Two weeks after I completed the half-Ironman in New Zealand, I scored a last-minute entry to the sixth edition of the Aviva Ironman 70.3 Singapore. From one extreme to another – very cold and dry, to very hot and humid – I braced myself for the race and the myriad experiences and sensations that met me. As always, we appreciate the photographers (officials, as well as friends and acquaintances) who stood at the wings, capturing the ‘moment.’
Spectator support was plenty, as they lined up the three courses. As competitors, we must thank those ’lone wolf’ spectators who urged us on. Their ‘one voice’ magnified in timbre to encourage us on during our nadir; an encouraging word echoes deeply and resonates in our moment of need.
There was the usual knock-about with eager and anxious swimmers; it was a mash-pit of thrashing amphibians in two-loop swim course. I took a few jabs to my face and torso, but had to suspend my anger aside - the race goes on. There were a couple of bloody spills, where riders failed to take the sharp turns accurately and decelerate. One rider collided into the light barriers just after I manoeuvred past; that was soon after the recently crashed barriers were rearranged!
The Handcycling Association of Singapore (HAS) made a huge impact on spectators and competitors. They raced strong and proud, and made the event more special and exiting. In recent years, physically-challenged athletes have proved their worth to race with any able-bodied athlete. With only pure, upper body strength and endurance they race with more courage and larger hearts. Featured here are national champions, a world-record holder, and a Kona finisher. They are truly the real Ironman!
Photo-credit: Aviva Ironman 70.3 SingaporeMy friend, ultra-marathoner/national runner Adam ‘One-Armed Runner’ completed his first half-Ironman and, unofficially, he could be the first upper-limb amputee to complete the race.
Photo-credit: Jodan D. ChengMy TriFam friends, who did splendidly: Congratulations, Sin Guan, Robert Chan, Teo Hui Koon, Dennis Quek, Winston Koh and Donald Piret!
Photo-credit: Richard Leong
That's me on my ‘what’s that bike’ I proclaim as the ‘Flying Singa’ at the grateful end of my third loop. My brand-new, unpainted, bespoke, Elite Custom Razor-Tri bike provided a very comfortable ride throughout the slightly tweaked, 3-loop, 90K. Quite a few dry splashes occurred at the sharp turns.
Photo-credit: Ng Shi Wei
It morphed into a hot day that placed a wet (humid) blanket on the runners doing their three loops of the 7K-course. It was great to see the finish-line as I bolted past a strong lady athlete; we congratulated each other immediately afterwards. The race-tent was filled with spent but appreciative athletes who wolfed down the post-race banquet. A sudden torrential downpour deliberately ensued after the 6.5-hour mark, and we empathised with those still out on the course. There were truly Ironman triathletes!
Photo-credit: Jodan D. Cheng