San Pedro has another reason to be proud of its athletes as island residents participated in the 13th Annual Lionman Triathlon Competition in Belize City which took place on Sunday, September 2, 2012. Kent Gabourel, Eric Donis and Daniel Gregorio participated in this year’s competition and proudly brought back home medals and trophies.
Competitors battled it out against each other and against the scorching heat giving it their all and doing their best to finish the race. This is Kent and Eric’s second time participating in the Lionman Triathlon as a team and the first time they participated as individuals. Eric was the first to come out of the water for the 1500m swim and won first place in the Junior Division of the Triathlon and 13th in the overall competition.
Kent “aka Bob” Gabourel placed 6th in the overall competition and 4th in the Elite Category. Eric Donis, Daniel Gregorio and Patricia Chavarria competed as a team for the triathlon and placed 3rd in the overall competition.
The Lionman Triathlon was first held in September 2000 and is Belize’s annual flagship triathlon event and is the toughest multi-sport event in the country. The Lionman is conducted at the standard Olympic distances which entail a 1500m (0.93 miles) swim; a 40km (24.8 miles) bike ride and a 10km (6.2 miles) run for both individual (male and female) and corporate team events.
So what’s next for these two super athletes of La Isla Bonita? Well, Eric Donis will be representing the country of Belize as part of the National Team in the CODACADIR games in the track and field competition on September 23, 2012. And both Kent and Eric also plan on training for ½ and Full Marathon that will take place in Placencia this December.
On behalf of community Ambergris Today takes this opportunity to congratulate Kent, Eric and Daniel on their win and wishes them the very best in their future endeavors.
How the Lionman Triathlon Began:
In 1999, Efrain “Beeps” Phillips had an idea. Well, sort of. He was always a sports enthusiast at heart and used to play basketball competitively. But his idea did not involve basketball. It involved cycling, a sport in which his older brother Mike excelled during the 1980's.
As a Customs Officer working at the Port Authority Warehouse, Phillips first became interested in wanting Customs personnel to compete with Port employees in mountain bike races for bragging rights. A few races were in fact staged. However, the participation was lower than expected. Phillips decided to move away from a departmental event to a national appeal in sport.
After one day listening to some Port Authority personnel accused him of only being interested in bike races, he became motivated to look at other sport alternatives. One day while watching television, he saw a triathlon being broadcast live in the United States. That was when the idea hit him—a triathlon.
Phillips discussed his brainchild with his work colleagues. It was not a hard sell because of its novelty, and by September 2000, the first-ever Lionman Triathlon, was staged in Belize City, Belize.