Tuesday, December 29, 2009

IM China, the logistics

I trust everyone is keeping well and in full blown training mode.
I'd thought I would share what I have done, what I know for IM China for all of us to benefit / disbenefit. I actually have already made some mistakes (re the airport transfers) with regards to the arrangements and would probably make more mistakes before the trip is over.
To my knowledge, the following are taking part:
1. Emma
2. Simon Cross
3. Sam Pritchard & Carmen (Carmen as spectator only)
4. Ong Boon Hin (IM China regular)
5. Hoo Ching Cheong (IM China regular)
6. Me and my wife
7. Miroslav Blanarik (from Malacca) Miro's report
All are also doing IM MY, apart from Sam.
Hoo Ching Cheong especially can't stop laughing when he talks to me (is he alright?). What I'm saying is they are more than happy to assist anyone wanting to go.
Has to be done through active.com who charge USD25 commission. The entry fee before 31 Dec 09 is USD450 (excludes the USD25). This is more than IM MY but less than IMWA (HCC is pissed off with the USD25 comm.). HCC, OBH and me have done ours. Unfortunately there is no list of registered participants.
Refunds are only available up to 10 Feb 2010 and you only get back USD 150.
Air Asia have got very cheap flights (about RM300 one way / pax) flying on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday I think. The flights are at the moment about empty. This is a really good deal, making Hainan easily the cheapest overseas IM race for us.
Me and Tip, we are flying there on Friday (12th March) and coming back on Monday, 15th March (its going to be a challenge to pack the bicycle immediately after the race).
Unofficial Hotel
Air Asia actually provides flights for two, three nights accommodation in town for RM1,500. A very good deal. If you can speak the language, go for it. However, there is probably no official transport from the town hotels to the race site / official hotel.
Official Hotel
Only one official hotel, The Crown Spa Resort Hainan (5 star). Its going to be the most swank hotel me and Tip would have ever stayed (a honeymoon of sorts I suppose) in. It costs RMB 590 (about RM 295) per night, what the heck, its only for 3 nights. We also can't speak the language if we were to stay in town.
All activities are at the Hotel and very regular buses are provided to / from the race sites.
Breakfast is RMB 88 / pax, so we only ordered for one morning. The down side of the Hotel is that there are no shops nearby. All eating have to be within the Hotel, so bread and water for us please.
Airport transfer
The official Hotel's rate is RM200 one way (15 mins trip). Unfortunately, I have already paid for it. There's actually many taxis at the airport per HCC at about RM 50/ trip.
Official bike shop is TBB I think. So we would probably be hanging out there.
The swim route is really odd because of the river currents. Not a good sign at all.
Bike is undulating, windy on the coastal highways. T2 is near the official hotel.
Run finish is somewhere else, but regular buses to Hotel is provided. The run I suppose is the biggest challenge, without the Aussie crowd or our KL friends to pull us through.
  • Its actually a poorly done race. HCC and OBH were literally in tears at the end due to the very poor aid stations. Langkawi they said was much better. You should bring your own race nutrition.
  • If you don't actually go, you will probably loose the entry fee (see above) and the Air Asia fare paid. The hotel refund also has conditions.
  • Two weeks after Langkawi. Who cares.
  • Due to the unpredictable weather, poor race organisation, the regulars expects there to be a poor turnout. Thus a very real possibility of qualifying for Hawaii for the Emmas, Simons and Sams.
  • Easily the cheapest overseas IM race for us.
This is the most important thing that is still outstanding for me. HCC says its no problem.
Come on, lets all go !!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Forever indebted to Ivie - IMWA

Ivie Ong ( Mrs Randy Tan) took some beautiful pictures of the race. She is a good photographer. I am especially indebted for the sequence shots that Ivie took of "my hero" (Gina - the lady champ) overtaking me on the bike. I didn't even know Ivie was at the exact spot or taking pictures. Thank you Ivie, I will treasure the pictures forever.
Warm up - the beauty of the race location

Gina bearing down
Gina blazing by
Happy that my wet suit, that I only used once 17 years ago (yikes), has been used to good effect by Randy (1 hr 4 min swim). Brokered by TTH
The bike
Chef Rob goofing, you are now ....an IRONMAN

The wife especially likes this one

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Holiday pics

The Busselton / Margaret River Region is I think the most beautiful place I've been to. Within a short distance, you can get one or a thousand flies on your face and they won't go away no matter what you do.

Sorry, let the pictures do the talking.

IMWA - Race day pics

As the official pics costs about RM400, these will have to do.

About to start (already a bright morning)
Very calm water

Coming out, beautiful and calm sea

Keep the bottle sweetheart

Run start, slow as usual

A volunteer gave me the hat (probably saved my race)

Bussselton jetty at the back

I can only plod as usual
One week later (sorry for showing the awful back)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

IMWA - Parade of Nations

Malaysia was represented by its expatriates and their families.

Cort (USA), Sandy (USA), Madison (USA), On (Thai), Nicole (Slovak I think), Miro (Slovak) and Tip (Thai)
Miro, Nicole, Madison, Cort, Sandy, On & Tip

Robert (Austria) joined us too.

Miro was rightly happy to stand up for Slovak

Jason Shortis (49th IM) and Gina (Champion)

Cort ("Malaysia's" finest ever, 10 hrs 10 mins - phew)

Cort again, (your Malaysian citizenship is in the post).