Meet the Borlains

Lapu Lapu, Cebu
August 3, 2014
Meet the Borlains

It was a scene straight from the movies. A shy, contented girl defying overwhelming odds and then waiting for her younger sister to cross the finish line. When the latter did check in crying, the former welcomed her with a warm, comforting hug. If you’re not touched by it, I don’t what is.
This exact same scene we personally witnessed at the finish line of the Alaska IronKids Philippines, which served as a precursor to the Cobra IronMan 70.3 Philippines scheduled the day after also here in this paradise island where the legend of a national hero named Lapu Lapu was borne. Of course, we’re covering this weekend of triathlon heaven for The Philippine STAR and affiliate papers Pilipinas Star Ngayon, Pang Masa (PM),, Digital Philstar and Cebu-based Freeman. And then Sportsmaryosep.

The girl we’re referring to here is 12-year-old Samantha Borlain, or just Sam. Her younger sister is 11-year-old Tara. And here’s their story (Part of the piece I wrote for The STAR):

Sisters Samantha and Tara Borlain had mixed feelings when they reached the finish line of the Alaska IronKids Philippines at the posh Shangri-La Mactan Beach Resorts and Spa here yesterday.
Hugging each other at the end of the race, Samantha, the elder one at 12 years old, was happy she won her first race and at the same time sad it was against her younger sibling. Tara, 11, was crying, being unfamiliar with losing and happy at the same time it was a Borlain ending up the winner.
“Part of me was trying to celebrate, another part was worrying about my sister and where she was at that time,” Samantha told The STAR after topping the 11-12 category in 35.01, securing her first victory in this annual race sponsored by Alaska Milk.
“So when I saw her (Tara) finally making it to the finish line, I saw her crying so I hugged her and tried to comfort her,” she added.
Tara, who came in a minute and 41 seconds off the pace, just cried, hugged her sister and went under the shade where no one would see her shed tears. She was then joined by Samantha and her dad, Ringo, for a family hug.
She was still crying when she agreed to an interview.
“It’s part of life. In a race, you win some and you lose some. I’m comforted and proud that she (Samantha) won,” said Tara, who won the first three stagings of the race, beating Samantha in all of it before last year’s postponement due to inclement weather.


Here’s another story I wrote also from The STAR from way back:


Sisters Tara and Sam Borlain completed a 1-2 finish in the girls (9-10 years old) division to highlight the Alaska IronKids Philippines Triathlon that started and ended at the posh Shangri-La Mactan Resorts and Spa grounds here yesterday.
Tara checked in first at 16 minutes and 48.9 seconds, raised her hands and blew kisses to the delight of the appreciative weekend crowd that watched the third staging of the annual event.
It was Tara’s 13th victory since taking up the sport at age six after convincing his father, 2006 Mr. Universe and former San Miguel strength and conditioning coach Ringo Borlain, to train her.
“I like competing, I like running the most because I feel like I’m flying,” said Tara.
Tara’s elder sister, 10-year-old Sam, came in seconds later in 17:16.1 but said she’s happy to cheer for her sister. Everly Macalalad of Tunasan, Muntinlupa wound up third in 18:06.6.
“While Tara’s dream from the start is to make it to the Olympics, Sam is just contented finishing second behind her sister and cheer and support her,” said Ringo Borlain, a former triathlete before turning to bodybuilding.


In case you don’t know, Sam and Tara belong to a family of triathletes. Their father, Ringo, is a popular bodybuilder, part-time conditioning coach and full-time family man. His wife, Carol, is a banker but is also exposed to the sport especially on weekends. Their eldest son, 24-year-old Jess and 23-year-old Jamie is in volleyball and 16-year-old Jason in basketball.



The youngest of the Borlains is six-year-old Franchezka, who is, like Sam and Tara, is also into triathlon. All Ringo, Sam and Tara agreed that Franchezka is the fearless, daredevil in the family. In fact, Ringo recounts an incident when his youngest kid nose-dived to a hard, paved road while biking, Franchezka didn’t cry. “She was like when I was carrying her, with blood on her lip and nose, she told me “Dad, I’m okay. You can let go of me now,'” says Ringo.

But we got the chance to talk to Franchezka and here’s how it went:

Sportsmaryosep: Hi, how are you?
Franchezka: (Sheepish smile)
S: How was your race?
F: (Sheepish smile again)
S: What are you feeling right now?
F: Happy.
S: What is your favorite color?
F: (Sheepish smile as usual)
S: What is your favorite subject?
F: English.
S: When is your birthday?
F: February 1 (2008).
S: What’s your hobby?
F: I just want to play.
S: What can you say about Sam and Tara
F: They’re kind.
S: Do you think you can beat them in the future?
F: Someday, I will.

See? She’s funny. And you just met the Borlains.

Follow Sportsmaryosep on Twitter: @JoeySVillar

(Photos courtesy of Jun Mendoza of The Philippine STAR,,,


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