Kids stuff as ultramarathoner mom keeps triathlon fun for her two pride and joy
Athena Bagas, 4, and brother Aidan take part in the Alaska Ironkids. Christian Jacinto

SUBIC - Saturday mornings for kids usually mean countless hours in front of televisions watching cartoons, or perhaps family time at the park on in malls.

Weekends are a little different for the Bagas family.

Dianne Bagas was a picture of pride and happiness as she watched her daughter, Athena, cross the finish line under the scorching sun with the crowd inside the Remy Field Oval all cheering on the youngster last Saturday. 

Athena is just four years old - and the second of the Bagas kids to cross the finish line in the 2017 Alaska Ironkids after her brother Aidan, seven, finished a few minutes earlier. And the best part: It’s her second time to be among the IronKids finishers.

The proud mother, though, was no longer surprised by the feat, saying fitness is in the DNA of the Bagas family and joining triathlons is their idea of fun.

"It's the same feeling of happiness as last year kasi last year, the whole leg sinalihan niya," Diane Bagas said after Athena competed for team Borlain-Bagas in the run stage of the Short Relay course.

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Diane, an ultra-marathoner herself, is keen to see Athena follow in the footsteps of her brother, who has been a regular in the annual race for kids.

"By next [time] hopefully, solo na siya, kasi yung brother niya, it's his third year na," she said.

It did not take a lot for Dianne to convince her kids to take up an active lifestyle.

"Passion nila mag-swimming. Ako naman ultra-marathoner. So yung least sa hobbies nila is bike, and since ultra-marathoner ako, na-encourage naman sila. Tapos nagfun-run din kami once in awhile," Bagas continued. 

"May coach sila sa swim then every night, nagba-bike kami by the bay tapos fun run sumasali kami. Since summer na, continuous na yung coach nila. Pero pag may pasok, off-season, nagte-train pa rin naman sila," she added. 

Still, even with her kids hooked to the sport, Dianne is not pushing them to the limit, putting more emphasis on keeping the activity fun.

 "This is not for competition pero for recreation," Bagas said. "My purpose is for a healthy lifestyle since family kami ng diabetics, may mga cancer, so it's good to raise my children in healthy ways since both sides meron health issues."

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