It was a normal race day morning for some of the high-caliber triathletes in the Century Tuna Ironman 70.3, but for Filipino Augusto Benedicto, his journey through the ocean and the roads of Subic was all about his newborn son.
Gaining an extra motivation with the arrival of his first son, Benedicto seemed to seize the day being the first Filipino elite to cross the finish line while beating his personal-record in the 70.3 kilometer event.
“Di ko naman inexpect na ganito katindi talaga yung time ko kasi lagi akong puyat, kasi two months ago, nanganak yung misis ko,” narrated Benedicto, 31, who became a father to Abed Nego only last December.
“Siyempre, kailangan kong tulungan sa pag-aalaga, puyat and then hindi ganon (kaganda) yung training ko, talagang ninerbiyos rin ako kasi siyempre pangarap ko kasi na ako naman ngayong taon na ‘to,” continued the Tarlac native.
Despite the lack of sleep and little time in conditioning himself, Benedicto toughened up through the rough course in swimming and fought all the way to the finish line as he broke his personal-best record by 14 minutes (4:33 previous record, 4:19 new record) on Sunday in the Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center.
“Mostly ‘yung training ko putol-putol lang di ganon ka-consistent katulad ng last year pero pinilit ko pa rin,” said the 31-year-old Filipino triathlete. “Minsan tumatakbo na ako alas-10 ng gabi, minsan 30 minutes para lang maipasok ‘yung training ko kasi hindi natin alam kailan iiyak yung bata.”
Racing for 7 years now, Benedicto pulled off another inspiring run en route to a record time, the best by a local in this year’s edition.
“Kailangan kasi mas lalo akong napupursigi kasi may baby na rin ako,” said Benedicto, who will race again in La Union and Ilocos in the next two weeks.
With his baby son getting sick at the week of the event, Benedicto celebrated his victory alone but was happy of the blessings he got.
“Nilagnat kaya hindi ko sila naisama pero iniisip ko na lang na nandyan sila, nagchecheer sa akin,” he closed. – By Jason Mercene
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