11-time Ironman finisher, Clifford Lee welcomed me at the Lagoon Hawker Centre this morning on Day 2 of the OSIM International Triathlon. Fellow triathletes, Roger Chow and Le Giang accompanied me at the rails, and we were either snapping photographs of people we recognized, or cheering at friends and strangers. Roger was playing this game of ‘recognise the staff of Oracle’, while I was calling out people on my Facebook account.
I did not participate in this year's Olympic Distance series for a few salient reasons:
1) The overall number of subscriptions has been successfully increasing annually.
2) The ride was relatively dangerous with four loops of a tight 10K circuit, comprising newbies and newbies overwhelmed by impatient (and occasionally, verbally abusive) age-groupers vying for a podium spot.
3) Many newbies did not study their race handbook and were oblivious as to the distance they ran, and number of loops to make.
4) It is just as fun playing a spectator and photographer, as it is a participant.
A big shout out to fellow triathletes Brian Tan, Victor Chan, CK Poon, Ravi, KK Chin, Bernard Maughan (IMNZ 2006, 2009, 2010), Kume Mika, Winston Koh, and Crazy2Tri (Terrence, Ivan, Andrew, David, et al) for their all-out efforts! This year, the key sponsor OSIM would be giving away an uPilot massage chair to a lucky recipient. I hope that the oldest competitor gets a better shot at earning one. He looked focused, stoked, and eager to complete; hats of him for his true grit! (photo below)
Emcee Ross Sarpani, minus his Australian sidekick this year kept the 10th anniversary of this homegrown event running smoothly and energy high! This is the mark of a race commentator and announcer: making the event as important to the spectator as it is to the participant. Ross interacted with the audience in the stands with songs, dance and impromptu interviews with finishers and spectators.
All the best to those participating in Ironman Regensberg in a week's time: Clifford Lee, Matthew Wong, and Conrad Yeo. Here are snapshots of these tough athletes who braved a hot and humid weather, risky ride, and choppy swim on Sunday.