lezette is a 40-year-old wife, mother and full-time employee in the local government of Bukidnon, where she travels to daily from her home in General Santos.
“I have an 8 to 5 job, and I make it a point to wake up at 3:30 a.m., have breakfast, and train for two hours before work,” she says. “At 6 p.m., when I get home, I set aside an hour to train some more.”
She trains every day, and makes sure she’s in bed at 9 p.m. to have enough rest and sleep. While Lezette has no coach, she credits the scenic surroundings and fresh air of GenSan as factors that keep her going. She also has the support of her family; her husband is a cyclist, while her 18-year-old son is a varsity badminton player.
Lezette encourages women of all ages to keep an active and healthy lifestyle. Alongside training, she maintains a vegetarian diet with no junk food and sugary stuff.
“I used to play just badminton, which is a team sport. But I got busy and then got into running because it is something I can do alone in my own time,” she explains. “Then I tried biking and I liked it, so I challenged myself into joining triathlons, and learned how to swim at 35.”
Her age, she says, is not a hindrance in doing her best, but an advantage.
“There is maturity. I can assess what went wrong in my previous race. Then I can identify the areas to improve on, and figure out my weaknesses without seeing them as an insecurity.”
Leading to Tri United 3, she was excited to find out if her training worked, and finishing first with a time of 5:46 proved that it did.
“Don’t be intimidated to join triathlons. Find a group and gain friends who will push you to do harder. Later on, you will see your figure improving, which will also boost your confidence. Love yourself by finding time to train even with a busy schedule,” she says.
Like August, Lezette agrees that being in a team benefits a triathlete: “Triathlon is a very individual sport, but you’re part of a team, there’s camaraderie and you can inspire each other.”
And we sure found inspiration on these Tri United athletes who kept on encouraging people to be progressive athletes like them.
Visit http://www.activehealth.ph for 2016 race schedules and details.