Saturday, August 20, 2011



On 20 Aug 2011, “sifu” Terence Lee invited me to give a chat on how to do the Desaru Triathlon that is coming soon on 23 September 2011. Terence is well liked and managed to get together quite a crowd of “newbies”. I didn’t realize many were interested in what a nobody Triathlete had to say.

Roughly, this was what we tried to say:

Don’t bash the Organiser
There’s hardly any Triathlon races in Malaysia and we can’t go around bashing up the race organizers. Register for the race early. P.D. was sold out well before the event. Mr Chan and his family are very helpful, be nice to them.

There is a new highway from Senai to Desaru now, but traveling is a tiring affair. Try to travel on Thursday or share the driving chore. Better still, don’t drive, but get a lift. Luckily the usual old hotel is being demolished. The Lotus Hotel we understand is new and a much better place (actually I forgot to talk about this, ha ha)..

Race Morning
The race starts at 8.30 am which makes it a very hot day race. Finish a large bottle of mineral water whilst still in the room. Properly clean the goggles with baby shampoo. Rinse the goggles again at the showers near the beach. Wear the swimming cap on first, then wear the goggles over the swim cap. There should be a snug feel to the goggles over the eye socket. A good pair is worth the investment. We can sense whether the goggles is going to leak. Go for a dip to check that the goggles are not leaking.

Place lots of sun tan and Vaseline on the body after the body marking. Desaru is extremely hot even if it looks cloudy at times. Everyone gets sun burn which can be quite painful for a week. Lots of sun tan should be placed on the back. Lots of vaseline should be placed at the crotch area and under the arm pits.

Race Gear and Race Wear
Everything that you wear and use on race day should be something you have properly tested in training.
The race attire should be something you have tested in training. The race attire that is sold by Kevin Chan and others at the hotel lobby is of high quality and should be quite safe to straight away wear for the race. The nutrition you will consume during the race (eg power bars, gels, bananas, raisins etc) should be what you use during training and has been tested numerous times.

Desaru has very strong currents, so be prepared to swim for about an hour. First timers should be on the outside of the swim pack, conserve energy and stay calm. To be frank, it takes a long time for one to be a good swimmer. Swimming should have been learnt as a child.

Its usually a three lap course. Stay calm, its going to be hot. Careful to maintain concentration. Suddenly waving to a friend could result in a fall.

Watch your form, and you will get by.

A bit simplistic isn’t it. Oh well.

I tried to explain training. Which is, it should be done everyday, easy. This is good for fat burning, conditioning the body, staying injury free, one’s well being and all kinds of things. I tried to say that having one mega training day during the weekend was not the way to go.
I strongly recommend getting a bike trainer. Its very effective time management, safe, cheap, improves cycling and allows “brick training (bike followed by a run)” to be done daily. Going on the trainer is not boring, bike in front of the TV.

Jokes aside, it was actually a very special day for me. I’m sure when I am in Qatar, I will look back on this 20th August morning quite often.
This same Bukit Aman car park was where I took up marathon running in 1984 with Pacesetters. And now my Malaysian running days are also coming to a close at the same location.
I have always been very happy with every single runner I have met at this car park all these 27 years.
Terence and everyone were very nice to me. A birthday song, a birthday present, a special cake from Karen. Everyone seemed to have brought bread, pastries, snacks etc which were placed on two tables. Tip gave away 32 packs of her pineapple cake. We couldn’t eat anything off course.

Thanks every one for giving me sweet memories to take to Qatar.

Terence (he is a “natural” joker) and wife Mabel, Winnie for sending out the e-mails and organizing the get together, Doc Pui San for the Tim Tams and everything, Karen for the cake and everything, Mohan Marathon for his joyous presence, Paul Lee my star pupil for playing along (he ran from / to his house), Yin Yin and Marmee, Wan Yew Leong, Gary Goh, Carol Chan , Choi, Aleximon, Vincent, Vijay, Adam Loh, Foo (new friend), Wai Mun, Azran, Rich Chai, Agnes, two Kiwis, Bryan Lee, Vincent Leong (great pics), the regular Pacesetters, Phylis Loke and so on ha ha (getting a headache trying to remember).

Thank you, till we meet again.


K3vski said...

Happy birthday again, young man! See you soon!

Paul Lee said...

Haha! Sofian thanx for all your selfless sharing all this time!

And please tell Tip I am sorry but I got hungry running home and termakan (imbuhan ter- for tidak sengaja) her cake which she asked to pass on to Helena! It was supposed to be one piece only but then I got carried away as I was passing KL Golf and Country Club!

sofiantriathlete said...

Kevin: Thank you, see you at Desaru

Paul: Tip finds it very amusing ha ha

Puisan said...

dude....since when YOU became a nobody-triathlete pulak!?!?!?!?! :P