Friday, December 10, 2010

IMWA 2010 ; Malaysia Boleh

L to R: Sofian, Ezer, Richard, May Senn, Miro, Nik Ariff, Melissa Gaudart and Kevin Siah

It was a case of "Malaysia Boleh" as all of us managed to finish the Ironman unscathed, a number recording lifetime Personal Bests.

Miroslav Blanarik (10:53)

This was actually not his PB. His PB is 10:04 done at Frankfurt. Miro works and lives in Malacca with his wife Nicole and 7 month old son. He does no swim (1:29) training at all but his bike (5:35 including T1 & T2) and run (3:42) are something else.
We have done many races together by now and regularly keep in touch by e-mail.
Well done Miro.

Richard Tang (11:03). PB

PB by more than 1hr 20min. It is an incredible performance by Richard. Considering that he has a proper job and is a family man, this is one of the most incredible performances by a Malaysian Triathlete I have witnessed ever.
Richard was "my student" for this race. Just like Paul Lee and Peter Chan at IM Langkawi, all my students whip my butt big time on race day. Long may it continue.
We stayed together for this trip, so I have witnessed first hand just why he is so good. Make no bones about it, what he has done is astounding and it just shows you can do it and still maintain your sanity and calmness if everything is done methodically.

Some of the things that make him so good:

  • No fancy supplements. Instead he watches what he eats to a "T". His diet is like 80% fruits and vegetables. His wife (Claris Loke) also watches what she eats. Right after the Ironman, it was like he had just woken up from a good sleep. Mentally very alert, able to meticulously pack his bicycle, clean his gear and go back to the race finish. He slept only about 30 mins after the race and first thing in the morning, went for his recovery run. Watch your diet people, its the key to everything.
  • Meticulous in everything. What to do during the swim, bike and run ..... he has understood very well. He is not shy to ask for information from me, Simon Cross and anyone else. He absorbs all kinds of information, even the very little ones. i.e. he learns what to do. He was even able to predict his split times almost to the minute to his wife.
  • He understand bicycles very well. How to fix various components, what is an aero position etc.
  • He puts in the hours, but its not crazy hours. Training is only done in the mornings. After work, its family time. He has ran to his office (48km + 12km= 60km) starting at 1 a.m. from his house.
  • Supportive wife, within family boundaries of course.
  • Understands how to recover, which is stretch regularly and it has to be an active recovery. i.e. do an easy workout (everyday after the Ironman). The stupidest thing on the planet to do is to "stop totally" to recover.

Mark my words, this guy is going to keep on improving.

Kevin Siah (11:35)

Don't be despondent Kevin that its not a PB. I would give anything for this time. Kevin's preparations were interrupted by a bike fall and foot injuries. He's got very flat feet just like me. Thus many more foot injuries still to come. Kevin though is not even close to 30 years of age and therefore still has a good 20 IM in him.

Kevin is a bona fide nice guy. We are free to bunk over at his place for races, he provided us two cars for Busselton, gave us inside information on the aussie way etc. Kevin is a nice person. THANK YOU KEVIN SIAH FOR YOUR HOSPITALITY.

Melissa Gaudart (12:38). PB

Melissa was born in Malaysia and moved to Oz when she was little. She resides in beautiful Mooloolaba, Queensland. She regularly takes part in a 11km swimming event near her place, done the Bonita NZ Ironman once, the Gold Coast Marathon etc.

She had a blinder of a race, exceeding all her personal expectations. Her Marathon split at IMWA way exceeded her Gold Coast standalone Marathon time. We started the bike together, I had a slightly faster bike, then she overtook me easily on the run. She is very light and was just floating away. Congratulations Melissa.

Ezer Ratchaga (13:04) PB

When I first saw Ezer racing at Ironman Langkawi, I knew from the determined look on his face, this guy was true Ironman material. Whilst others looked for familiar faces in the crowd, Ezer didn't. It was he and only himself that was going to pull him through the IM.

Part of his training is to do his long rides on Sunday mornings starting at 2 a.m. Goes to KLIA etc, 180 km.

I only saw Ezer when he was overtaking me on the run. He races with a smile on his face. He had a puncture on the bike and had knee problems on the run. Thus has potential to further reduce his time.

Sofiantriathlete (13:25) PB

  • 14th official IM finish.
  • PB at 52 years old.
  • Previous PB was in 1994, sixteen years ago!!
  • Improved upon IM Langkawi (27 Feb 2010, 16:30) and IM China (14 March 2010, 16:32) by more than 3 hours
  • First ever daylight finish. Wooo Hooo

Thus its official, I am now younger than ever.

Denis Oakley (13:42) PB

We were supposed to party big time at Busso but we finally only saw Denis at the Awards Dinner. Never mind, his humour, cheerfulness, ideas on Triathlons made up for the lost time.

Congratulations Denis on your PB.

Nik Ariff Sidek (15:20) PB

Ariff got a PB on his honeymoon. Well done Ariff.

Lai May Senn (16:23)

Has never failed to finish an IM. Also on her honeymoon.

After only about 200m into her swim, Senn had to loosen her wet suit a bit as she was having problems breathing. But that action got the water all in and to her credit, she did not panic. She left the wet suit with the life savers and thus did the swim without it.

May Senn, one of the strongest IM competitors around, mentally.


plee said...

Awesome reports and pics! Gud to know the Malaysian contingent had a great time together!

And Mr T(Richard the MeTiculous) is an inspiration to me not so much becoz of his amazing time(which is jaw-dropping by the way) but also because his lifestyle is an example for other Malayians to follow....

Finally, I must clarify that you would have most certainly kicked this student's butt (me) in a current race....Langkawi 2010 seems a lifetime ago now....

Bravo all!!


sofiantriathlete said...

Thanks for your kind words Paul.

Yes Richard's lifestyle is an inspiration for all Malaysians

K3vski said...

"Thus many more foot injuries still to come" Not looking forward to that! But thank you sir for your kind words. I try my best to welcome visiting Malaysian athletes (and family) to Perth. Your 2 hour PB is an inspiration and it shall be my utmost dream to top it when I'm become as YOUNG as you when I'm your age.

sofiantriathlete said...

You are brilliant Kevin, absolutely brilliant. Thank you Kevin for your kind hospitality.

Sofian and Tip

Dancing Ciken said...

what else i can say sir.


Perfectionist said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Perfectionist said...

Woh, now I'm flushed. Thanks Sofian for all the kind words. I'm speechless, really don't know how to respond, ha ha ha. One thing that I have to point out and I'm sure you already realised by now. Spouse support is the key element to a successful life. Don't you agree?

This is the best IM race I had so far and I love the close camaraderies among the Malaysian team too. Looking forward for more of such camaraderies when race at foreign land.

sofiantriathlete said...


it was an outstanding trip. Why must come back to earth

yipwt said...

congrats sofian on your finishing and also PB!

sofiantriathlete said...

Thanks Yip,

I am very happy to finally do a PB at 52 years old.

john cooke said...

Congrats on the PB inspirational and hope for all of us to keep improving
well done sofian

sofiantriathlete said...

Congrats on your PB John, just 2 minutes off Kevin Siah, incredible and well done.