An Ironman Miracle

With the easing COVID restrictions, races are now getting back into swing, and foreigners are now able to travel to participate. One such person came to us needing assistance to fulfill his participation in the 2022 Ironman Philippines. Our resources to help in his situation would have been limited under normal circumstances. We were however able to provide so much more due to several coincidences that happened simultaneously, it was almost miraculous.

This fellow is a Canadian named Connor and he came to us one Thursday afternoon, desperately looking for a bike to rent.

He flew to Manila to participate in the Ironman Philippines 2022 to be held the following Sunday. He landed that Thursday morning only to find out that an airline issue got his bike got left behind in Korea. Having less than 3 days to spare is far too short to be having this kind of problem, especially for a stranger in a foreign land.

We normally do not rent out bikes but we wanted to help so we still invited him over to see what we have that he may be able to use.

The challenge with his situation is that he stands 6'3 tall, a stature that is rare in the general Filipino population, more so in this sport. He requires a size 62 frame size, something we do not take stock of unless specifically ordered. The biggest frame sizes we normally have are sizes 54 to 56, which are far too small for him.

Coincidentally, however, one of our clients is wanting to sell his old triathlon bike and he sent it over to be displayed in the shop on that same day. He is a former professional basketball player of caucasian descent and his bike is a size 62. It quickly became apparent that his bike was going to be the only option so we contacted him and he generously granted permission. He did not even ask for a rental fee, just for a guarantee that his bike will be returned.

We already got the bike covered for Connor but there are still a couple more things he was missing. He needed a helmet which David, the shop owner, provided from his personal collection. He also needed pedals with cleats to match, of which we had spares. Bottle cages and hydration accessories were also thrown in. Then he also needed shoes. Like the bike, his shoe size is also highly uncommon for us. Again by coincidence, we still had one pair left that fits him.

Connor fully geared up riding through the IM bike course

 

The last thing he needed was transportation to the race venue in the municipality of Subic which is about 3 to 4 hours away from Manila. It was already evening at this point and the poor guy hasn't even had time to think of how he will get himself there. Considering his luggage, regular public transportation was not feasible. We planned for him to come back to the shop the next morning, then we were to arrange hired private transportation for him. Everything was somewhat settled but we weren’t completely out of the woods yet. But still, his luck continued to pour.

At that late hour, Rico, another one of our clients who happen to also be a good friend to the shop and its owner, came by to get some last-minute servicing done to his bike. He and Connor got on to chatting about how they were both doing the race. Upon learning of the foreigner's situation, Rico mentioned that he is already heading for Subic that evening and unhesitatingly offered to hitch Connor a ride right then and there. He even offered to lend more gear if needed.

More than a free ride, Connor now also found himself a local host and a new friend.

 

Rico and Connor chillin' at the IM Subic Venue

 

After the pleasantries and gratitudes, they headed off into the night leaving us all in awe of what just transpired. Connor must have done or is doing something really good in his life for fortune to shine so brightly at him that day. He was dealt a bad card but the fates doubly made up for it to make sure his efforts would not go to waste.

Speaking of those efforts, we looked Connor up on social media afterward and found out that this race is more than just one-off participation for him. He is aiming to set the world record of becoming the youngest person to complete full Ironman events in six continents, and this was his fifth one. So much would have gotten derailed had things gone differently.

More than just luck, he was just extremely blessed that day, and the rest of that weekend judging from the social media posts we saw.

He got himself more new friends and teammates courtesy The Next Week Tri team

 

This is only our perspective in this story and Connor surely will have more details to share about his whole experience. Find him on social media to know more about this world record endeavor. Put in some support as he’s also made a charitable pledge as part of this campaign.

Here’s the link to his Global Ironman Project: https://mosea.io/events/4a8236be-d4b9-43f8-b127-9e08fe942f00

 

(L-R) Paula, Martin, Connor, David, Rico, and Arlo back at The Bike CO.OP

 

Thanks to the people who helped make this happen:

  • Richard “Dickey” Bachmann
  • David Almendral
  • Rico Escaler
  • Edrian Ricafort
  • Paula Oafallas
  • Yano Jazul
  • Martin Punzalan
  • Jeffrey Fontelera

 

Gear Provided

 

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