June 22, 2024

The Ibaloy family of triathletes will soon represent the country along with other Filipino athletes after qualifying for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships set later this year.  
International triathlon union level 1 coach Lou Ann Hamada-Ramos and her son, Josh, a member of the national triathlon team, took on the challenge of the Ironman 70.3 in Lubbock, Texas, United States on June 27.
The mother and son triathlete swam 1.9 kilometers in the chilly Dunbar Lake, biked 90 kms. on the windy country roads of Texas then ran 21 kms. inside Texas Tech University.
Josh finished eighth place in the 18 to 24 years old group with a total time of four hours and 39 minutes.
“This was Josh’s first time to race the long course distance, which immediately earned him a slot to the world championships,” said Josh’s father, Jet.
The mother, meanwhile, finished the course in six hours and 28 minutes, finishing in 25th place and earning her a slot to the world championship in the 35 to 39 age group.
The Ironman 70.3 in Lubbock is the longest running Ironman 70.3 race in Texas, and one of the oldest Ironman 70.3 races in the U.S.
The mother and son will join Jet, who initially qualified for a slot two years ago during the 70.3 Cebu Ironman competition. 
The trio would then join forces with the other qualifiers of the eight-member Filipino team that would represent the country in the world championships on Sept. 17 to 18 in St. George, Utah.
Also, the younger Ramos, 15-year-old Dash, took on the challenge and finished second overall in his age category at the Take on the Heat Triathlon held at the Colony, Texas.
He swam 300 meters, biked 15 kms., ran five kms., and finished the race in 51 minutes.
The family, which is completed by Ramos’ youngest son, 13-year-old Arrow, looks forward to another race in Washington State this August before they all head to Utah in September.
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.
The Ironman 70.3 series 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