Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Updates on Endurance Races 2014

Screen capture from Channel News Asia
I have, finally, concluded my trilogy of endurance races within seven weeks!

Since March, I have completed Ironman New Zealand, Ironman Melbourne (Asia-Pacific Championships), and the Boston Marathon. The last of these, Boston Strong was held on Monday, 21 April. It was my first experience in IM Melbourne and Boston Marathon. Incidentally, all three races were held under chilly conditions, where I either shivered or experienced hypothermia. Not fun at all, disappointing in my results, but deeply memorable for finishing.

My body is undergoing recovery and recuperation, as this is the first time I have squeezed so many A-races in such a short period of time. I was still limping on the fourth day after my 3:48:43 Boston finish (top-50 percent). This suggests that my body has been tapped into, quite deeply and I would need to heal fully before my next foray into endurance racing in August (Ironman 70.3 Cebu).
Dr Jason Tan posted this compilation of screen-shots from the Ironmen feature (credit: Channel NewsAsia)
Incidentally, I have appeared recently on interviews on the regional television broadcasts of Channel News Asia. Last night's interview on 'Ironmen' caps my involvement with the media. The first was a sound-bite on my observations on safety in local cycling races. The second, occurred immediately after my crossing the line at Boston Marathon 2014, where I was featured in a two-minute clip. I shared my reasons for doing the 118th edition of the world's oldest marathon, and concerns about safety. The third and last piece, was on Ironman and Ultra-Triathlons which featured Deca-Ironman Dr Kua Harn Wei, Triple-Deca Ironman Wayne Kurtz, and I. It has been a fun month filled with media experiences and a revised bucket list which includes: a double-Ironman distance race, a fund-raising marathon, and marathons in Greece and The Dead Sea.

My reports on the three races will follow soon.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Got My Boston Passport: Boston Stronger!

I, finally, received my Boston Passport in the mail. I was, probably, the last one on my team (Singapore) to get my ticket of assurance.

This is my first attempt at Boston Marathon, my second in the World Major Series and I hope to finish in a decent time. However, I will not be bludgeoning myself silly to get a personal best timing as the course is tougher, with elevations and a likely colder climate. Parts of the north of New York is still cold, and I am not friendly with cold climes. 

I did three 10km runs last week, and yesterday a 21km run (at a comfortable 1:55 pace). I have lost significant speed, and if I am at all close to last December's fitness (at the Singapore Marathon 2013, minus the muscle strain injury), I would be very pleased. Otherwise, it will be a comfortable attempt to finish sub-4 hours.

Already I know that two Singaporeans - physically-challenged athletes - will not be going. I wish them all the best for a future showing. Meanwhile, I still have work to do: to recover fully from two Ironman triathlon completions in March and have enough to have a solid experience with thousands of amazing and better marathoners.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

18 Ironman Triathlons and Counting...

Nine years of racing in marathons and Ironman triathlons, and these are some of the medals I have amassed. These include 16 out of 18 Ironman medals, two Ironman 70.3 world championships, one Ironman world championships, and medals from completed the Berlin Marathon, and Gold Coast Marathon. I am thinking about #19 and #20. It could be a full Ironman-distance triathlon, or a Double-Ironman, or 3-day Ultraman race.
Only Boston Marathon awaits me on 22 April...

An Evening With Deca-Ironmen

On Monday evening, I hosted a sharing session with Deca-Ironman Dr Kua Harn Wei, and Triple-Deca-Ironman Wayne Kurtz. Held at the Hotel Bayview, Bencoolen Street, about 30 friends of or local triathlon community attended. A Triple-Deca comprises 30 Ironman-distance triathlons held one-a-day over 30 days.

(From left to right): Harn Wei, Enrico & Wayne 
I opened the session with introductions of the luminaries in the room:

Dex Tai who completed three Ironman triathlons over three weekends in Europe
Oldest Singaporean marathoner to complete Boston Marathon, Kor Hong Fatt
Wilson Low, adventure-racing coach who completed all world champions over the Ironman, half-Ironman, and X-Terra distances
Teryn Tham, who is one of the few females to have completed 12 Ironman triathlons
Tan Eng Boon, ultra-marathoner who completed a race in Nepal
 Intense concentration and purposeful attention.
 The emcee entertains with preambles and introductions.
We interviewed both speakers earlier in 2010 and 2011. Each of them shared their experiences doing ultra-triathlon distances, which drew laughter, awe and admiration. Harn Wei is, currently, on the management committee of the IUTA. The academic from the National University of Singapore is well regarded as a role model for endurance athletes. Wayne is a serial entrepreneur and astute business opportunist with an eye for the extraordinary and unique, from commodities to real estate to financial planning.
We had an enjoyable session, with keen interests in our two guest speakers and the notion of multiple formats for endurance, multi-sport, events. The Q&A segment explored sleep deprivation training, motivation, mental conditioning, nutrition, recuperation and formats of racing.
Photo-credits: RICHARD LEONG, Relish Photography