Friday, February 29, 2008

Aswar - Crazed Look in his Eyes

(Photo's provided by Tey, sunglasses by Photoshop and good looks by Hairul Aswar)

Look more closely!!!!

Ironman Malaysia 2008

Get a cup of tea, turn the phone off, sit back and enjoy, several familiar faces to spot.

RIDE ALERT - Saturday 1st March 2008

I'm planning a very leisurely ample around the Hulu Langat loop on Saturday. All are welcome to join me. My goal is to see how slowly I can get to the coffee shop at the dam. As Julie donated RM50 to my favourite charity (i.e. ME) for a bet on the Ironman - Breakfast is on me.

I'm leaving Country Heights at 6:45a.m., Hulal Langat traffic lights by the police station at 7:15a.m. and the mosque at Batu 14 by about 7:35a.m.

See you there.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Queen - dedicated to Carmen, "The Queen of Kona"

(Photos courtesy of Tey - click here for more)

WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS by Queen. Dedicated to Carmen for qualifying for the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii and for all the other starters of the 2008 Ironman Malaysia. Well done to one and all, it was a long day at the office whether you were out there for 81/2 hours or 17 hours and an even tougher day if you didn't finish - listen to what Freddie has to say - he knows!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Khao Lak

Check out Sid, Seb, and Shilpa with Minni and Toffee (the dog) at Minni's resort in Khao Lak, Thailand while Daddy was doing the Ironman.

Ironman Number 13 & The Dunkirk Spirit

(Photos courtesy of Tey - click here for more)

As some of you may know I did my 12th Ironman in Busselton, Western Australia in early December. The week I got back from that I tried to get into training straightway by doing a 21k run on the Sunday morning – BIG MISTAKE – it was one run too far and my right foot gave out and has never been the same since.

Therefore I turned up in Langkawi on Thursday morning limping off the airplane not having been able to run for a month. Things didn’t look good. My swimming was probably better than it’s ever been and my biking had started coming back to its normal level, although it had taken a real long time for that to happen after Busselton. The problem was that I couldn’t run which is quite a dilemma just 2 days before an Ironman as it concludes with a 42k marathon.

When asked by my business partner, Ian, how I’d cope I said that I’d be following an strategy that he’d shared with me some years before when he’d completed a couple of half marathons with far too little training…being an ex-military man his epiphany stemmed from a time when the British troops were being expelled from mainland Europe by the Nazi’s, with their backs to the English Channel they stood stranded on the beaches of Dunkirk, France. The British nation rose to the challenge and sent just about every craft that floated to rescue the stranded troops – this national resolve, this triumph in the face of adversity, backs-to-the-wall belligerence, courage, especially a determination to endure hardship has since been dubbed “The Dunkirk Spirit” and he claimed that it was this that got him through the half marathons; so that is what I’d be relying upon for my 13th Ironman in Langkawi.

Continuing in the same vein for a moment, I once mentioned this to another buddy of mine, Nick Flynn, before he took part in a tough duathlon that he was not entirely prepared for; Nick has always had aspirations of becoming a fit, highly focused athlete, in fact he has put considerable amounts of effort into the dream but unfortunately he has the commitment-longevity of a snowflake in Kuala Lumpur and gets easily distracted by pretty girls and bottles of beer – not necessarily in that order but often they are intrinsically linked. Anyway, back to the “Dunkirk Spirit”, upon hearing of this philosophy Nick considered it very carefully and wondered off in deep thought, with harrowed brow and stoic contemplation.

The next day I saw him again, he looked awful! I asked him what had happened and he explained that he took to heart the advice I’d given him; he’d spent the previous evening and the entire night checking out every bar in KL but to his despair none sold the “Dunkirk Spirit”, they sold all of the other spirits and he had tried most of them in the hope that they would have the same affect (bourbon and vodka being his preferred imbibe). In case you wondered his race didn’t go well (but that’s another story and involves a bottle of water and an ambulance).

So, back to the race, Shilpa and the boys had gone to see a friend in Thailand so I had more time than normal to prepare at the hotel. I did the medical, registration, attended the briefing, prepared my bike, packed the race bags; I did two easy training rides and a swim. All was good and I had never been so relaxed, organized and strangely confident before a race.

Before I knew it I was in the water on Saturday the 23rd February at 7:30am waiting for the gun to fire to get the 3.8k swim underway. My plan was to get below 1hr:15. in the swim – all went well and despite being ravaged by sea lice – slightly painful but more annoying than debilitating. I came out of the water feeling very comfortable in a few seconds over 1hr:15 so I was pretty happy about that.

In the changing tent one of my training buddies Randy was still getting changed and a minute or so later Don and Aswar came in behind me. That made me chuckle as Aswar had been kicking my butt in the pool recently (click here to see earlier posts) but I knew he’d be looking to make me pay later during the run.

The bike started well and fairly controlled although I think I let my enthusiasm get the better of me, I normally race based on Heart Rate and Cadence and although my Cadence was about right I let my heart rate stay too high for too long on the first lap of three. After 60k (1/3 of the distance) my ride time was under 1hr:45 which if I could keep that up my bike time would be under 5hr:15 (very fast).

The bike course was new again this year; it was hilly and very windy. The wind helped keep the temperature down a little bit but the combination of the wind and the hills took their toll on my legs. After 120k I was still on target for a 5hr:17 bike time but I was starting to wonder when it would all go wrong. I didn’t have too long to wait, at about 160k I was drained and the power ebbed out of my legs. I had drank about 5 litres of water at that point but it just wasn’t enough. I was feeling nauseous and probably couldn’t have drank much more anyway. The last 20k was slow and several bikes that I’d pasted retook me before the end. I finished with a still very respectable time of 5hr:35 but quite dehydrated at that point.

Never mind, I loved the new bike course, although everyone I spoke to after the race thought I was bonkers. On to the run, I took my time changing into my Union Jack singlet (remember this was about “Dunkirk Spirit”) and off I limped out of the change tent. I was immediately met by a spectator who proceeded to walk next to me telling me he was on holiday and it was wonderful to see another brit "flying the flag". It was really sweet of him but I then felt obliged to give him a bit of a show and actually run!!!ouch, OUCH, OOOUUCCCHHH!

Let’s just say I didn’t get very far (less than one k in fact) before I was walking. That then really sums up the next five hours and forty one minutes…run a bit, walk a bit,… run a bit, walk a bit. Don went past, Cecil went past, 3k before the end Carmen went past (only her second Ironman and she finished 3rd in her age-group, 1st Malaysian woman and qualified for the World Championships in Kona, Hawaii – AWESOME, way to go Carmen).

On each loop I saw Aswar (with a crazed look in his eyes) chipping away at my lead over him – if only I could somehow keep him behind me! In the end it was a miracle, Aswar was kept at bay and I finished in 12hr:43 just 33 minutes slower than my previous best Langkawi time. My right foot was still attached, although it would have to be amputated the following day (just kidding Mum).

I managed to convince the doctors at the finish to give me a couple of IV drips to help with my recovery (although the fact that I'd lost 7kg in weight certainly supported my claim of severe dehydration) and then it was a quick ride back to the hotel for a Milo Panas (Hot Chocolate), a Vanilla Milkshake and a big plate of Mee Mamak (Fried noodles). Lovely jubbly.

Another semi-successful race ticked off – now for my next challenge, which is go to the hospital and get them to fix my foot.

Well done to everyone that started the race – remember as John “The Penguin” Bingham so wisely says “It’s not the miracle that you finished, the miracle is that you started”. Simon Says: - “This is true whether you finished or not, because you don’t get to an Ironman start without huge sacrifices, massive amounts of hard work and a big heart. I salute you all and I'll see you next year”.

CNY at Seb and Sid's School

Seb and Sid at their school's Chinese New Year party - they are cuties!

Monday, February 18, 2008

6th Wedding Anniversay

The day after Valentines Day is Shilpa and my wedding anniversary. This year we decided to have Champagne Cocktails at the Sky Bar at The Traders Hotel followed by a romantic dinner a Lafite at the Shangri-La Hotel.

The cocktails were excellent although the Sky Bar was a little disappointing - I guess when you've been to Sirocco in Bangkok anything else has a lot to live up to. (If you've never been to Sirocco it's a MUST DO next time you’re in Bangkok, a glam roof top bar overlooking the city, very surreal and well worth the visit).

We had loads of fun, Shilpa was looking gorgeous of course and as usual Lafite lived up to expectations.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Daddy, Bad Boy

Check out Sid and Seb on their bicyles that Grandma and Grandad bought them for Chistmas. Also listen to Seb chastising Daddy for breaking his chair - Daddy, bad boy!

Friday, February 15, 2008



There is no spoon;
There is no hill;
There is no Ironman;
There is no 40 celcius nor 95% humidity;
There is no injury;
There is no pain;
There is no misery;
There is no spoon;

There is no spoon;
There is beautiful countryside;
There is swimming, cycling, jogging;
There is warmth;
There is no injury;
There is stimulation;
There is satisfaction;
There is no spoon;

There is no spoon;
There is Sam to chase;
There is Aswar to sneak up on;
There is no injury;
There is Sofian to cheer on;
There is Dr. Tan to high five;
There is an IV drip; or two;
There is no spoon;

And so The Oracle hath spokeneth...

RIDE ALERT - Saturday 16th February 2008

Cecil Says: -

"Calling all Langkawi Ironman buddies!

I am organizing a last ride this coming Saturday prior to Langkawi Ironman since the usual team captain Sam is away to India. The plan is ride from the Ulu Langat Batu 14 mosque at 7am to the Semenyih traffic light and U-turn (43km mark) before we stop at the Chinese coffee shop at Batu 18 for breakfast (78.8km mark) that follow by a 7.2km easy back to Ulu Langay Batu 14. This will be a nice and easy tapering ride, any takers?



Simon Says: - "I'll be there but I'll ride from home - as for the easy 7.2k easy back to Batu 14, the only way it can be 7.2k is if we come over an evil hill that I haven't ridden over for probably 5 years becuse it's so steep and painful - Oh Well Ay - let's do it!"

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

How about Scott Rigsby?

Kevin Mackinnon profiles an athlete to be featured on the NBC show.

The next time you hit mile 20 in the final leg of an Ironman and your legs are starting to ache, look down at them and be thankful that they are there. Before you look for someone to complain to about the pain, remind yourself that it's great you have two legs to start with.

Scott Rigsby doesn't have that luxury. He doesn't get to suffer from a sore foot or ankle during a marathon. He wishes he did. Last October the double leg amputee from Atlanta, Georgia finised the Ford Ironman World Championship in Kona. He's one of the athletes that NBC will profile during their coverage of the event next Saturday, February 16. Sort of brings it home, doesn't it? If he can do it, is there any reason we can't?

Rigsby’s story is inspiring in so many more ways than simply the fact that he completed an Ironman. This is a guy who thought he had it made-in-the-shade as a young 18-year-old. Sitting on the back of a pick up truck with a bunch of friends after a day of landscaping work the summer before he was to head off to college, Rigsby suddenly found himself being dragged under a trailer after an 18-wheeler hit them. By the time everything stopped he had been scraped more than 300 feet. One leg had to be amputated right then. Road rash? Try road burn – he had to be treated for burns after the accident.

More than a decade later the other leg was taken off. In between there were 26 operations. The guy spent so much time in the hospital, he considered himself to be a professional patient.

It would have been easy to give up. Broke and despondent, one day Rigsby decided to change his life. Despite all the odds, he became an athlete. Within a few years he became a world record holder for double amputee athletes over both running and triathlon distances. Last year he made his first attempt at an Ironman at Ford Ironman Coeur d’Alene. He didn’t make it to the finish line that day … not because of any problems with his fitness. In keeping with the seemingly endless challenges thrown this guy’s way, Rigsby crashed on his bike and was forced out of the race … but not before he finished the bike and made it through 12 miles of the run.

One broken vertebrae later, Rigsby finally recovered and found himself with 100 days to train for the Ford Ironman World Championship.

It’s not like things got a whole lot better leading up to Kona. Practically penniless, Rigsby stayed at a bed and breakfast in Puako that offered him complementary accommodation. Unfortunately he turned out to be allergic to the detergent they used. After copious quantities of Benadryl he got back to training.

Rigsby’s story will make a great movie. After each successive challenge, he battles on. He’s now not only the first double amputee to finish the Ironman, he’s become an active advocate for athletes with disabilities – he started his own foundation last year.

Don’t miss the feature on Rigsby that will appear during the NBC coverage of the Ford Ironman World Championship, which airs on Saturday, February 16 from 2 – 3:30 PM (EST) – check local listings for times.For more information on the Scott Rigsby Foundation, go to

Paddy in Trouble

A Ryan Air pilot was flying into Heathrow from Dublin when the plane began to get into trouble.

The pilot calls to alert the tower:- "Help! Easter Sunday, Pancake Tuesday, Boxing Day, St Georges Day, New Years Day,!!"

A voice from the tower comes back and says:- "Paddy the word you're f@#*ing looking for is MAYDAY!"

You've got to love it

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Wanted & For Sale

Check out the new page element on the left of the screen. I have loads of stuff that has accumulated over the years that I thought I might see if people want. Equally on occasions I want stuff, currently I'm on the look out for a second hand Ksyrium back wheel to make up the set that was destroyed when I was hit by the van.

I guess this is really for Malaysia based readers but hey who knows this page element may rival eBay one day!

"TAPER" - The Most Beautiful of Words

Well it's over; training for Ironman Malaysia is done and dusted. Swimming is spot on, cycling was a struggle for a long time as it took me longer than usual to recover from Ironman Western Australia. Not only that, but last weekend I almost "bonked" (totally depleted of energy and power) on a ride to PD that I'd normally excel on.

However, on Friday I took to the roads alone as most of the group were doing other things for Chinese New Year. I headed out for the dreaded Broga loop (very hilly and hot). Before I knew it I was at the first drink refill at Petronas Kuala Klawang in 2:45 and before I'd realised what had happened I conquered the hills and was back in Seminyih. At this point never before have I had either the inclination or the courage to take a right hand turn and head back to the Dam and another 66km to get home (from Seminyih it's just 17k straight) - But on Friday the right hand turn was taken gladly and with a grin of expectation on my rather grimy face. A quick stop and a refuel at the Dam and then put the hammer down for home - 197k, averaging 31.9kph - NICE.

That is where this fairytale ends and the sad tragic tale of woe begins. Having got back from Ironman WA in early December I immediately tried to bang out a swift 21k run - big mistake, my right foot needed a lot more rest and whatever I did to it (I haven't had the courage or the sense to go and get it looked at yet) it's not gotten any better. Most mornings I hobble around for the first hour like a cripple being unable to put any weight on it. When it warms up it's OK but I can still feel the injury. Last Sunday I set out on a 42k easy run which ended after 13k with a hobble and shuffle back to the car.

This Sunday morning I woke up at 5:30 to try the 42k again and managed a hobble and a shuffle to the bathroom and then back to bed. Oh Well Ay! In the words of Ian Hay, "I'll get as far as I can on the training I've done and the rest I'll survive on a bit of Dunkirk Spirit".

So there we have it, the taper begins, two weeks of light exercise now, keeping up the swimming, no more long rides but some easy morning rides and a couple of 60k time trials - as for running, probably the next run I will do is when I dismount my bike on February the 23rd - how long it lasts will no doubt be recorded on these pages a day or two later. Wish me luck, this is one Ironman where I really am going to need it.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Gong Xi Fa Cai

Happy Chinese New Year to all of our friends; may the Year of the Rat be a happy and extremely prosperous one for you all.





Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Macy Gray - Enjoy

I was hoping to add "[Get up, get up and] Do Something" but I can't find the video anywhere on the web so I added the audio link below; but first here's another Macy Gray classic "Why Didn't You Call Me".

Macy Gray - Do Something - Click Here

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

KL to Phuket by Bike

A group from KL are currently riding to Phuket, they did the same ride last year although I think a different route. Below is an email I got from Patrick on how the ride is going so far - sounds tough but pretty amazing too.

Patrick Says: - "Update on the KL to Phuket trip. Yesterday we cycled from Gua Musang, Kelantan to Ipoh crossing over Cameron Highlands. We had to climb... i kid you not..for 100km (the first 5O km was up and down big hills then the really big climb equivalent to genting Highlands) before descending 60km straight down (Simon you would have loved that part). Today we did 210km from Ipoh to Sungai Petani. Tomorrow we race for the border (after we hit the local banks here!).

Have a good CNY!

Patrick Potvin, MSc.
Exercise Physiology Center
National Sports Institute of Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia"

Monday, February 04, 2008

Jan, Angela, Kirsty

My Nephew Jan, who turns 17 in a few days time. The scary thing is he actually still looks cool in his hippy gear!

My sister on the otherhand didn't even bother to dress in anything other than her normal clothes.

Kirsty is going to be a policewoman, need I say more!

Can or Cannot - there is no Cannot, only Will Not

At parties or get-togethers people often ask me about my triathlon's or what training I'm doing at the weekend and when they hear I'll be banging in a 4k swim, a 200+k ride or a 40k run their responses normally fall into one of three categories: -

1. Disbelief - many really do think I'm telling fibs
2. Awe and wonder
3. They think I'm a nutcase (in fact many of 1. and 2. probably think 3. as well)

Almost without exception they say they could never do that! I beg to differ, anyone can do it, they just have to want to and I accept and respect the fact that most people just don't want to.

But to all of you that Can, Will or Have; Cannot, Will Not or Don't want to, I urge you watch this video and be inspired. I posted a similar video some time ago (Click here to view) but these guys will put a tear in your eye and a lump in your throat and open your mind to the possibilities in life.

Triathlon is an analogy, what this video demonstrates is that pretty much anything is possible if you set your mind to it and do the work, the training or the studying whether your own personal Ironman is - getting a degree, getting the job you dreamed of, travelling the world, some sporting achievement, relocating to a new country, changing careers, getting over a disability, becoming parent... I've listed just a few challenges that people face, feel free to add your own personal challenge to Comments below.

Dick and Rick Hoyt epitomise the word CAN. Watch the video, stop making excuses and then in the words of Macy Gray "Get up, get up and do something..."

5th New Bike Course for Langkawi Ironman

This is the ninth year of the race and the 5th bike course! Will they ever make up their minds? As usual the news is very late and one has to find out by regularly visiting the website and listening to the growing rumours. Guys an email won't go amiss!

At the end of the day it doesn't much matter to me, I'll come out the water and follow the procession of riders wherever that may lead. I'll try to keep my ego in check and eventually will finish the ride, extract myself from my previously beloved bicycle with a look of distain bordering on hatred - if it were a women, the divorce would be messy, full of recriminations and vows of never speaking again (of course by the time I have endured and finished the run I'll be begging for forgiveness and a lift home from my trusty steed).

As for the run this year, oh dear, I mashed my right foot by trying to train too soon after IM WA in December and it's never been the same since. My 42k run yesterday turned out to be a 13k shuffle follwed by an 8k hobble, a drive home and a bucket of ice. I can't walk this morning so a PB this year is out of the question but I am still determined to prevail - on one leg if need be!

For those that know Langkawi they will be aware that this new course is probably the toughest ever, going all the way to Datai along very steep and totally exposed (to the sun) roads. Riding a hilly course through Death Valley might be preferable! Oh well ay!

2008 NYRR Half-Marathon Grand Prix

My Brother-in-law, Kapil and our cousin Nikoo did this half marathon in New York, check out how cold it is - those guys are hardcore.

Nikoo was struggling to run 10k a few weeks ago and now he's a half marathoner and is doing his second race in a few days times. Way to go Nikoo!

Not only that but checkout Nikoo on the official video near the beginning at 30 seconds, he's telling us that Queens is his favourite race out of the 5 race series. He's a celebrity now too!

Nikoo says: -


This is the video of the run last weekend....Half Marathon...It was freezing cold as you can see in the video what people are wearing...I am sure a lot of you would think why are you doing this...The Cold, The Pain...Believe me guys it is all worth it!!!!....

I really enjoyed this race.....13.1miles(21.1km).......I took 2.15minutes to finish it.....I started very well faster than I thought for half of the race and then came the big hilll and it took out all the gas in me......... Glad I was able to complete it....Kapil was also in the run and he finished with a much better time than mine.....I am looking to my next Half- Marathon which is just in 9days.....

Somehow before the run they were just asking people which is the best half marathon they liked the most.....and they asked me as welll....did not realize they were shooting and it is going to come online......I look really fat....especially from my cheeks....I wish they had taken after we finished the race....


Dev (Nikoo)"