I think there’s no other word than ‘blessed’ to describe being able to cover, for the third time, one of the biggest and most intense sports events of the year – the third installment of Tri-United 3. Regular readers (if there are indeed any of you out there) might be familiar with the event as being one the the premier triathlon races in the country. Spearheaded by pharma giant Unilab, Bike King Philippines, PLDT, and a host of other sponsors, Tri-United is held in threes every year in various locations near or in Metro Manila.
While the first two were held in Playa Laiya in faraway Batangas, this third and last in the TU series was held closer to home, in the prestigious and sprawling Ayala Alabang subdivision. where close to 500 people participated. A new addition this time around was the mini-sprint category, comprised of a 300m swim, 7.6km bike, and a 1.7km run.
I wasn’t able to get much (or any, actually) shots of the bike and run legs, as I was assigned to the finish line, which was quite a ways from the bike and run areas. I did get to do some swim shots at the beginning, and quickly rushed to the finish lest I miss the mini-sprint winner. Good thing I did too, as the kid who won the mini-sprint clocked in at a blazing 26mins and 30secs (for your reference, that’s even less than the time sorry old me takes to finish a 3km run).
The good thing about the finish line though, is that you get to see and capture moments you’ll not see anywhere else in the entire race. For many of the triathletes, getting to the finish gives them a feeling of accomplishment, relief, triumph and happiness all rolled into one – I know because they wear it on their faces. After a grueling swim, bike and run, the last thing they’re thinking about is putting on a show – making everything you see at the finish as genuine as it gets. Priceless stuff.
It’s truly a privilege to be asked to cover this event the third time around, and I hope I’ll still be on the photographer’s list next year for the next Tri-United trilogy. Many thanks to Bike King Philippines for the opportunity to shoot!