07 Aug2014


We were in Cebu for this year’s Ironman Race, not because we were in it, but because we had to feed some of the hordes of participants that were swarming the island of Mactan for several days before and after the race. With over 2,500 participants (all slots taken within four hours of registration being posted), this annual event is a display of sheer hormonal determination, incredible training, square meters of lycra and other stretch materials, millions of pesos in paraphernalia like PHP200,000 bikes(!), and this year, incredibly pothole ridden roads that had (I can only wince and imagine) I don’t know what effect on the gonads of male cyclists. In this photo up top, the lead car passed by our Zubuchon Marina branch some 34 minutes into the race, after a 1.9 kilometer swim was completed (in 20 minutes or so by the leaders), a change onto bikes done, and about 5 kilometers into the 90 kilometer bike leg…


The four men at the front of the pack, several minutes ahead of the nearest contenders…


…I kept clicking shots hoping to get a picture of the F-1 racer Jensen Button, on orders of the daughter, but I don’t think I managed to get one. It’s kind of hard to pick out individuals unless you know their race numbers, though Piolo Pascual makes such a ruckus whenever he passes that you can hear the screams from the crowds seconds before he whizzes by, occasionally waving at fans… (seriously? and he finished in the top few hundred despite this, so kudos to him).


The crowds turned out in full force, including thousands of students with flags who lined the route, ostensibly to help with crowd control, but one of them crossed the road and got hit by a cyclist somewhere in Mandaue! On the bridge from Mactan to Cebu, a policeman likewise managed to get hit (and fractured some bones) by a cyclist who continued with the race. But overall, there were no reports of more serious or fatal injuries this time around.


It always amazes me what drive and determination these contestants have to complete a 1.9 kilometer swim, followed by a 90 kilometer bike race, then a 21 kilometer run — and this is just HALF of a full Ironman Race. Yipes. I ONCE biked over 150 kilometers overnight for a high school charity event in my teens, so I have briefly toyed with the idea of training up for the bike leg of this Ironman Race, but visions of fainting at the top of the Mactan bridge have quickly brought me back to reality.


Also, I am not sure I could find an appropriate stretch suit for my 50 year old frame. :)


Mind you, there were several folks who whizzed by that weren’t exactly svelte. A couple of folks (men and women) that looked 50-100 pounds overweight in fact, but they finished the darned leg, so anything is possible I suppose. And extra kudos to them.


This would be the color of my skin if I trained seriously for next year’s event.


Two hours after my first photos, the leaders whizzed back, here the second place cyclist on his way back to the Shangrila Hotel. They looked and pedaled stronger than when they first came by…


Not all Cebuanos are enamored with this race, as it shuts down roads and causes incredible traffic jams while it is on. For an hour or two, the road from the airport is at a complete standstill and solid bumper to bumper cars all the way back to the terminal. Tourists can’t get to beachside hotels for a period of 6 hours. Restaurants along the route are empty until late in the day. So Mrs. MM and Daughter arriving on a PAL flight halfway through the race was not the smartest idea. Instead of a kilometer walk in the hot sun, Chief of Stuff borrowed our bartender’s motorcycle and went to go pick them up at the airport. Mrs. MM in the photo above, game to do her first ever “habal-habal” ride (sans helmet even as there wasn’t an extra one) snaking through traffic and eventually making it minutes later to the Marina Mall branch we were waiting at.


At the sight of their chauffeured motorcycle curbside at the airport (they had not been forewarned and were resigned to walking) the teen said, incredulous, “Seriously??“… but enjoyed her transfer to restaurant nonetheless, even if COS had to use the empty opposing lane (a pet peeve of mine) to get through quicker. :)



  1. joyyy says:

    Mrs. MM’s photo is too funny! They’re so game with it and I adore them even more…

    Aug 7, 2014 | 9:34 am


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  3. AM says:

    Love your whole family’s sense of adventure and your witty remarks! :)))

    Aug 7, 2014 | 9:50 am

  4. Kasseopeia says:

    Love the photos of Mrs MM and The Lady on the bike. They are so game! I admit that the first ride is scary, but it is convenient during traffic jams. Like tiny ants, bikes can slip between lanes and larger vehicles.

    I used to HATE riding in tandem on the bike, but I realized I hated driving more.

    I have never made it beyond a 10km run so I guess Ironman is NOT for me. I think YOU could do it, tho, MM ;) Pictures when it happens!

    Aug 7, 2014 | 12:40 pm

  5. scott says:

    the picture of Mrs MM..so funny, a good woman you married MM

    Aug 7, 2014 | 12:49 pm

  6. manny says:

    Am sure team Zubuchon had their own Ironman Race to feed the visitors!

    Aug 7, 2014 | 2:40 pm

  7. elaine says:

    I so love how you inject humor in your posts! And your family’s sense of adventure is just awesome.

    Aug 7, 2014 | 3:43 pm

  8. Clarissa says:

    I am wondering how much food (and how many more lechons) was consumed in that weekend compared to the average weekend sales of your restaurant. Good for business, :) Lechon is a great reward after a triathlon! :)

    Aug 7, 2014 | 4:37 pm

  9. Natie says:

    So much fun to read this post I was looking forward to! Best part was the rescue mission of the MM ladies.

    Iron Man NYC was this Sunday also.

    Aug 7, 2014 | 7:19 pm

  10. F says:

    I was also shocked to hear about the P200k bikes, only to be told that these were “just” middle of the range models and brands. That’s a lot of bubblegum

    Aug 7, 2014 | 10:01 pm

  11. La Emperor says:

    MM, perhaps you should field in a team ( from your staff ) to join the race next year. :) Then you can blog their training and preparation.

    I remember vividly the traffic that welcomed us a couple years ago when we landed in Mactan during the middle of the race. Standstill and trapped was a good description.

    Mrs. MM is way too funny in that photo. Exhilarating ride it must have been.

    Aug 8, 2014 | 12:58 am

  12. millet says:

    MM and family, you guys are too funny! and yes, i still don’t get the ironman, or any marathon for that matter ;-) bet the spa people of mactan were busy for days afterwards.

    Aug 8, 2014 | 8:05 am

  13. olive says:

    Bravo Mrs. MM!

    Aug 8, 2014 | 9:30 am

  14. Marketman says:

    F, you are right, I stuck to the mid-range models at the risk of getting fish-panned, but we had dine in guests that sat NEXT to their bikes outdoors that I am told ran into the half million mark. Yipes. And after the race, several guests, either relieved they made it to the finish line OR had won a bet against someone who said they wouldn’t, consumed several bottles of champagne and single malt whiskies, each bottle would have easily purchased a REALLY nice racer bike for mere mortals like us. :)

    Aug 8, 2014 | 11:41 am

  15. MP says:

    Wow, I was more impressed with Mrs MM riding the bike than the IM participants hahaha. Tried doing that but got the scare of my life so I swore never again!

    Aug 8, 2014 | 12:27 pm

  16. Muzzy says:

    MM, my brother competed in this race. He’s over 50. You look in better shape than he. So you should give it a shot.

    Aug 8, 2014 | 1:36 pm

  17. Ging says:

    MM, you have a great shot of everything! Make sure you take one of me next year hahaha i missed out on the registration for this year and was number 68 on the waiting list. ….and oh, by the way, my bike sleeps in the room with me too…and goes to the bike spa every 2 weeks hahaha

    Aug 9, 2014 | 3:31 pm

  18. FJayCrusier says:

    Ironman is good for the economy, it puts us in the map of endurance sports. Bikes and shoes as well as swimming gears cost a lot but nothing should bar a man from testing the limits of his strength. In the end, the human race benefits from this kind of self-imposed cruelty just to assess one’s strength and weaknesses. It is a personal SWOT done on land and sea. Pushing our limits beyond the normal capabilities is just a way of making our genes better. Should have joined this year’s event were it not for the Bar exams. Thanks MM for the glimpse of this wonderful sports which has made Cebu more famous.

    Aug 11, 2014 | 8:22 pm

  19. Betchay says:

    I read in the papers that BIR is now eyeing the organizers and winners of Ironman!

    Aug 11, 2014 | 9:37 pm

  20. Kit says:

    Oh Ironman. I had sleepless nights preparing those meters and meters of spandex. Don’t you worry MM. If you decided to join, I assure you, the suit will fit.:))

    Aug 12, 2014 | 7:56 am

  21. Marketman says:

    Kit, OMG, you custom make the suits? I am so there. If only to have a pig on one butt cheek and a fish on the other… instant sponsors, and I haven’t even started training yet. :)

    Aug 12, 2014 | 4:05 pm


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