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A year after hubby's conquest, Laarni Paredes shares own Norseman Triathlon story

By Ivan Saldajeno

MAKATI--Last year, Omar Paredes shared the toughness of the Norseman Xtreme Triathlon, arguably the toughest triathlon race on Earth.

[Related Story: Omar Paredes reveals toughness of historic Norseman triathlon conquest]

Last Aug. 5, upon a comedic calling out by him, it was his wife's turn to try the grueling race.

On Monday, Laarni Paredes bared the hardships of racing through the cold weather of Norway for almost the whole day.

"Yung langoy ang nakakatakot kasi 5 a.m. yun, wala pang araw. Tapos pagtalon mo zero visibility pa," Laarni, who just returned on Thursday from Eidfjord with Omar, said to a group of sportswriters about how she swam through the very cold water.

The 3.8-kilometer swim, however, was just the start of the "torture".

"Mas nahirapan ako sa bike. One [hundred] eighty [kilometers] kasi yun. Tapos there were portions na may snow pa. Then towards the end of the bike, yung last 20 kilometers, meron pa yung downhill tapos winding tapos bangin na yun," she shared how the biking part went.

Luckily for her, she and her husband Omar went to Norway early July or barely a month before the Aug. 5 race which helped her a lot in preparing.

"Iba pa rin [ang training sa Norway] kasi doon sa Baguio, nag-ba-bike kami doon wala pa nga kaming jacket, OK lang eh. Doon [sa Norway], hindi pwede. May wind factor pa yun eh. Kung 12 degrees [Celsius], if you are standing, OK lang. Pero pag nag-ba-bike ka na, mahangin at malamig. Mag-chi-chill ka talaga," continued the female Paredes.

What made the race even tougher for her was that it seemed like she was set to race on a good Saturday weather as the skies were clear the day before only for the storm to somehow change her game plan at the 11th hour.

"Never trust the Norweigan weather," Omar, added.

Laarni, however, downplayed the weather factor and said the path of the race alone can be a boon or a bane for her and 249 other racers.

"Ang malaking factor doon ay yung difficulty kasi ng course," she further said.

Despite the said factors, Paredes overcame all of them and finished the Norseman, becoming the second Filipino right after her husband and the first Filipina to do so.

"Inisip ko lang yung mga taong nag-support and nag-offer ng prayer," she bared her motivation to finish the race.

Paredes stepped on the finish line at 17 hours and 35 minutes, good for 19th place among 45 females who made the 250-athlete short list for this year's race, the 15th edition of the said triathlon.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno