SarBay Festival triathlon “hardest”

04 Jun 2016
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GUMASA, Glan, Sarangani (June 4, 2016) - The beautiful beach and lush hills of Gumasa in the old town of Glan hosted more than 40 tri-athletes coming from different parts of the country as part of the 11th Sarangani Bay Festival.

The “Swim, Bike, Run for the Environment” triathlon was organized by the Province of Sarangani in partnership with Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart).

Smart and the provincial government co-organized the yearly event to help raise public awareness on environmental preservation and protection.

“As a tri-athlete, you get to connect with Mother Nature because you swim in the open sea, you bike and run where you can appreciate nature,” Esteban “Jong” Co Jr., organizer from Body Kinetix said.

You can really showcase Sarangani Bay’s beauty if you organize a triathlon here, together with Sarbay Fest we can use this as an opportunity to raise awareness, Co explained.

Sarangani Bay Festival or more famously known as Sarbay Fest was originally conceptualized by former Sarangani Governor Miguel Rene Dominguez to promote awareness of environmental issues in the youth and to encourage tourism in what is now known as the Boracay of the South.

The bay is teeming with natural resources, including the world-famous tuna, but these are all threatened by pollution from surrounding populations and industries.

Before the event started, contestants planted mangrove trees in the marshy areas surrounding barangay Gumasa in Glan.

The main venue served as the starting point for the more-or-less 8 kilometer swim towards the next staging point.

The course included a 30-km semi-uphill bike race followed by an 8 kilometer run.

Sam Jonaird from Polomolok, South Cotabato and a member of the Philippine National Triathlon Team finished first for the over-all male category while Noemi Galeos won first place for the over-all female category.

Rodmark Bustamante finished first for the Male 24 years old and below, while Geoffrey Dionisio bagged the gold for the Male 25-34 year old category. Vincent Fulgueras and Michael Enriquez both took the first place for the Male 35-40 year old and the Male 45 year old category, respectively.

While the team of Annika Gregorio, Junrey Navara and Larry Guillermo took the win for the Standard Distance – Relay.

“Isa ito sa pinaka-mahirap na course sa buong Pilipinas kasi malakas yung current (This is one of the hardest courses in the Philippines),” according to Jonaird.

Jonaird is no stranger to hard triathlon courses, he has more than two dozen finishes under his name, including some of the most renowned and challenging races like the Southeast Asian Games and the Ironman 70.3 Philippines.

Tri-athletes participating in the event backed Jonaird saying that this was one of the most - if not the most challenging, course that they have ever been on since they are more accustomed to running and racing on flat and concrete roads. (Jed Reston for SARANGANI NFORMATION OFFICE)

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