UNILAB Active Health teammates August Benedicto and Anna Stroh emerged as the top athletes in the Male and Female Elite categories, respectively, of the 2014 season of the Tri United Series.
Benedicto and Stroh stood out in a gathering of a triathlon who’s who as the top finishers of the popular triathlon series were feted in a ceremony held at the Jose Y. Campos Hall, Bayanihan Center in Pasig City last week.
The Subic-based Benedicto said his latest feat serves as motivation for him to improve his performance in what promises to be a more competitive 2015.
He took the top honors in the Male Elite after finishing third in Tri United 1 and 2 before bagging first place in TU3. National team captain Nikko Huelgas came in second overall while John Leerams Chicano of ULAH finished third.
In the distaff side, Stroh took the Female Elite plum after finishing first in TU2 and TU3 to improve on her fourth-place performance in TU1. Teammate Ani Brown of ULAH took second place honors and Radka Vodickova of Culprit Bicycles came in third.
Sante Barley ruled the team competition thanks to impressive first-place performances in TU2 and TU3 and second place in TU1. Herbalife was second followed by Fitness First in third.
The 30-year old Benedicto said he had been taking part in the TU series since he began competing in 2009. He signed on with the ULAH team in 2012 before winning the Ironman 70.3 in Cebu the same year.
“I dedicate this win to my family and my sponsors who support me... Para sa kanila ito na tumulong sa akin,” the native of Paniqui, Tarlac told SPIN.ph.
Benedicto said he is set to train in Thailand this December in preparation for next season.
“I want to prepare for 2015 since there will be a lot of 70.3 races and for me to defend my title. From the very start of the TU series, I told myself this will get bigger since the races are well organized," he said.
Benedicto said the level of competition becomes more challenging every year.
“Tumataas ng tumataas ang standard. Every race humahaba so kailangan tumaas ang volume ng training ko. This (award) is motivation for me,” said Benedicto, who intends to improve on his swimming skills.
Unlike some of his competitors, the affable Benedicto said he prefers hot weather during competition particularly in the bike and run stages, claiming it makes the race “more exciting."
Race director Raul Cuevas of Bike King said the 2015 Tri United Series promises to offer more innovations, new routes and challenges for both loyal and new participants.
The other 2014 Tri United Series winners are as follows:
1st- Thomas Kuhne GRC MIDEA
2nd- Ronald Asuncion POWERADE
3rd- Tatsuya Kanai POLO TRI
1st- Frank Lacson HERBALIFE
2nd- Joevic Pajarillo GRC MIDEA
3rd- Eduardo Francisco PLDT BIKE KING
1st- Jojo Macalintal TRIMAC
2nd- Mark Ellis FITNESS FIRST
3rd- Ronald Honrade TRIMAC
1st- Rayzon Galdonez TRIMAC
2nd- Keith Peralta SANTE BARLEY
3rd- Victor Martin Lorenzo PLDT BIKE KING
1st- Edison Morales MAXXIS SANTE BARLEY
2nd- John Omar Paredes HERBALIFE
3rd- Andy Leuterio UNILAB ACTIVE HEALTH
1st- Jeremiah Isip
2nd- Andrew Arellano UNILAB ACTIVE HEALTH
3rd- Ralph Jerome Salvador
1st- Robinson Esteves SANTE BARLEY
2nd- Brian Borling HERBALIFE
3rd- Don Velasco SANTE BARLEY
1st- Deo Timbol UNILAB ACTIVE HEALTH
2nd- Mervin Santiago SANTE BARLEY
3rd- Jaime Miguel Navarro HERBALIFE
1st- Rowena Roca MAXXIS SANTE BARLEY
2nd- Natasha Davis SANTE BARLEY
3rd- Mariela Martinez-Powell CLEAR SABAK
1st- Doray Ellis FITNESS FIRST
2nd- Bernadette Tan GREENHILLS TRI TEAM
3rd- Carly Relf MAXXIS SANTE BARLEY
1st- Lezette Albarote HERBALIFE
2nd- Laarni Paredes HEBALIFE
3rd- Hazel Benipayo 3RD TRANSITION
1st- Jayline Balatibat UPLB Trantados
2nd- Maris Balatibat YELLOW CAB TRI CLARK
3rd- Jade Candy Lee GREENHILLS TRI TEAM
1st- Chloe Ong
2nd- Keshia Fule
3rd- Lyllian Grace Banzon SANTE BARLEY
1st- Maria Lourdes Lazaro
2nd- Claudia Nicola Tagle