Earol Belonguil charged back in the closing run stage to repeat as the boys’ champion while Marielle Estreba reigned in her very first try in the girls’ division of the side event of the second Alveo IRONMAN 70.3 Davao presented by Petron at Azuela Cove in Davao yesterday.
Belonguil clocked 15:29 to rule the swim (400m)-run (3k) event, edging teammate Justine Hermosa and James Borja for the coveted crown in the premier 13-14 division of the event held to promote a well-balanced lifestyle for kids and help them develop the values of discipline, hard work, integrity and determination through a series of races.
“My training paid off,” said Belonguil, a 13-year-old student at Cebu Normal University.
His strength is actually in the bike stage of the junior version of triathlon, which he ruled in Davao last year. But with organizers reducing it to a swim-run race to draw more participants, Belonguil had to put up a strong finishing kick to emerge on top on a 5:37 (swim)-9:23 (run) effort.
Borja paced the swim leg in 5:28 but slowed down in the run (9:46), ending up third in 15:44 behind Hermosa’s 15:30 (5:45-9:15).
“Earol is quite new in the sport so hopefully, we get to see him in Vermosa, Subic and Cebu to compete with other IronKids campaigners,” said Alaska associate brand manager Diane Guerta. “The IronKids is not all about nutrition and healthy lifestyle but more teaching the values to the kids and our pro athletes serve as good influence and inspiration to these kids.”
Like Belonguil, Estreba rallied in the run part to snare the crown in their side of the event on a 17:20 clocking, submitting 5:44 in the swim stage and 11:03 in the run. Mariel Canete placed second in 17:24 (5:58-10:56) while Arianna Lim failed to sustain a strong 5:38 start in swim as she struggled with 12:04 in the run to drop to third in 18:12.
“I’m very happy to win. This event helped me use my disciplinary skills and I managed my time very well,” said the 14-year-old Estreba, who trainined for six weeks following her stint in the Central Visayas Regional Athletic Association.
Other category winners were Eleora Avanzado (11:07) and Bruce Bragat (12:00) in the 9-10 division (200m swim-1.5km run); and Francesca Caballero (15:31) and Alessandro Suarez (13:42) in 11-12 section (300m-2km).