Showing the real meaning of the word "tough," the Ford Forza Triathlon Team successfully completed and owned the Century Tuna Ironman 70.3, a 70.3-mile triathlon that translates to 113km--1.9km by open-water swimming, 90km on a bike, and 21km on foot. The event was held on March 8 in Subic Bay.
Nutritionist Giorgia Guidicelli, sister of actor and host Matteo Guidicelli, placed first in the women's 18-24 age category. The Forza triathletes’ mixed relay team, led by race car driver Stefano Marcelo and college student Claudia Tagle, placed second in their division.
"I struggled in the run, but now I know what to work on for next time," shared Giorgia.
The rest of the team included Matteo Guidicelli and his father Gianluca; professional race car driver Ivan Carapiet; commercial director AF Benaza; professional athletes Elmo Clarabal and Philip Dueñas (enlisted as the team's elite triathletes); actor Victor Basa; senior sports correspondent Dyan Castillejo-Garcia; marketing manager Kristy Onglatco; businessman Jomer Lim; and private investment banker Ranvel Rufino.
"The team is pretty new and has just been formed," said team captain Gianluca. "We have different kinds of people. Some are seasoned, while some are new."
Apart from the team, well over 900 racers from all over the world--Australia, America, Japan and France--were also present, giving the Ford Forza triathletes formidable competition.
The first leg of the race started at Dungaree Beach with the participants swimming off to complete a nearly 2km open-water swim. Among the first to return were Matteo and the elites, who then immediately started the 90km bike leg that began at Subic Bay International Airport’s airstrip. From the airport, the bikers pedaled their way up to Floridablanca via SCTEX. It immediately became apparent that 90km on the saddle was no joke, and that athletes were put to the test.
But the resilient trudged on, and not a single member of Team Ford Forza gave up. Zooming past tollgates and Subic’s forested outskirts, the bikers returned to the convention center to transition to the third and final leg: the 21km run.
It was a little past noon when athletes began to cross the finish line. Elmo Clarabal came in 33rd overall; he was Ford Forza’s first finisher. Matteo and Ivan followed not long after, and so did the rest of the team. Ford Forza’s men and women completed the Ironman 70.3. The race was over, and the racers were greeted with congratulations.
"You need to be tough, both mentally and physically," said Ford Philippines assistant vice president for marketing Prudz Castillo, proud of the team's accomplishment. "And that's what the team showed: They're tough. They’ve shown that they have what it takes to go further and finish the race."
Having its first taste of adrenaline and victory in the Century Tuna Ironman 70.3, the Ford Forza Triathlon Team is already looking forward to the next race. And they're set to go even further.
Photos by Alfred Mendoza
If you're viewing this on a mobile device and can't see the video, please click here.