Leadership Lessons From: Clifford Lee, Kona-Finisher (Ironman World Championships) 2012 & 14-time Ironman finisher
The theme for this year's Kona is 'Aa Na Maka O Na Aa'. It means 'The Sparkling Eyes of My Roots'. It's a meaningful theme to remind us of our roots! No matter how successful you are, think back on how you started...think about your roots.
The Voice of Ironman, Mike Riley.On 2 December, this will be my third Ironman Western Australia. I completed the first two in 2006 and 2008. Initially, this was a standby race if I didn't make it to Kona this year. Since I had to suffer a DNF (Did Not Finish) in Ironman Texas 2012, due to an accident on the bike leg, I will be doing this race. This would be my 20th time at the start-line. On successful completion, it will be my 15th Ironman; a goal I set for myself back in 2006, i.e. to complete 15 IMs by age 45. I am on-target.
As you would have known by now, I take my sweet time for each IM except for those with 16-hours cutoff times. *Laughs* I do swim in my office, on alternate days, to cushion bike and run sessions. I joined my colleagues in the SAF healthy lifestyle runs every week, except when I have to cover longer distances.
For bike training, I rely on Mandai-LCK loops and my Desaru, long-haul, rides. I must say those Desaru rides contributed to many of my IM successes, including the recent Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. As an average-man-on-the-street, this is what I can do for my IM adventure, bearing in mind that I am a single parent with two great kids to focus on. Ironman Western Australia 2012 will mark a temporary end to these endurance adventures. There will be no more races in 2013, as my son is having his PSLE examinations. But then again, I do have some urge to do one more IM, say end-2013, when my children’s exams are over.
To me, race day is really just a day of experience. The experience you get is really how much preparation you have put in: Setting aside organisation efficiencies. Great experiences from an Ironman race are absorbed only by a clear and steady mind. A good and clear steady mind comes from good race preparations. I do a lot of mental rehearsals before each race. I familiarized myself to the race location and course, via satellite pictures and street pictures. I study weather (temperature, and wind directions) and course elevations prior to each race. These are useful tips to prepare your race in the right direction.