Saturday, October 26, 2013

My Interview: Q&A About Ironman Triathlons

This was an interview I had with John Cooke, of Perth, Western Australia before my Big Dance in Kona. John will be doing Ironman Western Australia (IMWA) once again; it being his 10th 226k triathlon. I trust that you may find something useful.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Ironman World Championships 2013: Kona

I am pointing to my name. All qualifying athletes are listed here.
My Kona experience has come and gone, yet the memories linger on. The full weight of realising my Kona dream has not fully sunk in yet, however I am certain that parts of it will reveal themselves as part of my personal learning journey. If the journey is as important as the destination, then completing the Ironman triathlon in Kona has been that analogy for me.
My practice for my Welchie Finish Pose.
What goes around comes around! In Kona, that is so true. The locals have a term for it: kupau. It has taken me eight years of Ironman racing to arrive here, to race with over-2,000 other capable and enabled athletes, to cross the finishing-line. We raced alongside professional triathletes, world-champions, elite age-groupers, Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF), Kona-Inspired athletes, and Legacy Lottery and General Lottery winners.
Loads of tempting gear at the Merchandise Tent.
The precious silver-foil sticker: Mark of entry. Not going to sell my Elite Razor bike.
Here is a photo-log of some of the many Kodak moments I lived through. A full report follows, shortly.
The ENVE Team spotted my classic EDGE wheels, and awarded me a special-edition t-shirt and socks. Thanks, ENVE!
A large coterie of spotters auditing each bike that enters T1. Mine was the only Elite bike registered.
On the way out...
On the way in...
One of the toughest marathons I have done: My 21km splits were vastly different.
Checked out my bike, and awaiting a good long shower and snooze. Exams over!
video
The money shot!
Photo-credits and video-credits: Mel C.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Came, Saw & Kona-ed

The deed is done! Well, my deed is done.
I am now in Kailua-Kona, and it is about 26 hours since I completed the Ironman World Championships. I am sore; nothing unusual. It just reminds me of my mortality, and how my body is responding to the last seven months of training.

It was my best performance, but it was one of my best races. This is Kona. It is the holy grail of long-distance triathlons.
 My picture appeared on the IronmanLive.com website (during my bike check-in).
Thank you all for your well wishes. I am appreciative of my family, friends, sponsors and fraternity for their support. I walk with, personal pride, my achievement. I am thankful for my luck, appreciative of the support I got, and honored for the opportunity. Despite of my hard day, I would do it all over again - once I recover. I may just get another shot at the special lottery at the Ironman New Zealand 2014.

I will write an exhaustive report soon of my experiences.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Off To Dream Bigger On The Big Island

I am almost done with my packing; a fortnight of travel including race and vacation.
After almost nine years of endurance sports, I am headed to the Big Island to race and complete the Ironman Triathlon World Championships in Kailua-Kona.

It has been a great year, winning two important slots: one for Kona, and one for Boston Marathon. I rarely win the lottery, but the Legacy Lottery is a special one, having had to complete 15 Ironman-distance races to earn it (15 April). I earned a Boston slot on my second BQ timing in July.

Kona has been a dream born of watching 'ABC Wide World of Sports'. The touching images of the finishers in the dark of night, were my seed of influences. I was initiated into triathlons by my business associate and coach, Craig Holland (from Newcastle, Sydney). He went to Kona in 2005, and encouraged me to hold the dream. Years later, here I am. The Triathlon Family of Singapore also sustained my roles as athlete and volunteer, passing it forward to a new era of entrants. On the egging of Singapore's first Legacy Lottery winner, Clifford Lee I earned my slot for this year. It feels great to win something as prestigious and amazing as a Kona entry.
My Boston Dream came later, influenced by the expanding running community. It took me the last two years to seriously engage it. A first BQ in the Hong Kong Marathon 2011, saw me miss it out by two minutes. This year, I sliced that by 13 minutes to ensure an 8-minute lead over my 3:24:59 cutoff entry.
Five more days to my Kona Race, and I am excited and apprehensive about doing it. I will play a conservative start, and end it fiercely (as I can). Seven hours before I begin my journey...I look forward to holding my country's flag in the Parade of The Nations on Tuesday.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

I Have Little Physical Talent, But I Work Hard

'People who think that an IRONMAN is unattainable – I tell them that it is possible. I can take anyone – a person that does not have an athletic bone in their body and make them into a triathlete if they’re willing to put in the time. I’m the perfect example. I am not a great athlete, just a hard worker.'
- John Duke, IRONMAN Legend (from www.ironmalive.com)

I hate to swim. I hate to ride. I hate to run. 

Well, not exactly true about riding. I do have difficulty swimming, and running hurts my entire body. Why do I do it then?

I love challenges - physical and intellectual. Not that I have tested myself with Mensa, but I have scored reasonably well in IQ tests. Formulaic, I assure you. I am stoked with being better. I yearn to be my best. Endurance sports bring out the true test of many personal values like tenacity, determination, persistence, patience, endurance, perseverance, excellence and many more. I do Ironman for the discipline. I appreciate discipline, having tasted that as a student, a member of the uniformed groups, and now in competitive sports. The ability to perform better at the next sporting event motivates me. I am curious about my potential. I relish excellence, and excelling in my endeavours and undertakings.

I am a FAN of the Kona Ironman. I am a FIRST-TIMER at Kona. I aim to be a FINISHER in Kona. Next week is crunch-time. I will be taking my pensive but calculated steps to Kailua-Kona, home of the Ironman World Championships. I am grateful for earning the opportunity to compete and complete Ironman on the Big Island. There is so much history to this event and the island. I can only visualise as I have for the last thirty years, of what it would seem, sound and feel in this event.

I thank many people for helping me through this major challenge. My 16th Ironman has been memorable and motivating by my coaches, sponsors, friends and supporters. Meanwhile, I will am packing, fine-tuning, and tapering. 10 days more to the Big Dance!