Versatility and the ability to adapt to changing conditions proved to be the key to victory in the Penong’s 5150 Davao held July 7, 2019 at the Waterfront Hotel in Davao City.
The winners – Jakub Langhammer in the Men’s Pro Category, Dimity-Lee Duke in the Women’s Pro Category and John Leerams Chicano in the Asian Elite – were unanimous in saying they won because they successful changed their strategy to adapt to the change in the race.
Originally scheduled as an Olympic distance triathlon (1.5k swim, 40k bike and 10k run) the Penong’s 5150 Davao was changed to a (2.5k run, 40k bike and 10k run) Duathlon by Sunrise Events and the IRONMAN Group after testing concluded that the water quality in the swim area was not suitable for recreational use.
Langhammer, from the Czech Republic, said he trained a specific way to prepare for the race but had to adopt a new game plan in reaction to the changes.
“I had to change strategy because of the conditions. In the end I was happy because there was no swim. Mitch (Robins) is so fast in the swim. I completely changed my race strategy and I think in the end it was good,” said Langhammer who climbed from fourth place after the first run to take the lead in the bike part of the race.
Duke, an Aussie based in Thailand, said it was the first time in her career to race in a Duathlon but nonetheless gamely did her best.
“You don’t train for it. It’s different. You do have to make sure that the first run is quite controlled. If you don’t then you get on that bike really tired. For me I felt the first 20 kilometers of that bike. You know, I just didn’t have the legs,” said Duke who was able to adjust but only during the second half of the bike ride.
“Then it’s the run again. It’s a little bit different. The run has to be controlled again. Definitely different strategy. Different process of how you manage yourself. Even hydration point of view is totally different.”
Chicano, a Filipino who is a member of the Go For Gold Training Team, said he gave his best. He was actually very happy to be just competing in the Penong’s 5150 Davao against some of the best in the world in the sport.
“I really appreciate being given a chance like this. To be able to race side-by-side with the pros who are the best in the sport. I am thankful to Sunrise Events for organizing this race. This is a great race especially for those like me who dream of being a pro triathlete someday,” said Chicano.
“This race gives amateurs like me a chance to assess our abilities. To measure if there are any improvements. I believe Filipinos have the potential to become pros. So my message to my fellow Filipino athletes is to never give up because I think we can run and compete with the best in the sport.”
It’s difficult to predict the result of any athletic competition with certainty because by its very nature keen competition between the best is virtually unpredictable.
The winners of the Penong’s 5150 Davao were able to overcome not just their competitors but also the changed conditions. They were best at adapting to the change and emerged victorious because of their versatility.