Posted on: Sunday August 19, 2018

CamSur’s Caramoan hosts 4th Swimjunkie Challenge
The Swimjunkie Challenge was held for the 4th time last August 19, 2018 in the pristine waters of Caramoan, Camarines Sur by Swimjunkie Swimming Inc. in partnership with the Provincial Government of Camarines Sur. The event is comprised of 5K Island Swim, 10K Island Swim, and 10K Marathon Swim Challenge open for swimmers from all over the globe.


Caramoan has been a location choice for multiple international shows and is now the race central of the Swimjunkie Challenge. “We chose Caramoan because we knew that it will be perfect for the 10K open water swim. Our ultimate goal is to make the Philippines a destination for open water swim,” said Swimjunkie Managing Director Betsy Medalla. “One way of doing that is by showing that we are capable of running a professional and safe race in a beautiful location,” she added. 

      Swimjunkie Challenge covers four beaches and 3 coral fields, specifically the Gota Beach, Hunongan Cove, Lahos Island and Matukad Island. This year, a total of 130 participants from all over the world joined the  Swimjunkie Challenge in Caramoan.

      Manja Mahlig from Germany, who joined the 5k Island Swim Challenge, gleefully shared, “It is my very first time to join an open water swim challenge and it was a wonderful experience.” When asked about what encouraged her to join the Swimjunkie Challenge, she said, “It was the island hopping! I have island stops in between for the 5k. It’s very beautiful. Coming to Caramoan is seeing something of the Philippines. It was my motivation.”

The 5k Island Swim was championed by Nadler Bolima for male and Lhaarny Agnas for female categories. In the 10k Island Swim, the overall champion for male was Antonio Salamangue and Lorena Agnas for female category. For the 10k Marathon Swim, Ron Jairus Villamor bested in the male and Erica Kristy Lukang topped in the female categories.  Each challenge also has different categories for both male and female aging 9-19 years old, 20-29 years old, 30-39 years old, 40-49 years old, 50-59 years old and 60-69 years old.

      “I trained every day. I am very happy finishing the challenge. It was unexpected that I happen to finish first,” shared Albert Jose Amaro, 11 years old who was among the youngest competitor for the 5k Island Swim Challenge and ranked in first place for the 9-19 years old category. “I joined other swim competitions and won. I want to make my parents proud and that is what encouraged me to join Swimjunkie Challenge,” he also added.  

       To help ensure the safety and security of the swimmers in the entire area, the provincial government, through the Environment, Disaster Management, and Emergency Response Office and the Provincial Health Office coordinated with the Philippine Coast Guard, Philippine Army, Philippine Red Cross, Bureau of Fire and Protection, and five Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Offices.

      Twenty seven pontoon swimmers and on-foot medical teams were deployed in the area. Quick-response boats, ambulance boats, evacuation boats, and first aid stations, comprised of doctors, nurses, and rescuers, were stationed across the swim route and islands.

      “Weeks before, we have been preparing for the things needed especially for the advance medical post. The Incident Management Team (IMT) is a very important part of this event. As part of our commitment to serve as a nurse, it is essential that we are here in case of emergency especially that there was a recent jellyfish incident. Our knowledge and expertise are significant for the IMT of the Swimjunkie,” shared Jofloren Krestel Regalado, Program Manager of the Provincial Health Office (PHO).  


       The Swimjunkie Challenge started in 2015 to show Philippines’ world class open water swim courses and gather swimmers around the globe. The first swim challenge, also held at Caramoan, was the biggest long distance open water swim gathering in the Philippines. Swimjunkie Swimming Inc. also conducted their swim challenges in El Nido, Palawan last June 10, 2018 and in Lobo, Batangas last May 6, 2018. Caramoan is the last of the Swimjunkie series held in the Philippines.  

Written By: Kyna De Castro

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