The Rock Conquered: Aquathlon Challenge

It was a feeling of trepidation for the nth time. Being an aquathlon participant was not part of my plan this year. At some point, I did email the organizer that it was a no-go for me. However, the organizer emailed me back to tell me that registration was extended.

The spirit of camaraderie as well as the support from the group of fellow runners is the reason why I said, “Yes,” for this race. Tough decision, as I had to consider my mileage for swimming—which was a real boo for me. The last swim I had before this race was after the QCIM simulation run, just barely a one-kilometer swim. Not enough for this competition. So I just consoled myself to finish the race no matter what or even if I end up as the last swimmer, it doesn’t matter.

The group met at the Cultural Center of the Philippines terminal. Some friends were already there as early as 5:30AM. We boarded Sun Cruises ship at around ten minutes before 7AM. Inside the ship, I saw quite a number of aquathlon participants. At the far end were AMCI mountaineers who would be staying in the island for their orienteering activity. I couldn’t sleep during the whole trip due to moderately choppy waters. I couldn’t even appreciate what the tour guide was saying. For me, it was one of the longest trips I’ve ever had en route to the island.

We arrived exactly one hour and twenty-five minutes. The water was calm, looked very promising, and not too intimidating. But when we went to the other side, we saw big waves. It was the area where everyone will be competing for the swim. “My, my,” I said to myself.

Participants were given enough time to rest and prepare while race marshals were busy setting up the stage, markers, and water stations. All of us were then asked to fall in line for the body marking. My number was F4. I couldn’t help but remember the famous Taiwanese boy band, F4, who attained popularity in the country sometime in 2003 for their Meteor Garden series.

This is our group photo before the race started. (From left to right: Glen, Pepsi, Rico aka Sheer Will, Running Diva, Jonas, Ellen, Ziggy, and Raff)

What happened next was one of the most unforgettable moments of my life. Here is where I competed with some of the best swimmers and runners. Here is where I had to overcome my fear of the sea. Can you see the hands of swimmers moving like flyingfish?

Here is where I finished my first aquathlon competition. I wanted to write more about the experience but no amount of words can explain what I felt during that day except pure bliss.

It wouldn’t have been made possible if not for the constant prodding of some people who I consider instrumental for my being a participant. Super duper thanks to Rico for the encouragement and support. To Carina who believes that I can do it and, ey, for the photos, too, thank you so much. I hope to see you Carina swimming with us soon. To the many faces of friends in the group like Raff, Glenn, Jonas, James, Ian, and Ellen. Kudos to kababayan Ziggy, the lifeguard, who placed second overall in the competition. How can I thank you guys?

That’s us holding our loot bags after finishing the race . (From left to right: James, Ian, Jonas, Ziggy, Ellen, Raff, Running Diva, Glen, Pepsi, and Sheer Will)

The 1st Corregidor Aquathlon Challenge is a 400m swim, 7km run, 400m swim race coursing through the island dubbed as The Rock and which was held last Saturday, Oct. 10, the day before the 33rd Milo Marathon Finals. It was organized by RunPlus. Below is the map showing the race route.

Corregidor or The Rock, is known for its role during WWII-the brave people behind it and its history. It’s a rock island remarkably shaped like a tadpole and measuring three miles long and 1 ½ miles at its widest point, facing the China Sea and flanked by the provinces of Bataan and Cavite. Corregidor came from the Spanish corregir which means to correct since it was a checkpoint for vessels entering Manila Bay during the Spanish and American occupations.

Corregidor became the headquarters of the Allied Forces and also the seat of the Philippine Commonwealth government. It was from Corregidor that Philippine Pres. Manuel Quezon and MacArthur left for Australia in February leaving behind Lt. Gen. Jonathan M. Wainwright in command.

At present, Corregidor’s rich history continues to draw Filipinos and foreign tourists alike, making the island one of the most visited tourist spots in the country. In fact, I accompanied foreign visitor friends in the past to visit the site. I was their tour guide during their visit.

For those of you who are planning to conquer The Rock next month, don’t forget to do hill training as the course is more or less a three-kilometer steep uphill run.

21 thoughts on “The Rock Conquered: Aquathlon Challenge

  1. Hi Roselle! Enjoyed reading this and catch up with the other older posts especially the one about pacing and marathon angst. I also love the pictures showing you with friends participating in races and training runs, you all look like having lots of fun ( and you look so fit) and enjoying each others company. That's the main essence of our sport, enjoying it, whether one does it as a solitary runner or doing it with friends.I admire you for volunteering as a pacer in this Sunday's race. I would like to be one someday when I become a stronger runner and my finishing times improve. Good thoughts and wishes I send to you. And a safe and succesful run on Sunday too.


  2. Bong, thank you so much for visiting my site and reading my posts as well. I went back to your blog and couldn't help but compare the the \”you\” before and now. You've lost weight. Yay! That means, a faster finishing time. You will be a pacer soon, I don't doubt it. Thank you again for the wish. We needed it, especially, there's another storm brewing. I pray it will go away and let Sunday be a good day for the race.


  3. wow! congratulations F4 Roselle! so, i bet you were singing \”broken vow\” while you were running, eh? haha! a scene from the meteor garden is playing on my mind …san cai hopelessly running after her dao ming ze, and this melancholic song playing on the bakground…broken vow. tsk tsk…good luck on your sunday run! :)-decee girl-


  4. Decee gurl! Haha, I was not singing! I didn't even know that the song Broken Vow is in that series. Didn't get to watch nor follow that series. 🙂 However, it made me sing though while typing this reply. Haha, here we go…[Chorus:]I let you go I let you fly Why do I keep on asking why I let you go Now that I found A way to keep somehow More than a broken vow Sad song … but which reminds me during a Nike sponsored run three or four years ago. I saw this runner, on his T-shirt, boldly emblazoned, \”My Power Song is ________ (guess what?) … \”Moon River\”. Can you imagine running with Moon River as the background music. Slow mo? Haha!


  5. You're becoming a top notch athlete for sure. Very impressed that you were able to successfully complete this. I never knew you did any swimming. Good job, well done ! 😀


  6. Hi Kerry, there are still others who are better than I am. In the arena of swimming am still a newbie. I had a coach in swimming before but I didn't swim for competition until the aquathlon race in Corregidor. 😉


  7. Argo, I couldn't agree with you more. Haha, level up? Sometimes it gets so difficult especially with the training and the time you have to spend to balance everything-work, friend, family, etc.


  8. Congrats, RD!!!That water looked quite daunting.I can't run with gadgets so I just sing in my head. Next time I'll try to sing \”Moon River wider than a mile…\” ha ha ha…Nice post!


  9. HI Roselle! Thanks for the shout out last QCIM… Na-miss na kita! Update lang kita… We're back together 😀 Tough road, but we're happier… I am going to wait for your QCIM story! Btw, mukha ka pa din astig kahit naka-skirt ka 😀


  10. Hi there Elkyoshi. Just like you I don't wear gadgets. I can sing if I want to but I just enjoy the silence. 😉 Alright, try singing that song and let me know if it's attuned with every step that you make. 😀


  11. Gigi I was surprised to see you at the starting line. Been a long time not seeing you in races. Haha, astig? Just like you. One of the runners, in fact, asked me if I'm with the air force. naks! 😀


  12. Ha ha… I actually tried singing it and you're right, it's out of sync. I did get to picture Audrey Hepburn sitting on the fire escape playing it on her ukulele though…Good luck on your next race!


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