For the first time in my life, something I wrote got printed in a magazine. OK its only Footloose, the magazine by Pacesetters Athletic Club. Guess I am not the scholarly type.....
This is the article;.................
A Bit of History
Pacesetters and its members went in droves to Port Dickson in 1989 to support Team Mermaid organise its first Triathlon. It was hilarious as for many members it was our first 1.5 km swim or 40 km bike. Pacesetters (including the expatriates) have since taken part in the Asian Championships, Commonwealth Games, ITU and the Hawaii Ironman World Championships multiple times. The non-triathletes also turn up in large numbers at Langkawi regularly to give their support. We the Ironman participants acknowledge the presence of the many outstanding supporters like P.M. Tey, who share with us, what is actually a very emotional day and night.
Ironman Western Australia - Background :
On 5 December 2010, eight “Malaysians” took part in Ironman Western Australia (IMWA). Four (Nik Ariff, Lai May Senn, Richard Tang and Sofiantriathlete) are current Pacesetters’ members.
IMWA is held in the small town of Busselton about 2.5 hours drive, south of Perth. IMWA is known for its fast totally flat course and the incredible beauty of its surrounding areas. With an ideal race day temperature of 24 degrees C, many of the “Malaysians” recorded Personal Bests. For me, IMWA 2010 was my third year in a row. The Busselton / Geographe Bay area is my little paradise, a place I look forward to going with my wife at the end of each year. The beautiful blue ocean, white swells, rocks, rugged coastline and majestic tall trees will take anyone’s breath away.
The camaraderie amongst the Malaysian contingent was extra special this year. Richard got everyone organized, Ariff and Senn were on their honeymoon, Claris and Tip prepared sumptuous meals for all, Kevin Siah provided two cars for our use, whilst everyone else (Miro, Denis, Ezer and Melissa) happily joined in the merry making.
Swim (3.8 km)
The swim is held in the clear calm waters of Geographe Bay. The swim is actually along a 1.9km long jetty, thus it’s quite impossible to go off course. Participants wear a wet suit, which makes the torso very buoyant and keeps the body warm. May Senn unluckily had trouble with her wet suit and left it with the lifeguard on the kayak after only 200m (her mental tenacity though is of the highest order). Either than that, everyone completed the 3.8km swim without too much trouble.
Bicycle (180 km)
The bicycle is three laps of 60km each. The route is totally flat but windy just about everywhere. As usual everyone was very fast on the first lap but as tiredness and the wind increased, times for the second and third laps dropped dramatically. Part of the cycling route is through the majestic Tuart Forests. At the end of each lap we would come back to town and wave to our loved ones. I got sternly told off by a female marshall for throwing a banana by the road. I had to turn back and pick up the banana. Two competitors got disqualified for not using the designated portable toilets. The temperature was ideal though, so everyone finished their 180km without too much trouble.
“The Ironman only starts with the Marathon”, is a popular saying and this day it was no different. The route this year was four laps of about 10km each right through the little town centre.
The run experience at IMWA is always my “highest moment” for the year. The Australian crowd treats you like superstars, they love and adore you and call out your name. So we played along, waving and applauding as much as we could.
Given the good conditions, we all had good runs. Richard Tang and Miro blazed through the Marathon in below four hours. Kevin, Melissa and Ezer went sub five. Denis, Ariff, Senn and myself took more than five hours.
RESULTS FOR THE “MALAYSIANS”
(Name Age Swim T 1 Bike T 2 Run Total)
Miro Blanarik M3539 1:29 4m 5:35 3m 3:42 10:53
Richard Tang M3539 1:21 3m 5:37 4m 3:58 11:03
Kevin Siah M2529 1:01 5m 5:51 2m 4:36 11:35
Melissa Gaudart F3034 1:09 8m 6:43 8m 4:30 12:38
Ezer Ratchaga M3539 1:14 11m 6:51 7m 4:41 13:04
Sofiantriathlete M5054 1:12 5m 6:35 8m 5:25 13:25
Denis Oakley M3539 1:32 7m 6:35 6m 5:22 13:42
Nik Ariff Sidek M3539 1:34 7m 7:01 7m 6:31 15:20
Lai May Senn F3034 2:00 5m 7:34 4m 6:40 16:23
PACESETTERS MEMBERS :
Richard Tang (11 hours 3 mins). Personal Best. Considering Richard has a full time job and family, this is one of the most incredible Ironman performances by a Malaysian I have seen. Richard also has a very caring heart, always doing things for others.
Sofiantriathlete (13 hours 25 mins). 14th official Ironman finish (the most by a Malaysian is 15 by Yee Sze Mun). A Personal Best at 52 years of age, wooooo hoooooo.
Nik Ariff Sidek (15 hours 20 mins). On his honeymoon. Overcame serious moments on the bike and run but still finished with a Personal Best. Well done Ariff.
Lai May Senn (16 hours 23 mins). On her honeymoon. Did only “one bike and one run” to prepare but still pulled off another Ironman finish. The most courageous Ironman I know.
IMWA 2011 The next IMWA on 4 Dec 2011, was sold out after only 4 hours upon registration being opened. Richard, Kevin and Sofiantriathlete are going back, yeee hah.
More reports on IMWA are available from our blogs: http://triathletesofian.blogspot.com/ http://tryathlete1403.blogspot.com/2010/12/with-little-help-from-my-friends.html http://beyondcutoff.blogspot.com/2010/12/im-honeymooner.html
Please feel free to contact us http://triathletesofian.blogspot.com/ if anyone wants to know more about the Ironman.
Peace, love, kindness and tranquility to all.