Monday, May 12, 2008

A'Famosa Triathlon 2008: First Tri

myself, upiq, kam, kc...and azmar

Before our full OD distance Tri (siok bee, michelle, emma, Yit thing, John)

With tomatoman, 2 men relay instead of 3.

I've always wondered how's the feeling when hundreds of triathletes bob around in the water, waiting for the swim. It was a scene I had viewed constantly from youtube on ironman. A'Famosa, though not ironman equivalent, still provided ample experience on how to do a tri.

I got no bike. I didn't actually want to join until I got one. When Raymond Ng asked me to be his relay partner, I was in the "no" mood. Partly because of comments of the murky and smelly water during swim. Anyway, since it could be fun, I jumped in.

What's so fun about tri? Maybe because it's more complicated. You can be a good swimmer, but it does not really matter if you bike and run slowly. You can be a good cyclist but if you can't run well, you won't go too fast on the running leg. You can be a good runner, but maybe sink like a rock during swimming. Basically, you just gotta be good at all three discipline.

For swimming, it's more like dancing.

For cycling, having the best bike won't bring you far, if your legs ain't strong. And that's not inclusive of the bike technicalities you got to master.

But running, it's the easiest.


The plan was that I do both the swimming and running leg, while Raymond Ng do the bike course. It's a 1.5km swim, followed by 40km cycling, and 10km run.

Now, while the rest of our friends were excited, I was kind of half excited. Maybe not doing the full individual distance, calms the nerves a bit. Those who stayed in the same accomodation were Ngae, Raymond Hee, Yik Ting, Barry, Joshua, Narin, Emma, Michelle and Siok Bee. Raymond Hee, Yik Ting, and John will be in the mixed relay. Joshua, Narin (from Uniten) with another swimmer will be in our same men's relay open.

7:30am, and we were off to the venue.

By 8am, we were all huddled near to the lake, just like the view of hundreds of yellow swimming caps bobbing in the water, that I had seen. I set my my Timex watch to time the leg, with a target of 30 minutes. The gun went off, without a warning, and soon, all of us start wading in the murky water. As the swim route was not straight, I found I had careened off course a few times. Swimming in pools is easy. You get to see a blue line beneath.

As I waded into the last turning into the landing area, I pushed as hard as possible. I had told my partner that I would finish around 30 minutes. After coming up from the water, I ran a fast sprint up to the transition area, and quickly handed a blue band to him. I clocked 33:58 minutes, which is pretty decent, but nevertheless happy with the outcome for a first time.

With nothing to do for the next 1 hour, I was able to witness how the rest of the triathletes continue on their biking leg. What was interesting, is that some are able to take off their feet from the bike when they came back from the cycling course, and into the transition, while letting the cycling shoes hanging at the pedals. With not a moment to waste, they'll quickly wear their running shoes in a second, and zoom off for the running part.

Raymond Ng did a fast cycling leg of 1:15. As soon as he handed me back the band, I quickly sprint for the next 10km. Since I was only doing the swim and the run, I was able to cut down many athletes. Although it's supposed to be a fun event, I had wanted to test my 10km time. But the best feeling was probably cutting a chinese guy doing the mens' relay as well. The rest were all doing the individuals, so it wasn't such a "fair" claim of beating them.

As I reach the finishing area, I looked back and noticed some of them was at the back, trailing close. I quickly made a dash, to ensure I was not cut off at the end. I had made it in 40 minutes and 7 secs. While finishing, I could hear someone shouted "3rd placing", but I doubted that we've won anything.


I had been toying with Raymond's merida bike, and it had been fun. I used to have a mountain bike, so riding is not a problem. The problem was the seat is causing butt pain. How could one mount this thing for 6 hours? The fitting was alright, so I had decided to get a similar size bike, since he's just the same height as mine.

After the tri, I did a 10km bike ride just to test it out. On the way back, met with Upiq, led by Shazly's gang was edging him on the run. This guy was doing the full tri, to solve his weight problem, which I had much respect for him. He proves that we all have the will to change for the better. You can read more about him at stupe's blog.


We all gathered for the prize ceremony because we got news that we won. Surprisingly, our team (tomato-ultraman) got third placing with the time of 2:25. Even more pleasant for Raymond Hee's, Yik Ting, and John mixed relay team, who also got third placing as well.

It had been great fun, so I've decided to go for Ironman 2009...couldn't be that hard since a bunch load of peeps I known have done it.

But first, I got to get a bike....or steal one.


zulhassan said...

taniah yip .... buat relay dengan 2 orang sahaja. At last ko nak buat ironman.

sian said...

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Stupe said...

Yip - that was a fast fast 10km run...40 mins! you made it looked too easy bro! :D

Welcome to the world of triathlon, now you know why most of us are hooked on the sport. :)

COngrats on the 3rd placing, first outing and you won something! I've not won anything...or close to it!

yipwt said...


bantai je la...tak susah sangat nak swim dengan lari. congrats on your first tri.

try to go to your blog...seems like invited only access. thanks for the tip, but my nutrition is pretty basic. Maybe there's other aspects I need to know.

relay was fun...but i think that's the only thing i'll win from now on. Those pros are so damn fast...especially the SEA gold medalist from singapore Mok. Plus tons of others. Neways, it's for fun, so c'est la.

Abu Soffian said...

Bro..Last year I also macam U..Afamosa..relay. Bukit Merah..OD. Then registered IM08. Kenyir..OD. PD..OD. Desaru tak dapat join pasal ada hal. Any way I salute U

Bink said...

You are too fast that i didn't see you in swimming part.hehe.anyway, can i have your email, or phone number

John said...

Well done! Now we have more choices for a swimmer and a runner if our gang wishes to take part in more relays...

Raymond said...

Well done Steven!For a first timer in OD swim,u did marvelous.N without doubt where ur running is the strongest,u can actually give the elites a run for their money if u decide to venture into tri in future.

yipwt said...


Beating the elites won't be easy...still a long way to go.

I don't have enough speed, but this could be trained.

Dancing Ciken said...

weh jangan bike tu curi one, isk isk

btw, congrats. 40mnts tuuu, ehem sub 2? (hint hint)

Raymond said...

eh yip,how come u holding the bike pump?hahaha
Looks like u kinda hooked onto bikey now huh~

yipwt said...


sub 2...god day.

Once I get a bike, lets do broga ok?

sgloong said...

yeah congrats yip... i think IM 09 will be chicken feet for u... u have been through running 24 hrs anyway... just train a bit on the bike and ur home...

Eugene Loong