We arrived on Thursday by Air Asia. Lyn was at the airport but I was doing my own arrangements. I somehow rented a car for the first time. The terms were too good. Only RM60 per day for a one month old Wira Hatchback. How do they make money?? Lyn was going to charge my wife and me RM110 for airport transfers only.
The Wira is more spacious compared to my Kenari for putting the bike. But its a lousy car (sorry), so difficult to get out from the seat. Anyway its travel in style. The chicks were getting a lift from me (my wife complained so I got the message). I even parked the car at the Jetty car park during the race, so no need to walk back, so spoilt.
I had booked at the Eagle Bay (formerly Central) in advance at RM95 per night. When I saw the room, it was the worst Hotel Room I have ever seen. Sea View was full, so Lyn suggested the new Baron Hotel. We checked the room, it was brand new and the rate was RM90 per day. Baron Hotel is by the "black" river on the edge of Kuah Town. We paid the RM50 penalty to Eagle Bay and checked into Baron Hotel. Good decision.
Well we were early and had a car. Friday morning we drove around the Island. Saw Pantai Cenang, Pantai Kok Bay? (where the yatches are), the picturesque Petronas Quay Station, Cable Car (its recommended but that day it was closed due to the windy conditions), Telaga Tujuh / Waterfall (my wife had a tough time walking up the steps), Pantai Pasir Hitam (dirty due to rubbish left behind by visitors), another Pantai Kok (on the race route).
It was indeed lovely, clear blue sky, beautiful scenery. Oops we went to "Waterworld" (RM28 per person). It has tiny penguins, anaconda, parrot, fishes etc. OK lah, wife want to see.
Pre race training
On thursday it was 50km of warm up on the bicycle route. On Friday I did the full 60km lap. I didn't see anyone else training, so "I was confident I would win the race". On Saturday, I did a 25 min swim at the Jetty. It was awful, constant stinging on the body and the current was taking me everywhere. The "Rescue" people followed me every step of the way. I think three of them was following me alone. Thats when I said hi to Jason Shortis who is a very nice humble fellow.
Catching up with friends
My favourite part, meeting like minded people.
Yee Sze Mun I met at KLIA. He had a blinder (69 yrs and 15 hrs 1 min). The army boys, Khalib (will go round the world next year), Adib, Jasmi Sareal (who was gunning for Wong Ah Thiam).
Jasmi is from Sabah and now based in Kuching. He has done 2 hr 48 min for the marathon. Indeed did 3 hr 20 m in the Ironman. He is such a simple person, my regret is not seeing him again to give him a small contribution (I like to help out the army boys financially). Kohing Antak (has only completed 3 Ironman before). Ahmad Joyo (who bought my Kestrel but is no longer using it). Other old and new army boys. They are so humble and smile all the time and call me uncle.
There was Paul, a Malaysian living in USA. K. Kannan who did very well at Hawaii. Actually the competitors were very friendly. There was lots of smiling and encouragement to fellow participants during the race.
This was something of a disaster. I went at 7 pm (ends at 8pm) and there was no more food. Guests were charged RM80 if I'm not mistaken. My confidence with the race organisation was really low.
The official bike mechanic was "Joe" (Malay) from Sg Petani. He was assisted by three others including his son Azmil (works with Edwin at Damansara Utama). On Friday Azmil spent a good few hours on my bike gears. On Saturday his father had a go. Anyway I made good friends with them. Coincedentally, they were in the next room at the same Hotel. Bike services was FOC.
Dinner I had at the "Jai Island Cafe" in front of the Hotel across the black colour river. The steam fish is excellent.