ACROSS THE UNIVERSE
LUKE MCKENZIE IS ONE MAN WHO HAS COME A LONG WAY AND THE JOURNEY ISN'T OVER YET
by PATRICIA CONCEPCION
Australian triathlete Luke McKenzie has been around triathlons since before he even stepped into high school. From manning aid stations at just eight years old to becoming one of the top athletes in the world, this man has certainly come a long way, and is not done yet. Now, however, Luke is fighting for the one dream he has aspired to achieve from the moment he laid eyes on the triathletes who inspired him: to win the Ironman. Here, McKenzie shares with us his humble beginnings as a triathlete, and all that he has yet to achieve.
How did you start out as a triathlete?
Luke McKenzie: When I was young, my parents would take me and my sister to volunteer on the aid stations in triathlons. I was not so good at my job though because I would see the first runner come through and I would run with him for a kilometer or two pretending I was in the race! I finally competed in my first triathlon at the age of 13 and from then on, I knew I wanted to compete in triathlon and ultimately Ironman.
“I haven’t put any limits on what I want to achieve in the sport”
Who is an athlete that you look up to?
LM: My all –time favorite athlete is Craig Walton. I was fortunate enough to train with him as a junior when he was preparing for the Sydney Olympics in 2000. He gave me a lot of advice and was a good role model to me.
What are you expecting from Cobra Energy Drink Ironman 70.3 Philippines?
LM: I have never been to the Philippines. So the culture will be the different aspect. Also, the biggest challenge is that the run will be hot and humid. But I am coming to try and win the event. I am expecting a quality field, and I want to give my best and challenge for the win.
Do you have a regular training regimen?
LM: I have a structure that prepares me for my upcoming events whether it be Ironman 70.3 or Ironman (or both). I usually have a 25- to 35 hour a week training schedule during heavy training.
What are the three main priorities that you set for yourself whenever you join a race?
LM: Finish, give my best, and learn from the mistake.
What is the most challenging aspect of being a triathlete?
LM: at the professional level, I would say it is the travel and trying to deal with foreign countries, cultural differences, and keeping healthy.
What are your future goals?
LM: I haven’t put any limits on what I want to achieve in the sport, I want to win more Ironman titles, and I want to keep on improving, I have been doing the sport for 16 years and Ironman for seven and I still fell like I am improving as an athlete every year. Most of all, I love my job and I think that is the key.
Do you have any special training/ diet in preparation for the Cobra Energy Drink Ironman 70.3 Philippines race?
LM: I will be training in the middle of the day when the weather is the hottest to prepare for the hot and humid conditions of the Philippines.
What are you looking forward to the race?
LM: The swim looks like a fun and unique course. I have heard the crowd is great, too!
THE NATIONS’S FINEST
A GROUP OF RUNNERS TAKES ON A GREAT NAME, FOR A GREAT CAUSE
by PATRICIA CONCEPCION
There are many different reasons for runners to keep going, that little push in the back of their minds that inspires them to move forward and strive to grow and improve. For the iamninoy- iamcory runners (IAN-IAC), that push is their dedication to live up to a big name by making big differences in the best way they can – through running. Jamike Lopa, team member, shares that they’re doing this to help children get the education they deserve, and to bring out the hero in all of us.
What inspired you to take on the name “ iamninoy- iamcory runner”
Jamike lopa: The iamninoy-iamcory Movement is an initiative of the Ninoy & Cory Aquino Foundation, inspired by the selflessness of deposed Philippine heroes Ninoy and Cory Aquino. It is the belief of the group that we can all do selfless acts to help improve the lives of less fortunate individuals. The main goal is to create awareness and raise funds for the beneficiary, the 57:75 Movement Reverse the Education Crisis. It is a conglomeration of various institutions that provide books and education so that more children are able to go to school. The First expose of the group had about 40 members, and today we have about 3,000 registered runners.
How do you all stay in touch?
JL: We train on our own, but communication with the members is done via the blog site (http://iamninoyrunners.wordpress.com) , Facebook (http://www.facebook,com/iamninoy,runners) , or email (firstname.lastname@example.org)
What other events has the team joined to support your cause?
JL: Last February, we mounted our fun run dubbed The EDSA Run, partly in commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the People Power Revolution and to jumpstart the program of the Department of Education (DepEd) to enjoin the private sector and raise funds to build classrooms.
What is the best thing about being a member?
JL: The best thing about being a member of the IAM-IAC is that we are helping children stay in school by doing the sport we love most. As fellow Steering Committee member Jake De Guzman says “We run for others because we have experienced the power of transportation in our own lives. We understanding how seemingly overwhelming tasks are accomplished by simply putting one foot in front of the next.
How can we join the aimninoy-iamcory runners?
JL: Joining is simple. All you have to do is purchase an iamninoy-iamcory runners shirt at the Rudy Project store at