SAMAL, Davao del Norte — Paul Jumamil shrugged off fever to win the AirAsia Durianman Triathlon on Sunday at Club Samal Resort.
Jumamil, who has battled recurrent fever for three days before the event, finished the 51.5 kilometer race in two hours, 53 minutes and 22 seconds.
The 25-year-old triathlete from Bohol beat five-time champion Jong Sajulga, who clocked 2:57:09, and Juanito Mahinay, who finished in 2:59:05.
“Nagpapasalamat po ako sa Ginoo dahil binigyan ako ng lakas until the finish line,” said Jumamil, who said he took a double dose of paracetamol early in the morning.
“Hindi ko expected mauna kasi marami kami eh tapos malalakas sila,” he added. “Inubos ko na lahat ng pwersa ko dito.”
Jumamil said he started feeling weak during the 10 kilometer run that, but he was motivated to finish and claim the prize.
“Tapos sa run ‘yun na, halos one hour ‘yung run ko kasi mainit na ‘yung katawan ko dahil parang bumaba na ‘yung paracetamol na tinake ko,” he shared.
“’Yung cash prize nagpush sakin kasi malaki ang gastos namin,” said Jumamil, who took home P25,000.
“’Yung byahe namin, ‘yung registration pa kaya gusto namin manalo kasi para pangkabuhayan na sa amin ito eh mga elite athletes na kagaya namin. Magsave (ako) para sa future.”
Sajulga bagged P15,000, while Mahinay got P10,000.
A total of 212 athletes joined the competition but there were several who failed to complete the 1.5 kilometer swim.
Even Sajulga struggled in the Pakiputan Channel and he decided to exit the swim course at a different resort.
“I decided to just go to the nearest shoreline ‘cause I wasn’t gonna make here at Club Samal because you’re going against the current and no one wins against the current,” he explained.
“So we navigated through the trails, we were really careful not to get cut or hurt our feet, we had to climb two fences from the resorts.
“I must admit I got lucky today. I’m so happy with this second place, it feels like a sixth crown for me,” Sajulga added.
Jonard Saim, last year’s champion, said participants spent too much energy getting through the swim.
“Sa almost eight years ito ‘yung pinakamahirap kasi sa gitna ng dagat wala na eh, ‘di na kami umaalis. Sabi ko parang gusto ko na umahon, hindi ka na umaalis sa gitna eh,” said Saim.