The Obligatory Best of 2014

Neil Ong

With 2014 winding down to its last day I think it would be fun to share the obligatory best and worst of the year. But let's focus on the best shall we.

Best Race - Milo 21K - This was my first 21K run. I fumbled at the start, got going from there, endured the blisters, kept my composure when I felt cold from my sweaty shirt, misjudged the last couple of kilometers and still went on to finish in 1:38.

Best Adventure - Audax 300 - It was an early start at 3:00 A.M. The lights of the bikes were awesome, the sunrise was breathtaking, the rain poured hard, the sun was too hot, the road was endless, the coastline was fantastic and the mountains on the other side was magnificent. 

Fastest Run - During the first run of the Duaman X2 Duathlon Race in Nuvali I ran the first 10K in less than 41 minutes. The course was only 10.8K according to MapMyRide and I also got into the sub 20 minute 5K Club on that day. The bike was too slow though.

Longest Transition Time - Challenge Philippines 70.3 - I clocked 18 minutes in Transition 1 while waiting for my friend so we could bike and run together.

Best Preparation - RUPM and Bohol 226 - It was the first time I felt ready to run long at a pace of 5:00 minutes per kilometer for 42K. But of course that didn't happen on race day. And for Bohol 226 nothing really happened at all.

Shortest Race - 5K Run - Building up to a marathon I did a 10K, 5K, 21K and a duathlon.

Best swim course - Challenge Philippines - I can see the bottom most of the time.

Best Bike Route - Tri United 3 70.3 - A ride from the beach to the Subic tollgate was great and the next kilometers were ridden at SCTEX Tollway. Try Google Earth to see the route: Subic Dungaree Beach to Porac, Pampanga.

Best Run Route - The Challenge Philippines run route in what looked like a jungle was unique but the lack of kilometer markers on a jumbled course made the RUPM city run a better course to me.

Race I can recommend - From the few races I joined in the past year I can recommend the Subic International Triathlon with its new race course. For 2015 I think they renamed it to Asian Triathlon Championships.

Race to look forward to - I'm leaning towards Run United Philippine Marathon maybe in the first week of October, 2015 just because I like to run a marathon during that time of the year.

Best Shirt - This one's hard; Challenge Shirt loses its print, Tri United 3 has its bold color, Run United looks Run United, Duaman X2 is youthful, SuBiT has red streaks on black, Bohol 226 has distance numbers on the back, hmmm... I'll save the best shirt for next year.  ;P

Event to look forward to - I guess it's the Audax 400 or Audax 600 for the sheer distance and love of cycling.

So how about your 2014? One thing is sure, we both enjoyed our races and events. RIGHT?

My training ground: How I wish I could workout in the cold... Naahh! Posers don't do that!

Off Tangent Tuesday - December Is A Non Training Month For Me :P


After my last races were canceled and postponed I got disinterested with training. I still have a couple of races in the near future but I don't even like to hit the road and prepare for those events namely Challenge 70.3 Philippines Tough and IM 70.3 Subic. Nothing seems to motivate me right now and the weather here is really cooperating. It seems futile to expect a sunny day and the coldness of the day render swimming not even worth imagining. Maybe it'll turn around in January but for the moment let me enjoy December without the sweat and panting.

Triathlon Philippines
Badminton Club Party

Enjoying The Christmas Atmosphere At The Malls

Neil Ong
Catching Up With Friends

Despedida, Welcome, Birthday and Christmas Party All In One

Enjoying The Nightlife

Warehouse Inventory

Visiting My Good Friend and Attorney

Familiarizing With Pugs

triathlon philippines
My Daughter was Accepted In My Alma Mater: Studying The New Campus

Renovating and Decorating

Tried A New Branch That Opened Near Our Home

Looking For Old Photos: Ancestral House (diesel was 18 centavos per liter)

Indulging In Sweets

Watching T.V. Series on The Net

Neil Ong
Keeping My Toes From Getting Cold

12 Days Of Christmas - Off Tangent Tuesday

Triathlon Philippines

12 - minutes to finish a 3K run
11 - days before a race: last long ride
10 - races this year
9 - hours to finish a big day workout
8 - kilometers of jogging workout
7 - days of 'malunggay, buko, saging, dalandan' before a race
6 - days of training per week
5 - pairs of running shoes
4 - bikes in the house: road bike, hybrid, mtb, foldie
3 - sets of attire for a triathlon race
2 - races 'displaced' by Typhoon Ruby
1 - podium* finish with asterisk haha

2014 Races

I was lucky enough to get back into endurance sports after I got sick and lost interest in it. Although I didn't get the chance to try Bohol 226 or do the Milo Marathon Finals I think my races were satisfying and well scheduled. Each race prepared me for something in the future races and they were all so varied from 5K run to a full distance triathlon. The events that required me to check in for an overnight accommodation were mostly short family vacations also so they were fun not just to me. 

Triathlon Philippines
All The Events Were Special In Their Own Way

Challenge 70.3 Philippines - the best swim course, unique run route, finished alongside my two teammates Reggie and Monki.

Subic International - an easy standard race distance course, almost everything went well, finish line at a shopping mall

Audax 300 - a 300 kilometer adventure filled with sun, rain and for others moon, ate a pack of Milkyway chocolate

10K Run - on my first fun run of 2014 I learned that I wasn't as fast as last year (not that I'm fast or anything), I thought everything's fine until kilometer four and I still have six more to go.

5K Run - I did okay, felt like I was getting faster... no kidding ;)

Milo 21K - I didn't like the singlet but I thought everybody should wear it on race day so I did and it almost ruined my run. The night before the race I thought I should pace myself for a 1:38 finish and that's exactly what happened on race day.

Duaman X2 - I won the race because apparently I was a junior among a field of freshmen.

Run United Philippine Marathon - I farted way too much and stopped for a long break in a rest room but for 26K I was coasting at a pace of 5:00 minutes per kilometer

Tri United 70.3 - an exciting ride on a tollway, a painful neck, and a bunch of nephews and nieces on a 'semestral' break.

Bohol 226 - last year there was the earthquake, this year we had the Typhoon... I mean Super Typhoon.

Milo 42K Finals - since the long distance triathlon was cancelled you'd think I'd be lucky enough to run the marathon.. it was postponed to a date I wouldn't be available... REALLY?

The Race That Wasn't Meant Be

Busted! Again.

After the December 6 full distance race was cancelled I quickly set my sight on the December 7 marathon. Then with still some hours before the gun start it was postponed. Yes... it happens.

It's crazy but let's hope the typhoon wouldn't do as much damage as the previous year's strongest one. Let's pray for the safety of everyone affected by typhoon Hagupit.

Failure To Launch!

Neil Ong Triathlon

"Dear Enervon Activ 226 participants,

We regret to inform you that the race scheduled on December 6, 2014 at the Bellevue Resort in Panglao, Bohol has been canceled due to the predicted impact of Typhoon Ruby. This was a joint decision taken with sponsors Enervon Activ, The Bellevue Resort and the Province of Bohol.

We join the whole nation in praying for the safety of our fellow Filipinos who will be affected by the typhoon."

Twice in a row for me. I guess I'm the jinx.?

Just Because...

Just because I'm thin and tanned.
"Are you a runner?" I've been asked this quite a lot and would always answer "Nope, just a jogger".

Just because my tan lines are 'well done'.
"A cyclist maybe?" - "Nope, just a biker dude".

Just because they saw me swim.
"Are you a triathlete" - "Nahh but I've done some triathlons".

Just because they saw a photo of me with a finisher's medal.
"Wow! You've won. You're fast." - "How I wish..."

Just because I'm really thin.
"You don't like eating, do you?" - "Are you kidding? I devour" :)

LESSON: Put some sunscreen! :P

Road To Bohol Part 2

I still have 3 weeks to train till the race. But wait is it really a race? To me it's a celebration of sorts for all the days I spent jogging, riding, and swimming. It is a culminating event where I get to enjoy a whole day's worth of workout: a nice bath in the sea, a ride on a scenic route and a sunset run in one of the most beautiful islands we have.

On my 2nd Big Day Workout

By this time I think I am pretty much ready to do the distance albeit in a slow way. I have done the requisite workouts that I think I need to gain confidence. I finished a half distance triathlon last October 26. I've had a week of race specific workouts last November 3 to 9 that went like this; Monday: swim 3.8K and jog 40 minutes, Tuesday and Wednesday: rest, Thursday: big day workout - swim 3.8K, bike 150K, jog 1 hour, Friday: rest, Saturday: bike 180K, Sunday: rest. I had 4 rest days on that week though and I might say my body enjoyed every minute of it.

The foot injury that I got from tying the shoe laces too tight on a marathon last October 5 is finally healing and I went for a 20K jog last Monday. Right now my focus is to get ready for the remaining long workouts ahead of me; there are actually 4 long workouts on my schedule the last one being 12 days prior to the event.

On every long workout I just focused on my nutrition and the intensity was all easy. I think I've never done a hard workout since the first week of October. One thing that keeps creeping in my mind is that I should neither get sick nor injured hence the reason for low intensity exercises.

And for Part 2 of my Road To Bohol I think I've done some good strides since Part 1. I still have some work to do but the big ones were over and I'm glad I'm not cramming the training days left. 

Let's hope it'll translate to one fine day of swim, bike, jog.

Tri United 3 2014 Race Recap

draft - TU3 October 26, 2014

This is a 70.3 event in the Tri United Series. I arrived at the Transition 1 with my pajama.. well not really a pajama but something that looks quite like it, and a long sleeve shirt to stay warm in the early morning. Everybody was wearing tri suit and I was an odd man out. After preparing my T1 basket and bike, I fell in line on the porta potty, then back to T1 to take off my shirt and finally with only 4 minutes left to gun start I rushed towards the starting line at Dungaree Beach.


I didn't swim with my team's tri suit (Puro Tri), just a double Speedo bottom to go with my Speedo goggles and an orange swim cap provided by the organizer. The swim was pretty much chaotic and slow maybe because of the mass start but it was over in 36 minutes. I survived the swim!


Time in T1 was approximately 4 minutes. The first few kilometers went by as anticipated, slow but no sign of fatigue or aches on my injuries. It was actually faster than my goal time for the first 30 kilometers. But you know me, I always end up on the wrong side of the bike and it happened before I get to the 75K turn around point. My neck was hurting really bad and the pain on my upper back wouldn't let up. DNF was knocking on the door but with the distance I covered it's kind of hard to imagine quitting at that point so I kept on pedaling until I reached Transition 2. The ride on SCTEX Highway was worth it though, there were lots of uphills, the view of the mountains was exhilarating and the road closure was calming. I spent some time inside T2 to have a little bit of rest before I went to run... or limp my way to finish line.

with my rubber shoes and pink pedals - Photo by TU3 Official Photographer 


At the start of my run I thought I could jog all the way to the finish line with ease but after just a few hundred meters I felt something on my left knee and fact of the matter was I thought I was exhausted so I'd rather finish slow than die trying to look fast. I walked a lot of times and when Chad a fellow age grouper caught me I went to run with him to ask some questions regarding I.M. distance racing as he had just finished 2 such events this year. I am deeply sorry if I disturbed your TU3 race, mate. So there I was in the middle of the road, under the heat of the midday trying to figure out how can I do Bohol 226 if half of that seemed unbearable. Luckily I finished in 6:48. I wasn't disappointed just worried with my neck because I was and still am in the middle of training for a long distance event. I couldn't even complain with my finishing time as half of the field was still suffering under the punishing heat at that time.

Look Of Relief Upon Seeing the Finish Line - photo by Angela Ong

So here goes:
The Good: the bike route was such an experience, a scenic expressway all to us 
The Bad: my neck was hurt
The Ugly: I'm in the heat of training for my first long distance triathlon and a painful neck is not a good sign
The Race: Tri United 3 70.3 is very well organized and priced just right, the only downside could be the proximity of the finish line to the hotel.
The Time: 6:48 total and 2:32 on the run is something I did not expect but at that moment I felt mighty lucky to cross the finish line
The Best: I was glad to have registered for this race, if I knew then that I would be doing Bohol 226 there's no way I would have joined this. The neck issue exposed my... you guessed it, my neck and the risk of riding a folding bike in an upright position when you know you'll be riding long on a road bike in a very different position
The Lesson: train with the bike you're going to use on race day and get comfortable on the aero bar

All In A Day This Tuesday - Off Tangent Tuesday

Recovery Day :)

Breakfast at Cafe France

Went to an Art Gallery to Commission 2 Paintings

Went to UST for My Check Up

Waiting for my Appointment

Lunch at Mexicali

Life Cycle Greenhills for some Bike Gears

Triathlon Philippines
Keo Cleats, Aerobar Pads, Cover Cleats, Gel Saddle Cover


Girly Things for My Girl

Pasalubong - Krispy Kreme

Late Dinner - Bulalo

Tri United 3 - A Day Before Race Day

What Do You Do To Prepare For a Race??? - I never did go to the carnival with these guys though... it was already MIDNIGHT hah! 

Arrived at Subic Freeport and Went Straight to a Diner

Checked In at the Hotel

Claimed My Race Pack at Tri United Expo

You Gotta Fall In Line

1.9 - 90 - 21 = 112.9

Expo Booths

Bike Check In at Dungaree Beach

Went To A Supermarket

Accompanied My Nephews and Nieces

Went Korean

I missed this... I was prepping my nutrition in the hotel

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