CELINDA RAAGAS and Darell Bada set out against a strong field of youngsters who take the spotlight ahead of the elite of endurance racing in the Ironkids Triathlon reeling off Saturday in Subic Bay.
Raagas topped the 13-15 division of the last tri-race event at Vermosa Sports Hub in Imus City last October while fellow Olongapo City native Bada placed second to absentee Peter del Rosario in their side of the duel in the premier division of the event long considered as the spawning ground of triathlon talents and which drew a cast of 178 from various age-group divisions.
The 13-15 age titles will be disputed over 250-meter swim, 6-km bike and 2-km run distance with participants already winners in more ways than just emerging victorious from the event ushering in a weekend of racing to be highlighted by the Century Tuna full Ironman and Subic Ironman 70.3 Sunday.
But Raagas expects to face a stern test against the likes of Jaden Khongkun, Clarissa Saludes, Zabelle Eugenio, Princess Ilio, Thara Salazar, Jayda Gumaya, Chantelle Coleman, Chelsea Borja and Kyrene Benzon, while Bada will have his hands full against Red Reyes, Jacob Catambay, Sean Julian, Edcarl Moreno, Chadwick Baday and Nathan Ramos, among others.
The 6-8 years old bracket will clash over the 100-meter swim, 2-km bike and 1-km run distance, while the 9-10 crowns will be contested over the 150-meter swim, 4-km bike and 1.5-km run stretch.
The 11-12 division is set over the 200-m, 4-km bike and 1.5-km span with Evan Ramos from Antipolo, Rizal and Noah Maliwat from Pasig City and Dominique Aragones and Sara Santiago headlining the rosters in the two sides.
Also on tap are two events in relay category, according to the organizing The Ironman Group/Sunrise Events Inc. It features the mixed team for 6-10 made up of the 100-m swim, 2-km bike and 1-km run race, and for 11-15 bracket set over 200-m swim, 4-km bike and 1.5-km run distance.
The chase for top honors in the 13-15 age group category fires off at 6 a.m. in a wave start with hostilities in the 11-12 class and 11-15 relay category to follow at 6:30 a.m. The 9-10 age-group take their turn at 7 a.m. followed by the 6-8 division and the 6-10 relay category at 7:25 a.m. at Subic Bay Boardwalk.
Meanwhile, the next IRONKIDS in Puerto Princesa, Palawan on November 11 will be held under two-category race format—swim and run—featuring the 6-8, 9-10, 11-12 and 13-15 age brackets.
For details, log on to ironkidsphil.com.
The Ironkids has been a constant partner of the Ironman races, has guaranteed the steady flow of talents. It has also helped develop values like discipline, sportsmanship and respect for others and at the same time preventing gadget addiction among them while encouraging the children to live an active, healthy lifestyle.