THE Navy-Standard Insurance team dominated the Sante Barley Domination as Robeno Javier and Mary Pauline Fornea ruled the Men and Women’s Elite of the first-ever duathlon held at the Clark International Speedway in Pampanga on Sunday.
Javier’s finish of one hour, 36 minutes and 33 seconds becomes all the more impressive considering the 31-year old pro-athlete sheepishly admitted his team cycled an extra lap in the penultimate event of the unique 4K Run, 40K Bike, 4K Run race.
“Ako may kasalanan doon e - yung bilang ng bike namin sumobra — bale 11 laps. One kilometer na yung sobra namin, naabot ko pa,” said the soft-spoken native of Santo Tomas, Pangasinan, considered by many as one of the best duathletes in the country.
The eight-year mainstay of the national team said he was leading strong in the first run when his Navy teammate Joey de los Reyes, a strong cyclist, went head to head with him before suffering a flat tire. Javier said he relied on his ‘beterano moves’ of drafting behind other cyclists to keep his position.
Javier, who brought home a bronze medal in duathlon from the 2014 Asian Beach Games in Phuket, Thailand last November, dedicated his win to his two kids who were there with his wife cheering him on.
He said the Speedway had its share of perils and was thankful the rain fell in the latter part of the race.
“Grabe ang hirap dito. Buti na lang sa patapos na lang umulan kasi pag umulan madaming sesemplang - malalim ang kurbada, madulas ang daan,” he told SPIN.ph.
Completing the podium in the Men’s Elite were Navy’s Dante Cagas who came in second in 1:37:06 and Jefferson Valdez of Sante Barley who finished third in 1:37:41.
On the distaff side, former national triathlete Fornea said she battled an athlete from rival Santa Barley in the first run before relying on her strong performance in the bike to pull away.
The cheerful 20-year old Davaoena said she joined Standard Insurance last July when the team was formed by their patron, Ernesto Echauz, company chairman, and will immediately begin her builsup for the next leg of the Philippine Duathlon in March in Nuvali.
Fornea said she plans to file an application to the Philippine Military Academy.
Fornea finished with a time of 1:48:30, besting favorites Rowena Valdez (1:55:00) and Francesca Diane Gutierrez (2:55:45) in the event that lured more than 400 participants who took part in endurance tests that included the criterium and individual time trials.
A total of P40,000 in cash prizes were awarded to the duathlon’s Elite Male and Female winners while the Top 3 Male and Female categorical winners for all three competitions received medals and gift packs.
The event supported by GU, Garmin, Pure Barley, Whey Barley, Barley Pure, Fontana Leisure Parks, SPIN.ph, Multisport.ph, SBR.ph and Raceday marked the first time that Sante Barley has sponsored a duathlon which was organized by BikeKing headed by Raul Cuevas.