COMING from a long rest, Jenefer Paloma settled for second place in the Dinagat Island Triathlon Race last Thursday, May 18, at Dinagat Island in Caraga Region.
The 23-year-old Paloma had a week-long vacation from practice before deciding to join the competition.
She finished close by two minutes against the champion from Lanao del Norte, who bagged the P50,000 top purse.
Paloma took home P30,000 cash for finishing second in the lung-busting race that covered 1.5 kilometer (km) swim, 40 km biking and 10 km run.
Arriving on Monday in Cagayan de Oro, Paloma had some kind of uneasy feeling. She just spent the whole morning at her house.
“Dili ko kasabot sa akong gibati (I can’t understand what I’m feeling),” said Paloma, whose gargantuan feat was when she qualified in the 2017 Ironman World Challenge after winning the Cobra Ironman 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championships 18-24 female category last year in Cebu.
A Bachelor of Science in Education graduate at Pilgrim Chrisitian College, Paloma was hesitant to open the computer and check on the results of the Licensure Examinations for Teachers. She contented herself to just stay at home and watch TV.
Until her boyfriend, Alex broke the news for her. She made the grade and now a licensed teacher in the country.
“Grabe akong kalipay pag-ingon ni Alex sa balita nga nakapasar ako (I was so happy when Alex told me that I passed),” Paloma shared, adding “Abi ko ba nga sa lumba ra ko mayo (I thought I was only good in racing).”
Her patron in Barangay 21 chairwoman Gilda Go was quick in congratulating the strong-willed runner.
“She took my advice to pursue her dream to become a teacher. The race will always be around,” said Go.
Paloma is set to join a three-day fun ride in Bohol on Friday.
Published in the SunStar Cagayan de Oro newspaper on May 24, 2017.