Photos from Ainne Bacosa

A veteran swimmer learned something new about herself in joining Ironman 70.3 Puerto Princesa for the first time, which helped her finish the race on Sunday.

Ainne Bacosa, who joined the triathlon relay under Team Nautilus with Monina Tam-Od, said that her experience in the race taught her that it’s not enough to be a professional swimmer to have an edge in the sport against other triathletes.

Ainne gained swimming experience through competitions such as Palarong Pambansa, University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP), and Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games), but the Ironman 70.3 made her also realize how important it is to protect herself while on the water.

“I learned that swimming in this kind of race requires not only being fast and having endurance but also knowing [how] to protect yourself from injuries caused by unintentional kicks or strokes of your competitors who are also attempting to finish and survive the course,” she said.

Photo from Ainne Bacosa and Monina Tam-Od

She had to finish the swim before Monina can move on to the bike course and the running event. She was hesitant to participate in the triathlon as a novice because she was aware of its difficulty—swim 1.9 kilometers, bike 90 kilometers, and run 21 kilometers.

It is also more difficult for a person like her “who doesn’t take risks”, she added. But Monina encouraged her to do her best in the swim leg of the race that the city is hosting for the first time.

“After our first talk, I felt na mas malaking part yung gagawin niya compared to mine, kaya I told myself na I have to do well, especially since swimming ang first part and if I get disqualified, she won’t be able to participate in the race at all; if I performed poorly, she would have a hard time to catch up considering that there is cut off time for each part of the race,” she added.

Ainne now hopes to join the Ironman that will be hosted next by the city after joining on November 13.

The swim course, she said, could be held at any of Puerto Princesa’s other “beautiful beaches,” giving visiting triathletes a chance to enjoy its renowned scenery.

She said the race was an “amazing experience” she will never forget as a first-timer.

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is one of the senior reporters of Palawan News. She covers agriculture, business, and different feature stories. Her interests are collecting empty bottles, aesthetic earrings, and anything that is color yellow.