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Baniqued, Borlain top Ironkids races

Tara Borlain celebrates after ruling the girls’ 13-14 age category of the 2016 Alaska Ironkids Triathlon in Mactan, Cebu. (Jansen Romero)

Tara Borlain celebrates after ruling the girls’ 13-14 age category of the 2016 Alaska Ironkids Triathlon in Mactan, Cebu. (Jansen Romero)

LAPU-LAPU CITY – Wacky Baniqued and Tara Borlain lived up to their lofty billings yesterday after ruling the centerpiece 13-14 year old category of the Alaska Ironkids triathlon at the Shangri-La Mactan Resort & Spa here.

Baniqued capitalized on his improved bike skills in topping the boys category at 44 minutes and 49 seconds while Borlain edged her older sister Samantha to claim the distaff side at 46:31 to complete their impressive year in the Ironkids series that saw them win two events each.

Benefiting from his silver medal finish three weeks in the Singapore International Triathlon, Baniqued found the biking part of the 400-meter swim, 12-kilometer bike, and 3-kilometer run race as a springboard to his latest victory.

Joe Bernard Sarmiento placed second, 52 seconds off the pace, while Jose Manuel Arao settled for third at 45:49.

“Naalala ko po yung nangyari sa Singapore na nag-struggle ako sa bike. Nasa isip ko lang po na gusto kong makauna sa bike part ng race,” Baniqued said, recalling his struggles in the aforementioned Singapore event.

“Nagulat nga po ako na first time ko maka-una sa bike ng ganung kalayo, kasi po ang weakness ko po is yung sa bike,” added the winner of last year’s 11-12 category also held in this city.

Tara, on the other hand, kept pace with Samantha since the swim part before moving past her in the transition to earn one of the biggest wins of her young career.

Samantha was 26 seconds off Tara to settle for runner-up honors, while Karen Andrea Manayon took third at 47:14.

“I overtook (Samantha) right around the part of the transition. I decided to pace with her which was better for the two of us,” said Tara, who like Samantha is coached by their father and former bodybuilding champion Ringo Borlain.

Franchezka capped off another big day for the Borlains by emerging victorious in the girls 6-8 year old tilt at 15:34. Connor Hodges was the winner of the 6-8 boys category at 15:39.

Other results saw Matthew Justine Hermosa (26:27) and Kira Ellis (29:36) topping the 9-10 divisions, and Hyonde Keum and Catherine Angeli Yu bagging the 11-12 categories at 35:45 and 36:14, respectively.

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