June 6, 2023

Members of an Ibaloy triathlete family have carried the country’s flag as they successfully finished the grueling 70.3 Ironman World Championship in St. George, Utah, United States on Sept. 18.

While they were not podium finishers, the Ramos family of Baguio made history as the only Filipino family to see action in one of the toughest races in the world.

The family was powered through by father, Jet, who crossed the finish line in four hours, 55 minutes, and 47 seconds (4:55:47) while his 19-year-old son, Josh, completed the race in 5:10:46.

Jet’s wife, Lou Ann, hurdled the race in 6:57:25.

“While most of the time only the ‘good’ is what you see, we have been met with countless challenges along the way. We would have wanted a better outcome but results like this only make us love the journey even more. It’s always a matter of perspective,” said the 40-year-old Jet.

With the pandemic halting most races locally and internationally, the family’s achievement is no small feat.

Two other members of the Ramos family, Dash, 15, and Arrow, 13, did not join the Ironman race but were part of the family’s trainings in the U.S.

“Honestly this was never planned.In our minds, it was something impossible to fathom. But as always, God’s plan left us speechless. As the Ironman saying goes: ‘Anything is possible’ and with God, it is possible,” Jet said.

The Ramos family shared their successful race with fellow Filipino athletes who were also successful finishers were Epoy Timbol who finished with a time of 4:46:44, Retzel Orquiza –5:41:55, Darryl Parulan – 5:49:51, Jeff Parulan – 6:54:47, Vanj Endaya – 6:56:11, and Tom Navasero – 7:15:58.

During the qualifier Ironman 70.3 in Lubbock, Texas on June 27, Lou Ann, an international triathlon union level 1 coach, and Josh, a member of the national triathlon squad, took on the challenge.

Lou Ann finished the course in 6:28:00 finishing in 25th place and earning her a slot to the world championship in the 35 to 39 age group.

Josh, meanwhile, finished eighth place in the 18 to 24 years old category with a total time of 4:39:00.

Jet initially qualified for a slot two years ago during the 70.3 Cebu Ironman competition.

The Ironman 70.3, also known as a half Ironman, is one of a series of long-distance triathlon races organized by the World Triathlon Corporation. It culminates each year with a World Championship competition, for which competitors qualify during the 70.3 series in the 12 months prior to the championship race. – Ofelia C. Empian