Baguio’s oldest ultra marathoner Brigilio Balaba placed first in the 65 years old and above category of the 5i50 Triathlon Philippines held in Subic over the weekend.
Close to 500 runners from the country and from around the world joined the event.
Balaba, 66, and a retired police colonel, finished the 51.5-kilometer race with a record time of three hours and 38 minutes, which is two hours ahead of the first runner-up’s time record.
He swam the 1.5-kilometer swim race in 45 minutes then biked the 40-kilometer uphill and downhill terrain in one hour and 38 minutes before he ran 10 kilometers en route to the finish line.
“The race was tough but we were able to overcome it. Two more Baguio ultra runners finished strong in their res-pective age group,” Balaba said.
He was referring to seasoned long distance runner JT Gonzales, who was actually the best finisher among the Baguio athletes who joined the international competition.
Gonzales placed 10th among 47 runners in the 45 to 49 years old group category by crossing the finish line at 2:58:02.
Another rising ultra marathon athlete, Alexander Cenzon, ranked 39th among the 94 athletes in the 35 to 39 age group. He crossed the line at 03:20:29.
Balaba, meanwhile, said there is no stopping him from joining future international marathon and ultra marathon events here or overseas.
“We want to motivate other people to engage in sports,” he said.
Last month, Balaba emerged as the best triathlete in the 60 years and above category of the triathlon Olympic distance K-Swiss ITU Subit 2012 also held in Subic.
In November last year he was second place in the age group division of the 2011 BMW Ironman 70.3 in Kenting, Taiwan.
A veteran gold medalist in international duathlon events in previous years, the triathlete said his record time could have been better if he has formal training in swimming.
Since his retirement in 2001, Balaba has been actively participating in numerous duathlon and triathlon competitions, including marathon events here and in different parts of the country.