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Sulong PinoyPinoy iron men represent Manitoba in gruelling races

by Norman Aceron Garcia

Four Filipinos represented Manitoba in two separate Ironman competitions in Alberta and British Columbia on July 24, 2016. Paquito Brucal, Armand Siapno and Norman Garcia competed in the Ironman 70.3 Calgary race (1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, 13.1-mile run) while Ferdinand Del Rosario competed in Ironman Whistler (2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run). They are all members of the Winnipeg-based Sulong Triathlon Group.

Ironman triathlon races are considered one of the most difficult one-day athletic events in the world.

Paquito Brucal said, “After months of training and one long, gruelling day, I finally reached the finish line. Who would have thought that I could race in all these disciplines on the same day? I’m still surprised about everything.”

Armand Siapno said, “I was emotional when I crossed the finish line because it was a celebration of countless hours of preparation over the span of two years. Also, my entire family was there to cheer, including my dad who flew all the way from the Philippines. It was my dad who taught us the importance of having a goal in life and to do everything to fulfill it. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I could finish this Ironman 70.3 race.”

Ferdinand Del Rosario said, “I tried this because despite its constant reminders of my limitations, it also shows me the amazing things I can do once I overcome them.”

All four triathletes have plans to compete in other Ironman races all over the world.

Norman is a member of Sulong Triathlon Group. For more information, please visit our website at and like us on Facebook at Sulong Triathlon Group.

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Paquito Brucal Norman Garcia
Paquito Brucal after swimming 1.2 miles in the Ironman 70.3 Calgary race
Norman Garcia finishes the Ironman 70.3 Calgary race
Ferdinand Del Rosario Armand Siapno
Ferdinand Del Rosario grinding his way through the mountain roads of Whistler, British Columbia
Armand Siapno completes 90-kilometre cycling portion of the Ironman 70.3 race in Calgary, Alberta