Monday, December 31, 2007

New Bike, Old Bike

Here's Seb with one of the new bikes that his Grandma and Granddad bought the boys for their Xmas and Birthday presents. Seb's not too steady on it yet but he's having a go with each attempt usually ending up in a pile up - never mind, he'll get there.

Sid on the other hand is sitting here next to one of their own tricycles. Sid won't even tri (misspelling intentional) the new two wheeler but as soon as Seb gets to grips with it we've no doubt he'll catch up very quickly.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

RIDE ALERT - New Year's Day Ride - 1st January 2008

Sam the Man says: -

"Hi Folks

Here is a chance to sober up on New Year’s Day with a circa 100k ride to the Dam in Hulu Langat.

Meet at Mega Mall exit at 0730, traffic lights just off the Cheras highway at 0810 or Batu 14 at 0830. Please let me know if you plan to join and at which point you intend to join the ride.

Happy New Year.


Christmas Day

Family Cross on Christmas morning

Shilpa chillin with Sid

Simon with Sebby Ballesteros

Simon and Shilpa after the Champagne had been flowing a while

Santa with Reindeer Seb

Santa with Reindeer Sid

Manic Santa with two manic reindeer

Friday, December 28, 2007

Orca Tri Gear for Girls

Karoline Says: -

"Hi Simon,

just wondering if you have any triathlete girl friends who are looking for brand new size 12 Orca triathlon tights and top?

I have 2 tights, 2 sports bra and a tri top.

My sis who is back from Auckland had bought them for me. I currently have a set of Orca tri top and bottom in size 12 that fits me perfectly, however, the size 12 now is a larger than before and is too loose for me.Rather than going through the hassle of exchanging it back in NZ and posting to Malaysia, I would like to sell them off. I don't know any other lady triatheletes who is bigger than me!

Perhaps you might know some who are looking for Orca,like your 2 running mates? Hope you can pass the word around to your lady triathelte friends,I suspect they might be interested as Orca is not available here. Thanks!"

Simon Says: - "I know Orca is a fantastic brand and well worth looking at if anyone is interested - leave a comment by clicking on comments below and I'll pass on your details to Karoline"

RIDE ALERT - Saturday Ride 29th December 2007

Sam the Man says: -

"Hi Folks

With your bellies stuffed with turkey and Christmas pudding, its time to burn off all those carbs. Saturday’s ride will be to Kuala Klawang (circa 160k from PJ). This will be a tougher ride than usual and necessary for Langkawi preparation.

Given the poor street light conditions in Hulu Langat and erring on the side of safety, start times need to be later. So meet at Mega Mall exit at 0620, at traffic light next to the police station (soon after turn off from Cheras highway) at 0700 or at the car park in Batu 14 at 0710.

Please let me know if you plan to come along and at what point you will join the ride. Cheers.


Simon says: - "In fact the meeting time at Batu 14 will be more like 7:15-7:20. I will be leaving Country Heights at 6:30 and reaching Hulu Langat traffic lights at 7:00"

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Santa, Sid, Seb and Mummy

Happy Christmas to one and all. We've had a lovely day at home with the boys. Shilpa cooked an amazing Christmas lunch - English style with Turkey (Quorn mock meat), followed by Christmas Pudding and Brandy Butter - yum yum.

We hope you all have a wonderful Christmas Day too and soon it will be 2008 which is going to be awesome I'm sure.

All our love,

Simon, Shilpa, Sid and Seb XXX

Sunday, December 23, 2007

RIDE ALERT - Christmas Day Ride - 25th December 2007

Sam the Man says: -

"Hi folks

Here is another opportunity for the Langkawi Layabouts (previously the Busselton Buddies) to work up an appetite for your Christmas dinner. On Christmas Day, there will be a ride to PD starting at the usual times of 0600 from Mega Mall exit and 0700 from Shell station opposite Country Heights.

I know some of you want to bail-out early so that you can open your presents and/or put the ‘bird’ in the oven. No worries come and join us for part of the ride and head back when needs must.

Please let me know if you plan to come along and where you plan to join. Cheers.


Simon says: - "I'll be there at Mega Mall but will bail at the turnoff towards Salak Tinggi near Bukit Unggul Golf Club".

PS I think Langkawi Livewires is more like it but them Sam did sleep on and miss the run this morning.

Happy Christmas - Have you been Elfed Yet?

Click Here for our Christmas Jig.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to one and all.

A-ha That Surprised You!

In relation to the Ride Alert yesterday - I would just like to say to you Doubting Thomas's A-ha! I thought you knew by now not to write me off - hang over or otherwise!

It was a great ride, I thoroughly enjoyed it and even surprised myself at the pace.

Wish I could say the same for the Sunday morning run. I made it but due to a niggling injury I jumped in a taxi after just 11k - better safe than sorry - finished up with my feet in a bucket of ice water.

Sam the Man on the other hand, was nowhere to be seen and shirked off with the excuse of a headache. Luckily Carmen didn't have a "headache" so she was there to show us the way at least.

Friday, December 21, 2007

RIDE ALERT - Saturday Ride 22nd October 2007

Sam the Man Says: -


It's time to think about Langkawi (9 weeks) and time to start our long rides again. So and as a gentle re-introduction after Busselton, lets do an easy ride to Banting tomorrow starting at the usual times of 0600 at the Mega Mall exit, 0640 at the Cheras 2nd toll and 0700 at Shell station (opposite Country Heights). If you plan to join, please let me know and at which meeting point you intend to join. Cheers.


Simon Says: - It's my Company Christmas Lunch and party today so I may or may not be there - don't wait for me and enjoy.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Twin's Christmas Party

Sid and Seb hosted their first Christmas party this morning. The invitiation was strictly Twins Only although the rules were relaxed a little to allow their drivers (mums) to come too.

Fun was had by all with chocolate Christmas Cake (a new one to me, but hey what do I know - seems like all the twins thought it was a great idea).

There will be more photos to come as they trickle throuigh the Internet so come back later.

Monday, December 17, 2007


Angela Says: -

"Hi everybody,
did my first cross country race last week. 4 x 2km of very steep, VERY, VERY muddy, wet and cold course. Amazingly I really enjoyed it (at least once my left foot started to get some feeling back into it after the second circuit!!) I sank into mud up over my ankles and had great trouble keeping my running shoes on and staying on my feet - in fact the odd shoe was to be seen without its owner during the course of the race. I was covered in mud from head to foot and my white running socks will never be quite the same again.

It brought back happy memories of the bed race at Merrist Wood College all those years ago, though it was definitely colder and muddier yesterday (-2°).

Oh, I forgot to mention I came second in my age group (there were only seven women in total in the race compared to 63 men) and I didn't come last which amazed me more than anything and I am grateful to all those who finished after me for entering the race too.

Love Angie"

She later also added: -

Hi again,
here are one or two pics. I forgot to mention that Nico and Sven also ran the 750m race and improved their times by about half a minute compared to last time. (That's a lot over such a distance and considering the conditions).

The pictures show the finishing slope which is a lot steeper than it looks (especially after doing it four times) and a lot muddier too - though it was the only part of the course which wasn't actually covered with icy water"

"Simon says - Well done Angela, Nico and Sven, we are all very impressed and feel quite cold just looking at the photos - Weill as cold as you can be in 30 degrees of Malaysian heat!

Le Tunnel

4 people in the carriage of a train - an Englishman, a pretty young blonde girl, an ugly old woman and a Frenchman.

It all goes dark when the train goes through a tunnel. In the dark there's the sound of an almighty slap, and when the train emerges from the tunnel the Frenchman is rubbing his face, and there's a huge red mark on his cheek.

The old lady thinks 'I bet that Frenchman fondled the blonde in the dark and she slapped him'

The pretty young blonde thinks 'I bet the Frenchman tried to fondle me in the dark, got the old lady by mistake, and she hit him'

The Frenchman thinks 'I bet that Englishman fondled the blonde in the dark, but the blonde thought it was me and hit me'

The Englishman thinks 'I hope there's another tunnel coming up soon so I can slap that Frenchie again'

[Courtesy of Chris Wayman]


The following is the transcript recorded in October 1995 of an actual radio conversation between a U.S. Navy ship and the British authorities off the Scottish north coast. The transcript was released by the MoD on the 10/10/95:

BRITISH: Please divert your course 15 degrees to the South to avoid a collision.
U.S. NAVY: Recommend you divert YOUR course 15 degrees to the North to avoid a collision.
BRITISH: Negative. You will have to divert your course 15 degrees to the South to avoid a collision.
U.S. NAVY: This is the Captain of U.S. Navy Ship, I say again, divert YOUR course.
BRITISH: Negative, I say again, you will have to divert your course.

[Courtesy of Ian Hay]

Carmen - Women's Champion

Carmen won the Chin Woo Biathlon on Sunday, not only winning her age-group but overall Women's Champion.

(Photo courtesy of Tey's Site)

Well done Carmen.

(Photo Courtesy of KC and the Sunshine Runners)

Arch to Arc

By Julian Crabtree

In August 2007 I became the third person to ever do the Enduroman Arch to Arc in a time of 87 hours and 36 minutes. .

The Enduroman Arch To Arc is one of the world’s ultimate endurance challenges - a 289 mile triathlon from Marble Arch, London to the Arc de Triomphe, Paris that has only ever been completed four times as a solo event.

The challenge consists of running 87 miles from the centre of London to the Dover coast, swimming the English Channel (22 miles) and then cycling 180 miles from Calais to the centre of Paris.


Simon Says - So Chris, yes you Mr Wayman, you know who I'm talking to, when are we going to do this little venture?

Check out Julian Crabtree's site at

Friday, December 14, 2007

RIDE ALERT - Saturday Ride 15 December 2007

The plan is to ride an easy 100k (still recovering from Ironman).

So Hulu Langat loop is the go. Starting at my place at 6:45a.m. or at traffic lights at Hulu Langat at 7:15 or at the Mosque at 7:35 whichever works best for people.

We will do the loop and either do the top of Perez Hill and back down before heading to the dam for a Milo Panas or we will go to Broga and back from Seminyih to add on the extra distance to make up 100k.

Let me know if you're coming and I'll keep an eye out for you at the various meeting spots.



Official Finishing Picture with the Boys

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Poll Result - Athletes caught doping - Current 2 year ban

Now these were interesting results; there were four options but the responders chose one of two camps - either to leave things as they are at 2 years or to give an immediate lifetime ban.

The result were: -

Is about right 5 (27%)
Should be less 0 (0%)
Should be 4 years 0 (0%)
Should be life-time ban 13 (72%)

I personally voted for a lifetime ban - it strikes me that if you cheat, whether for fame, fortune and everything that goes with it (to quote Freddie Mercury) then you are a crook and should not be trusted to be honest the next time around.

A politician that does something wrong is barred from taking office again, a lawyer is disbarred etc... and that is the end of it. Nothing is stopping them taking up another career but they are effectively banned from the one where they were found to have crossed a line of professional integrity and honesty.

If anything an athlete caught doping is a much clearer case of black and white - second chances, I don't think so - look at Ben Johnson, he served his two year ban and then came back and was caught doping a second time! Only then did they give him a life ban - need I say more?

Congratulations Kirsty - Drivers Beware!

My baby niece, Kirsty just turned 18 and passed her driving test. Cool Bananas Kirsty, you can pick us up from the airport next time we visit. WELL DONE.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Asics Shoes at Silly Prices

I just went to a shop called Stadium at the new shopping center Pavilion in KL. They are selling Asic Running shoes at 40% off.

I just bought a pair of Nimbus VIII for RM335 (US$101 or GBP49) and DS-Trainer 12 for RM239 (US$72 or GBP35).

Awesome deals if you ask me so just thought I'd let you know if you're in KL.

The Nimbus is a great distance shoe for training - perfect for a neutral runner or supinator.

Never has there been a better racing shoe for anything from a 5k to a marathon or Ironman than the DS-Trainer. This is the ultimate racing shoe - END OF DISCUSSION, it's now official.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Monday, December 10, 2007

Sian's School Project Gone Wrong

When you plant cucumbers and end up with cacti it can only mean one thing - ________ (I'll leave you to fill in the blanks)

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Western Autralian Ironman 2007 - The Wind Down

So it's over. The race is done and dusted, the chaffing is healing and the muscles recovering. Now there's time to enjoy with the family before starting the training for Ironman Malaysia when I get back.

The day after the race we packed up and headed to Margaret River. On route we visited an Animal Farm for the kids where we played with rabbits, turtles, chickens, guinea pigs, parrots, ponies, cows, ducks, lamas (honestly), goats, peacocks and of course kangaroos.

The boys loved it of course although Siddhart has probably inherited Shilpa's genes and is a little unsure of animals, whereas Sebastian has inherited my genes and has no fear.

We fed the animals more carrots than you can shake a stick at, it was really fun and Shilpa's fear of animals seemed to melt away in no time. (Check out the lama's - don't you think the tall one looks like Posh Spice?)

At the farm they also had bouncy castles, slides, merry-go-round, kids play lawn with so many kids cars, tractors and trucks it was amazing.

We spent a few hours there but could have easily spent the whole day.

We finished off with a row on the lake, we really had a lot of fun there.

Then it was off to find our apartment in Margaret River. Once again Shilpa had done us proud and had sourced the Waymans and ourselves some very glam apartments right in the heart of MR.

Early to bed was the order of the day and our first winery visit first thing the next morning. The boys didn't have much fun doing that so I had to abandon the tour half way through to save the tour guide getting too annoyed with their interjections.

Not to worry I met up for the wine tasting and conveniently Sam, Carmen and Tom also arrived just in time to join us too. A spot of lunch in MR was then followed by a visit to the beach where Sid and Seb were once again in their element.

They seem to have inherited the instinctive ability to bury their dad under the sand as every kid seems to be able to do even before they can talk.

When we first started taking them to the beach they really didn't like it but now we have to drag them away from the place.

They're still a bit wary of the water and especially if there are any waves (not a bad thing) but they just love the whole beach scene now.

Wednesday, the weather was a bit rough today so we sought a winery with a children's cover playground only to find they'd closed the playground to plant some more vines. Not to worry the Margaret River Chocolate Factory was nearby which put a rather enormous smile on Shilpa's face. Lunch at another winery was followed by a nap for the little ones and Shilpa and time for me to update the blog.

Busselton Buddies - Results

An amazing set of results for the Busselton Buddies - all achieving their personal bests (some becoming Ironmen for the first time).

Simon CROSS - 10:56:58 (PB)
Swim 01:07:29, Bike 05:28:08, Run, 04:21:20

Sam PRITCHARD - 11:49:37 (PB & 4th in Category)
Swim 01:13:20, Bike 06:02:13, Run 04:34:02

Carmen LEONG - 12:30:07 (PB & 1st Ironman)
Swim 01:24:01, Bike 06:29:14, Run 04:36:51

Kok Khee LEE - 13:04:44 (PB & 1st Ironman)
Swim 01:22:17, Bike 06:45:37, Run 04:56:49

Tom VIGORS - 13:21:23 (PB)
Swim 01:13:20, Bike 06:38:24, Run 05:29:38

Li Sar OON - 13:31:48 (PB & 1st Ironman)
Swim 01:21:50, Bike 07:01:43, Run 05:08:14

Honorary Busselton Buddy
Chris WAYMAN - 10:28:52(PB)
Swim 01:03:33, Bike 05:31:58, Run, 03:53:20

Western Autralian Ironman 2007 - The Big Day

[More photos to come]

Having gone to bed at 8:30 and asleep soon afterwards things were looking good but soon after midnight the boys were wailing and distinctly not well - poor things.

The next few hours were a fitful sleep until I was rudely awoken by the alarm at 3:30. Straight onto the throne and then the first of 6 espressos to get the system really revved up.

We left the boys to sleep and Shilpa and I drove down to the start to begin the adventure. Setting the bike up with computer, CO2, valve adapter, spare tyre, bars, gels, drinks, shoes, sunglasses etc... took much longer than I would have liked but once it was done I visited the throne room again, threw on some sunblock and squeezed into my wetsuit. Last minute photo, kiss for Shilpa and then I was on a rather chilly beach with almost 1,000 other equally nervous looking pieces of shark bait.

Chris was looking suitably confident and ready to go.

At 6:15 sharp the gun went off and the race had begun. I started in the middle of the throng, which proved to be a good choice as the rest of the Busselton Buddies chose to start a little more conservatively and got the worst of the crowd, causing them to stop mid swim multiple times. My swim was pretty uneventful and seemed to be going reasonably well - wearing a buoyant wetsuit added to the extra buoyancy of saltwater really helps disguise what an awful swimmer I am. I came out of the water in a rather surprising personal best of 1:06, even more surprisingly ahead of the other Busselton Buddies and only 3 minutes behind Chris "The Fish" Wayman.

Onto the bike and boy it was cold, it took me a whole lap to warm up. I have long since learned that THE ONLY WAY to race an Ironman is to watch your cadence and heart rate on the bike. If you've done the training and you're not ill then the speed will take care of itself. I normally spin at 107 rpm at a HR of 125. However, a minor disaster had struck - neither of my HR monitors were working and although I turned them off and on a couple of dozen times to get them working they were useless. I was going to have to do this ride a little blind - oh well eh, at last I could keep the cadence on track.

I saw Chris at the first turnaround just 1k ahead of me. I expected to pass him a few minutes later. Chris wasn't keeping to the script though and it was another 2 hours before I caught him - he was hammering it. I then expected to slowly ride away from him but once again he wasn't having it and we ended up riding the second half of the 180k together - keeping a legal distance apart of course. This greatly helped with motivation and speed for both of us.

I saw the rest of the Busselton Buddies a few times except for Sam and they all seemed to be riding well and enjoying themselves. I also saw Shilpa and the boys twice which is always a huge boost on such a long race. The boys looked a bit confused though and apparently they thought that every man on a bike was daddy.

Chris had threatened to rugby tackle me as we came into transition so I let him and his ego go first. He jumped off his bike, handed it to a helper and bounded towards the transition tent. I jumped off my bike, handed it to a helper and bounded after him. Unfortunately my bounding only lasted one stride, my hamstrings were so tight I nearly fell over. So I hobbled like and 80 year old man to transition and completely blanked out of my mind the fact that I'd now got a marathon to run.

Out of transition and there was Shilpa and the boys together with Chantal, India and Kofi. I gave the boys a kiss and Chantal asked me how I was feeling - I replied, "I feel absolutely awful and can hardly walk", I was pretty cheerful about it though. She replied, "You do know you have a marathon to do don't you".

"Mmmm I suppose so" and off I went to face the awful reality. The first two kilometres were excruciatingly painful and my hamstrings were very tight. After that the pain didn't ease up at all but at least my legs loosened a little. I don't really want to revisit the next 4 hours in too much detail but they were enjoyable albeit very painful. I ran the whole way just walking through the drink stations to ensure that I took on enough liquid.

Thankfully, I saw Sam on the run. He was looking great with a big smile on his face. He was having a good day. In fact as were the rest of the Busselton Buddies, Carmen, KK, Tom and Lisa were all looking very comfortable on the run and all were positively beaming.

With about 8k left the pain had burrowed itself into just about every sinew of my body but I had managed to work out that if I picked up the pace a little I could finish in under 11 hours and there might be enough time to grab Sid and Seb and go down the finishing chute holding their hands.

I decided that whatever happened I'd finish with Sid and Seb even if I missed the 11 hour time in the process. However, I picked up the pace because I'm greedy and I wanted it all, I wanted the perfect day! With 2k to go I knew I'd do it, the feeling of euphoria is indescribable.

I entered the long finishing chute and there were Sid and Seb. I held their hands fully expecting them to be scared out of their wits and not want to go to the line. On the contrary however, in between looking a bit bemused they had huge smiles on their faces and seemed to love every second of it. The time was ticking by but I just didn't care it was the proudest moment of my life, not proud of myself, I'd forgotten the race, I was just so proud of them, proud to be their dad and proud that they were there with me holding my hands and running to the finishing line, they were awesome. It seemed that just about everyone were reaching for their cameras, I can honestly say that was the happiest and proudest moment of my life.

Finishing Time: - 10:56:58
Swim and 1st transition: - 1:07:29
Bike: - 5:28:08
Run and 2nd transition: - 4:21:20

See what Chantal had to say about Chris' race at "Elephant Feet"