Briton Lee McMeekin proved too much in the run to deny Filipino teen Edward Vince Jared Macalalad and rule the 5th Anvaya Cove Invitational Triathlon on Sunday at the scenic Anvaya Cove Beach & Nature Club (ACBNC) in Morong, Bataan.
Macalalad, 15, topped the swim and managed to stay in the lead pack of the bike race but 40-year-old McMeekin made up for his slow start in the swim leg by submitting the fastest bike (1:17:39) and run splits (24:08) to win the 1.2-km swim, 32-km bike and 6-km run sprint race in two hours, 05 minutes and 45 seconds.
"This is my second race this year and I'm basically a runner. But I'm also good in the bike especially in a technical race course like this. It was okay going up the hill and I had no breaks going downhill," said a smiling McMeekin, who moved to the country a year ago from London and is the currently vice-president at Deutsche Bank.
Macalalad got out of the water in 18:54, managed to race side by side with McMeekin in the bike only to lose steam in the run for a second-place finish with a time of 2:09:27.
"Hirap niyang habulin, hindi ko kaya. But masaya pa rin ako dahil first time ko at ngayon ko lang nakita ang ruta," said Macalalad, a freshman from FEU who will turn 16 on Wednesday.
In the women’s race, Vanessa Aguirre's rigid preparation paid off particularly the three-kilometer uphill climb from the clubhouse to the gate, winning in 2:38:42.
"I trained really hard for this event especially the climb. I was the runner-up last year and was really expecting to be better this year. I want to bag the title," said Aguirre.
A far second was Katherine Marie Hernandez in 2:43:38 in the event that attracted a record field of 250 triathletes including showbiz personalities Kim Atienza, Gabriel Valenciano, and Isabelle Daza.
"This is my first time to compete in a triathlon event. Ang hirap ng ruta pero ang ganda ng place," said Daza, who won the silver medal in the female 16-24 age group.
"This is our fifth year and we take pride in the fact that participants continue to grow. We'll be preparing hard to ensure a bigger and better race next year," said ACNC general manager George Cadhit.
Other winners in the male age groups were Aris Angelo Lico (16-24), Gabriel Juan Catapang (25-29), Aristotle Cajucom (30-34), Gregy Pamakid (35-39), Alexander Isip (40-44), Larry Ocampo (45-49), Anthony Welsh (50-54), Alvin Alindogan (55-59) and Killy Kunimoto (60-over).
Chrysoberyl Francisco won the female 16-24 age group, Leizl Margareth topped the 25-34 bracket and Rowena Roca ruled the 35-44 class.
The SuperTriKids triathlon winners were Juris Aaron Earl Tan (11:28) in the boys’ 9-10 group and Everly Janarie Macalalad (12:33) in the girls’ side; Brent Valelo (19:25) in the boys’ 11-12 bracket and Nicole Danielle Eijansantos (20:13) in the girls’ division; and Jose Nobles IV (26:24) in the 13-15 boys and Victorija Astor Deldio (31:45) in the girls’ section.
Ganden Sebastian Po (1:03) and Rainna Cruz (1:10) ruled the boys’ and girls’ 8-under aquathlon.