First the ‘bad’ news: Maiqui Dayrit will not be able to do his annual ‘Maiqui’s Ironman’ at the 9th Gabriel’s Symphony Foundation (GSF) multi-Sport Celebration to be held on September 3 at the Alabang Country Club in Muntinlupa.
But not to worry. The good news is that Maiqui has committed to bring his advocacy over to Kona, Hawaii where he will compete alongside the world’s best triathletes at the 2011 World Ironman Championships this coming October 8!
Dayrit, who has been doing an annual Ironman fundraiser since 2005 for the kids of GSF to celebrate his birthday, qualified for the World Championships when he placed third in his age-group at the 3rd Cobra Ironman 70.3 held in Camarines Sur last August 14.
Showing his finest form yet at the annual triathlon event, Maiqui finished the course with a time of five hours, three minutes and 47 seconds (5:03:47), earning him third place honors in the men’s 40-44 years age-group. Over 1,000 athletes from 28 countries participated in this year’s edition of the Cobra Ironman 70.3, which consisted of a tough course of a 1.9-km swim, 90-km bike and 21.1-km run.
“I’m turning 40 on September 11. Raising funds for the kids would be the perfect way to celebrate the big ‘Four-Zero’ but I unexpectedly qualified for Kona last Sunday August 14!” Dayrit shared in an interview.
He added: “Unfortunately, my aging body might not recover in time for Kona [if he does an Ironman at the GSF event on Sept.3] so I’ve decided to take the Gabriel’s Symphony with me to Kona this year!”
And a plea for his sponsors and friends: “I hope my loyal sponsors understand and still donate. I really can’t let the kids down!”
This means that Maiqui will swim 3.86 kms., bike 180.25 kms. and run 42.195 kms. in Kona not only to mark a personal milestone, but also to carry the Philippine colors and continue his advocacy to help differently abled children!
It should be recalled that on his fifth ‘Maiqui’s Ironman’ last year, Dayrit already surpassed the P1-million mark in terms of donations and pledges for the GSF. Reaching the finish line at past six in the evening, Maiqui was greeted and cheered by friends and some of the children he has helped over the years. Expressing their gratitude, the children presented him with a birthday cake, card and sang him a birthday song.
Every kilometer he has worked and sweated for has been worth it, swears Maiqui, even as he looks forward to carrying on his annual Ironman this October and for years to come.
Congratulations and more power to Maiqui in Kona!
For more information on ‘Maiqui’s Ironman’ and the 9th GSF Multi-Sport Celebration, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo: Maiqui Dayrit (in blue shirt and white cap) with fellow triathletes Senator Pia Cayetano, GSF Founder, and TV host Drew Arellano draw cheers from the ‘Barefoot Running Kids’ of Daang Hari at the finish line of the 8th Gabriel’s Symphony Multi-Sport Celebration last year.