Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Australians rule the first Philippine 5150 triathlon

This appears in the Tuesday, June 26, 2012 edition of the Business Mirror.

Australians rule the first Philippine 5150 triathlon
by rick olivares pic by brosi gonzales

Excruciating. Suffering. Challenging. Pain.

These were some of the words that were often thrown around over the last few days that one could have thought that he were in Guantanamo Bay except this is Subic Bay. And they aptly described the first ever 5150 Triathlon held in the Philippines last Sunday, June 24. The Olympic distance event features a 1.5k swim, 40K bike, and 10K race and is the sporting event from which the world-famous Ironman and similar cousins like the Xterra, an off-road triathlon, sprang.

A total of 619 participants with 45 relay teams and eight international professional triathletes participated in the race.

Australian David Dellow, one of the three professional athletes competing under the banner of Alaska Team TBB, crossed the finish line in spectacular fashion by completing the race in two hours, three minutes, and three seconds.

Dellow, a member of Australia’s World Champion triathlon teams in 2007 and 2008, exchanged leads with Hungarian Csaba Kuttor throughout the race. However, Dellow tapped into one last reservoir of energy to outsprint Kuttor in the last three kilometers of the run to win the prestigious triathlon race.

Kuttor, an Olympian for his country in Athens, Sydney, and Beijing, expressed a mixture of disappointment and satisfaction over his finish. “I had a bad race in the last triathlon I competed in so I trained hard for a good one here in the Philippines. I thought I had it but credit the big guy (Dellow) for his strong finish. But second is not so bad.’ Kuttor who was first out of the water and led for much of the entire race had a time of 2:03:27.

Ben Allen, the overall winner of the second staging of the Xterra Philippines held in Liloan, Cebu earlier this year and a strong favorite to win this 5150 Philippines, finished third with a time of  2:04:43.

Dellow and Allen overtook Kuttor in the bike course that took riders around the difficult and challenging uphill climb around the former US naval aerial station at Cubi Point. But the Hungarian regained the lead during the run race.

It was in that final leg that took them around the golf course where the heat and the humidity finally got to many of the triathletes. Kuttor and Allen faded while Dellow egged on by the crowd and an iron determination to win, blazed to the finish line.

Australian Belinda Granger, who along with husband and fellow triathlete Justin once lived in Olongapo for several months while on training, won the women’s professional category with a time of 2:22:35. Canadian Ali Fitch, also of Alaska Team TBB, came in second with a time of 2:27:47. The third woman pro, Jacqui Slack, who won the women’s race of the second staging of Xterra, came in a dismal third with a time of 2:52:33 following a difficult bike race that saw her stop twice to change two flat tires.

In the Male Filipino Elite category, John Leerams Chicano bested favorites Neil Catiil and Arland Macasieb by finishing fifth overall with a time of 2:11:35. “I ran the race of my life,” Chicano humbly quipped. “I hope I can build on this and get better at the sport because there is so much to improve on.”

Catiil finished second with a time of 2:19:46 while Macasieb was clocked in at 2:19:46 for the bronze podium finish.

Monica Torres and Lea Coline Langit came in first and second respectively in the Female Filipino Elite category with times of 2:36:33 and 2:37:32.

Said Granger after the race, “We all know that Fred (Uytengsu, Alaska Milk Corporation President and CEO whose Sunrise Events, Inc. stages the Ironman, Xterra, and now 5150 triathlon races) is old school where he designs the courses to be very difficult and challenging. He simply puts us through a lot of suffering but we somehow appreciate it because it brings out the best in us.”

Dellow concurred and summed up the race in one word: “Survival. This was all about survival. I guess if the US Special Forces trained in these jungles for jungle warfare then I guess we got the triathlon version of it. But I am pleased with the race and my result.” The temperature last Sunday was a sunny 27°C.

“If there were any trees or cloud banks,” chipped in Allen, “we tried our best to get some cover even if only for a few more seconds. But thankfully there were hydration stations of Gatorade and water almost every step of the way and that was huge in helping us finish.”

Added a disappointed Slack about her finish owing to the flat tires, “When there are problems on the course, you have to remain calm and not get frustrated. Once you lose all that time then it’s all about finishing and trying to better your time. I guess given the heat and difficulty of the course, yes, it was all about surviving.”

The 5150 triathlon was sponsored by Century Tuna, Alaska Milk, Gatorade, David's Salon, 2XU, Timex, Intercare, Oakley, and The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority. 


Check this one out on the 5150

With 5150 winner David Dellow (above) and interviewing Ben Allen (below). Dave was such a great guy with great quotes. These triathletes are amazing.

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