My Davao Half-Ironman Report

If I managed to race in Dubai 70.3 last 2017 why not in my hometown? This was my thought when they announced it will happen in Davao actually in Mindanao for the first time as the registration were open it was sold out on the First day, I was actually on the waiting list but started my Training anyway around October 2017. I was supposed to do Dubai 70.3 last February 2018 but since I did it there last 2017 I prefer to do it in my hometown, also I can’t afford to do both.


I’m training solo most of the time as my time is limited between Work and babysitting

I don’t follow a specific training plan I just make sure I do the 3 discipline every week I train when I’m having a good sleep and the situation is favorable. 2 Cycling outdoor or indoor, 1 -2 swimming, 2 running outdoor or indoor per week.

I adjusted my weight training in the gym and focus more on lower body and core strengthening workouts, I do light weights load compound workouts only.

My weakest part is running as I’m prone to bursitis on my heels.

My running is limited to short distances with high intensity, I’m still figuring out how to deal with it, My training principle is that during the training days I listen to my body but on Race day I tell my body to shut up and suck it up.


Food timing and macros partitioning are crucial to maintaining body composition and fuel for training.

Rice, oatmeals, gels, electrolyte tabs, protein shakes, chicken, beef, fishes, mixed nuts as snacks

Pre Race Day:

I arrived a week before the race day to acclimatize the weather the humidity and 33 degrees is something to consider. My confidence was up as soon as I tried the swimming course, I felt comfortable even the current was stronger.

My bike had some minor issues but was immediately fixed with the help of a local bike shop. I also took the time to inquire about the bike course and got some tips from the local triathletes. I checked the bike course by driving up to the turning point to familiarize the area this made my confidence got better and felt more excited.

Did the Bike check-In the day before the race, it was all good no issues and claimed the Race kit.

The run course was familiar but during the race briefing Kuya Kim one of the participants the famous weather guy in the Philippines said it’s going to be 35 degrees, from that point I know it will be the hardest part.

Race Day:

My brother booked me a hotel nearby the night before to not worry getting caught up in traffic as a lot of roads were closed as early as 3 am from my house.

It was a wise decision as it was more convenient for me, location wise and food-wise. Open Buffet is good for carboloading at dinner time and as early as 2 am the buffet is open for breakfast so it was good, I ate the same food as usual. The hotel also provides Shuttle bus going to the transition area directly with a police escort I felt very important.

Transition area opened at 4 am I was there exactly 4 am I checked the bike pumped it up, gels are taped on the tube, water and electrolytes are in place, salt sticks attached, race belt with gels, helmet, running socks and shoes, sunglasses, swim caps, swim goggles, vaseline, sunscreen, flip-flops, towels, extra water bottle all are in place.


It’s a rolling start I was categorized in zone 4 (45 minutes to up) our wave was released around 6:20 am I started slowly and did wee-wee at the same time until I got back on my normal pace.

Never in my swimming experience that I felt so safe as every 50 meters, coastguards were floating along the lanes and scuba divers underneath waving at you, the corals and fishes are a plus. I enjoyed the swimming even with the strong current it was manageable.

As I’m about to finish the swim I took the opportunity to wee-wee again on the last 100 meters a wise decision I made before starting the bike. I would say it was the easiest part of all 3. Total swim time 48 minutes.


At the transition, I washed my face with water put the race belt, sunglasses, helmet then run with the bike out. I clipped my bike shoes already and I did it like a pro thanks to experienced, the first 5 km was an easy spin with 30-35kph pace, I passed a lot of participants, from the transition area to the turning point at 45km the crowd are amazing from both sides of the road, I enjoyed waving the crowd like a celebrity as whenever I raised my hand they were shouting and cheering they were hungry for attention.

I was smiling most of the ride, the water station is in every 15 km, Leg cramps are on the verge of happening after 70km, I changed to easy spinning and took salt sticks, as I got down on the bike mount lane cramps hit me in the left hamstring I have to stop before running to transition. Total Bike 2 hours 57 minutes.


At the transition, as I put on my shoes I can feel cramps are going to hit me, I manage to run out the transition, drank a cramp fix liquid that was attached to my race belt and took another salt stick and gels, but the cramps hit me at 2 km mark, I have to walk out to let it down as I reached the second aid station I took gels and water.

As I regain my running form unexpected knee pain strikes me it was annoying and quite sharp, I have to walk it out as I can’t run longer than 2 minutes, at that moment all I can think was the cut off time, I was watching my time and convinced myself if I walk and run I can finish it under 7 hours, I alternate fast walking and running the entire race.

I also realized it’s not going to be a PB this time as I wanted, the scorching heat made me even slower as I have to stop at every station to cool down my body by showering ice-cold water, I drank a lot of water that made me pee in every gasoline station I passed.

On the last 6km I felt more pain in the knees and all I can think was I have to finish it, not only my family is waiting at the finish line, I felt like the whole neighborhood was tracking my race, I felt so pressured to finish it after all this is what I traveled for so I dragged my knees to the finish line, at the last 500 meters I saw Coach Ronald cheering the Fitmates he shook my hands and shouted “you're almost there Fit Kuwait yan” I was thankful for that.

As I saw the finish line the feeling is so overwhelming I can feel my knee pain but when you hear your name announced crossing the finish line “Mark Gil Quilisadio you’re Ironman 70.3” all the pain was replaced with a big smile. Total Run Time 3 hours 5 minutes. Total Time Finish 6 hours 58 minutes.

I've crossed that line before but every finish line is a different story. I feel so proud of what I did, I told myself this is what I’m good at the thing that makes my heart beat faster, the thing that scares me but excites me. My dad hugs me tightly and I felt emotional. I made them worry so much it was the first time they saw me racing and it was too much for them to comprehend why would someone do that they were worried the whole race time. Overall it was great experience something I can share and treasure for the rest of my life.

What went wrong?

Salt sticks and cramp fix liquid is taken too late

Not enough long run during training

I train with new shoes but race with the older shoes

Sleeveless Tri-suits is not ideal if the weather is too hot

Drank too much liquid, too much wee-wee time

Stay longer in the finish line and take your time to let the photographers take a good shot

What went well?

Enjoyed the swim course very safe

Wee-wee time before and after the swim on the course

Wave and smile to the crowd cheering you at the bike course

Stayed at the closest hotel the night before the race

Use of 2 pieces Tri-suit instead of 1 piece easy for wee-wee time

Support of family and friends made a Big difference

Some thoughts to take:

It’s not about the PB’s anymore when circumstances arise learn to enjoy the race

When you're training always listen to your body but when racing suck it up and go

It doesn’t matter if you train solo what matters is you train for it

The body can be trained, the mind can trick the body but your heart will bring you to the finish line.

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