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    A man of iron will, Fred Uytengsu just keeps pushing the boundaries

    Feb 26, 2014


    Occupation President and CEO of Alaska Milk Corporation; chairman and CEO of Sunrise Events; owner of PBA team Alaska Aces; triathlete

    How he makes a difference Sharing his love for multisport with the Philippines

    Fred Uytengsu may be Tony Stark in real life — smart, affluent, and an Ironman. Like the comic-book hero, he also has an obsession with machines. Just listen to him talk about his bikes.

    Already a competitive swimmer, Uytengsu took to triathlons as a challenge. He wasn’t a good biker or runner, and he got into the sport by “accident.” In his late 30s, he saw a photo of him with his daughter, and it immediately pushed him to lose weight. He began joining international triathlons, and after finishing at least three events, he realized he could bring this sport to the Philippines.

    In 2009, he brought the Ironman Triathlon franchise to our shores after convincing the franchise owners to give him a shot at staging the event here. He put up Sunrise Events to organize the Cobra Ironman 70.3 Philippines in Camarines Sur, the first staging of which (2009) saw at least 500 participants. “It’s now a bucket list thing,” Uytengsu says of the rising local popularity of triathlons. “It has grown beyond our expectations.”

    His work ethic is rock-solid. It takes mental and physical toughness to prepare for a race — whether you’re an organizer or a participant. “You’ll be suffering. So suck up the pain. If it was easy, I would call [this sport] golf,” he points out, adding that he means no offense to his golf mates.

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    He himself goes through 10 hours of weekly triathlon training. He’s now 51, and such punishment will astonish guys half his age. “It’s commitment. I feel bad if I am not able to do it,” Uytengsu shares. His competitiveness is evident in his tone. From the way he talks about his companies, his PBA team, his training for a four-races-a-year quota, and his family, you know this guy is a seriously hands-on, goal-oriented, pure alpha.

    He still has a few things to tick on his bucket list, though. One is to do a channel-crossing swim. Another is to win the 15th ring for his beloved Aces. Of course, he wants to bag an Ironman world championship, too. Not bad for a guy who has it all. — E.O.

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