Thursday, December 23, 2010

Hahahahappy Christmas [MUST SEE PHOTOS]


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

It's almost Christmas, so...

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming WOO HOO what a ride!

Author: Maxine

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Hello, has anyone seen my Mojo

I just received this bit of advice from Terry in Singapore - totally spot on and worth posting in its own post I thought. I particularly liked the opening bit of advice about starting out at the same speed that you intend to finish.

Of course my mind is on racing (even if my body and my mojo are temporarily "Absent Without Leave"), I've never heard (or at least processed) this advice before and I like it - in fact I like it a lot. In a Sprint or a Olympic Distance race I red line it all the way so starting the run and finishing at the same speed is a given. On an Ironman however, especially when you start the run you can feel indestructible but after 15-20k have gone by things are usually very different.

I always struggle to pace the run in an Ironman properly and this piece of advice will hopefully stay with me until I get off the bike and start the run in China - all I need to do now is find my Mojo.

On that particular note Terry's advice continues to be spot on and is similar to other comments of advice and support I've had. So I'd just like to say thanks to everyone. It's all greatly appreciated and I'm taking it all on board.

"Hey Simon,

My famous old coach said to me "Start at the same pace that you will finish".

Initially it never sunk in , but eventually became a phrase that I live my athletic life by , or try to anyway.

Granted, IM does require a solid focus-period of high volume training followed by the event and recovery. Often the recovery phase can be too short as we wish to use this new higher base as a plateau to proceed to new levels of fitness. I learnt that the body rarely works this way unless you are able to incorporate 1 or 2 sleep sessions within the day as pro's do.

I too have gone through a recent stage of a total lack of triathlon interest. I did however run a 21km race 9 days ago that I thoroughly enjoyed. Point being, that we can still "compete" or participate at events but perhaps it is wiser to accurately listen to our bodies.

I believe the body will tell us when it is ready to resume our training. Present feelings of lethargy and disinterest are temporary and not a life-change. It is merely the body advising us that it is still recovering.

Personally I think Kona is overrated although I too wish to return one day.
Rest and train for the fun of it and enjoyment until full motivation returns.

Good luck mate :)


Monday, December 13, 2010

What Your Training Partner Won't Tell You

(Courtesy of @rbuike, Susan Lacke and

1. You will not lose momentum if you stop moving during a run. So quit jogging in place at the stoplight. You look like an idiot.

2. There are at least two embarrassing songs on everyone's iPod playlist. There is no need to pretend you don't know how they got there. Just own up to your love for N'Sync.

3. Everyone pees in the pool at some point. Everyone. Anyone who says they haven't is lying. The same goes for the mass start of an open-water swim. There's a reason that water feels so warm.

4. Please limit yourself to no more than two electronic devices when we work out together. Anything more and you have more wires coming out of you than an ICU patient.

5. Newton shoes are the Ed Hardy shirt of running.
6. Outside of your running group, no one really cares if you did a brutal 12-miler this morning. No need to try to work it into every conversation you have at work, at school, while shopping, at the bank…

7. It's kind of annoying when you stretch in inappropriate places, like at the checkout aisle of the grocery store.

8. The first open-water swim any swimmer or triathlete does is scary. Almost everyone panics during their first. It's normal. The real champs are the ones who face it and get back in there for a second.

9. If you're on a Century ride and take a break: Eat first. Reapply chamois cream second. Never, ever, ever the other way around.

10. It's not bragging if you can do it. But until you've done it — zip it.

11. You're not the only one who is self-conscious about heavy breathing when training with another person.

12. Don't wear your aero helmet on a group ride unless you want people to know you're a tool.

13. The same goes for head-to-toe color coordination with your bike.

14. "Chariots of Fire" was good. Not great. We can quit pretending now.

15. To get rid of side stiches, take really deep breaths then exhale fully, like you're trying to squeeze all the air out of your lungs with your diaphragm. Repeat.

16. No matter how fit we are, we still suck in our guts when we first take off our shirts during a workout. First impressions count, y'all.

17. In the pool, please wear appropriate swimwear. We don't care how hot you are; no one needs to see all THAT.

18. Ladies – During hot races, dump the cups of ice from the aid station in your sports bra. Life…changing.

19. You're not the only one who checks themselves out in the mirror while running on the treadmill at the gym.

20. Everyone cringes when they see their race photos online. Do you really look like that when you run? Yes. Yes, you do. Sorry.

21. Don't dish out criticism about someone else's diet/lifestyle/training plan unless you're prepared to take criticism about yours in return.

22. If you're with athletes who know more than you, don't bullshit and pretend you know as much (or worse, more) than them. Just listen.

23. Desitin (yes, the diaper rash cream) works just as well on chafed areas as the expensive post-workout creams sold at sporting goods stores.

24. Unless you were trying to qualify for the Olympics and failed, please refrain from throwing a hissy fit at the finish line if you are unhappy with your performance. You embarrass everyone around you when you do that.

25. There are no expiration dates on PR times. But unless you set a world record or replace it with a new PR, your bragging rights expire after 5 years.

26. There is no good reason to ever, ever, EVER buy anything found in the advertising section of your favorite sport magazines. There's a reason electroshock belts and VO2 breathing trainers aren't featured in the actual articles of the magazine.

27. Even if a training partner is faster than you, don't discount yourself. Chances are very good that person admires something about you: Your positive attitude, your ability to make compression shorts look good, your persistence…whatever it is, keep it up. There's a reason they're still training with you, you badass.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

What the f*** is wrong with you?

(Courtesy of @ncjack)

This is currently doing the rounds amongst the anti-ironman and pro-ironman sets. Very funny and strikes a chord with everyone that has ever known an Ironman or has tried to explain why they are an Ironman. Funny as hell - just too close to the truth.

Very Cool Beer Ad

(Courtesy of Ian)

Bryan Payne please do not watch this for your own health, it is not light beer and therefore you are likely to get dizzy and fall over.

45 lessons life taught me

(Courtesy of Ian)

Written by Regina Brett, 90 years old. This is something we should all read at least once a week!!!!!

"To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most requested column I've ever written.

My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Change the way you think.

4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and family will. Stay in touch.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.

8. Release your children when they become adults, it’s their life now.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye.

16. Take a deep breath It calms the mind.

17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.

18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.

19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Just because you believe you are right, doesn't mean you are. Keep an open mind.

23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive everyone everything.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. Your job is to love your children, not choose who they should love.

35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood.

38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.

41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

42. The best is yet to come...

43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

44. Yield.

45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift."

A Little Christmas Story

When four of Santa's elves got sick, the trainee elves did not produce toys as fast as the regular ones, and Santa began to feel the Pre-Christmas pressure.

Then Mrs. Claus told Santa her Mother was coming to visit, which stressed Santa even more.

When he went to harness the reindeer, he found that three of them were about to give birth and two others had jumped the fence and were out, Heaven knows where.

Then when he began to load the sleigh, one of the floorboards cracked, the toy bag fell to the ground and all the toys were scattered.

Frustrated, Santa went in the house for a cup of apple cider and a shot of rum. When he went to the cupboard, he discovered the elves had drunk all the cider and hidden the liquor.

In his frustration, he accidentally dropped the cider jug, and it broke into hundreds of little glass pieces all over the kitchen floor.

He went to get the broom and found the mice had eaten all the straw off the end of the broom.

Just then the doorbell rang, and an irritated Santa marched to the door, yanked it open, and there stood a little angel with a great big Christmas tree.

The angel said very cheerfully, 'Merry Christmas, Santa. Isn't this a lovely day? I have a beautiful tree for you. Where would you like me to stick it?'

And so began the tradition of the little angel on top of the Christmas tree.

Not a lot of people know this.

Haha - Merry Christmas

Nativity Play

Sid and Seb just did their nativity plays at school. I was blown away and somewhat nervous to hear that Sebastian was going to be the narrator of the play. His reading skills are about the best in his year so that wasn't the issue but he does get more nervous at times than Sid so I wondered how he'd deal with it.

Sid on the other hand had asked to be one of the wise men bearing gifts. Pretty cool I thought but I was totally wowed by his confidence and singing prowess when it actually came to it. As for Seb, my concerns were totally unfounded he was amazing and boomed out his lines like he was a pro.

Yes I am an overly proud daddy but I ain't making no apologies for that matey! And anyway, when your boys are as gorgeous, smart, intelligent and gifted as mine then you have the right to be (yes I know, I know, in fact I used to roll my eyes at overly proud parents like me but if you are a father or mother then you'll know what it's like and you'll forgive me I'm sure).

Friday, December 03, 2010


(Courtesy of Disco Dave)

A DEA officer stops at a ranch in Texas, and talks with an old rancher.

He tells the rancher, "I need to inspect your ranch for illegally grown drugs."

The rancher says, "Okay , but don't go in that field over there," as he points out the location.

The DEA officer verbally explodes saying, "Mister, I have the authority of the Federal Government with me."

Reaching into his rear pants pocket, he removes his badge and proudly displays it to the rancher.

"See this badge? This badge means I am allowed to go wherever I wish.... On any land. No questions asked or answers given. Have I made myself clear? Do you understand?"

The rancher nods politely, apologizes, and goes about his chores.

A short time later, the old rancher hears loud screams and sees the DEA officer running for his life chased by the rancher's big Santa Gertrudis bull......

With every step the bull is gaining ground on the officer, and it seems likely that he'll get gored before he reaches safety. The officer is clearly terrified. The rancher throws down his tools, runs to the fence and yells at the top of his lungs.....

"Your badge. Show him your BADGE!"

Monday, November 29, 2010

Friday, November 26, 2010

I've lost my Mojo


I've lost my Mojo! I think that doing four long course races this year at the level of intensity I was trying to race at was probably too much physically and mentally. I was trying to qualify for Hawaii in three Ironman's and representing Great Britain at the ITU Long Distance Worlds (needless to say I was trying to do well there too).

Consequently I had one cracking race (IMMY) out of the four and three not so good ones. I've had a few podium places at Olympic Distance tris too but then you can bluff those distances if you're fit enough.

What I probably have now is a moderate case of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome that I'm struggling quite badly to come out of. I keep having abortive tries to come out of it and although the body is responding better each time my mind seems to get a little less engaged at each attempt. It doesn't help that I keep getting sick either and I'm not trying to force my recovery/come back but rather gently trying to prise a bit of Mojo back, slowly, gently; I could almost be accused of being sensible.

I thought that it was all psychosomatic (and it probably is), but I thought that after Ironman Hawaii was over and done with (for everyone else) then I'd come out of it swinging and singing, raring to go for next year. Well that hasn't happened and it doesn't help that the Ironman China website isn't open for entries yet. (At least they've said something positive on it now, see message above). I think that will help when I have a new challenge looming with entries paid and flights booked.

Anyway, in a few weeks I'll be making a very exciting announcement, I am very excited about it anyway, a few of you will be wowed by what I have to say, most of you will probably raise an eyebrow, many of you will yawn and one of you will have your heart broken (it's Ok Shilpa it's not you).

So in conclusion, I've lost my Mojo but I'm looking for it and that's a work in progress. Interesting news to come but in the meantime you'll have to put up with amusing posts and jokes until I have something less depressing to write about.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Women like that are hard to find

(Shilpa, please blame David Clenton for this one)

Two men are out just fishing quietly and drinking beer.

Almost silently, so as not to scare the fish, Bob says, 'I think I'm gonna divorce my wife. She hasn't spoken to me in over 2 months.'

Earl continues slowly sipping his beer then thoughtfully says, 'You better think it over, Bob. Women like that are hard to find.

Dicky Fox

I love this quote: -

Dicky Fox: Hey, I don't have all the answers. In life, to be honest, I failed as much as I have succeeded. But I love my wife. I love my life. And I wish you my kind of success.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Choosing a wife

(Another classic from Disco's Mum. A joke I've heard before but like it so much I just had to post it.)

A man wanted to get married. He was having trouble choosing among three
likely candidates. He gives each woman a present of $5,000 and watches
to see what they do with the money.

The first does a total makeover. She goes to a fancy beauty salon, gets
her hair done, new makeup; buys several new outfits and dresses up very
nicely for the man. She tells him that she has done this to be more
attractive for him because she loves him so much.

The man was impressed.

The second goes shopping to buy the man gifts. She gets him a new set
of golf clubs, some new gizmos for his computer, and some expensive
clothes. As she presents these gifts, she tells him that she has spent
all the money on him because she loves him so much...

Again, the man is impressed.

The third invests the money in the stock market She earns several times
the $5,000. She gives him back his $5,000 and reinvests the remainder
in a joint account. She tells him that she wants to save for their
future because she loves him so much.

Obviously, the man was impressed.

The man thought for a long time about what each woman had done with the
money he'd given her.

Then he married the one with the biggest tits!!!

Men are like that, you know.
And on another note!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There is more money being spent on breast implants and Viagra today
than on Alzheimer's research. This means that by 2040, there should be
a large elderly population with perky boobs and huge erections and
absolutely no recollection of what to do with them.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Did You Know?

(Courtesy of Ian Hay - I think I posted it before but it's worth a look again - and just bare in mind that this was made in 2008!!!!! What are the stats like now I wonder?

Friday, November 12, 2010


(Courtesy of Ian Hay)

Simon doesn't need to say anything!


"Please wear a poppy," the lady said
And held one forth, but I shook my head.
Then I stopped and watched as she offered them there,
And her face was old and lined with care;
But beneath the scars the years had made
There remained a smile that refused to fade.
A boy came whistling down the street,
Bouncing along on care-free feet.
His smile was full of joy and fun,
"Lady," said he, "may I have one?"
When she's pinned in on he turned to say,
"Why do we wear a poppy today?"
The lady smiled in her wistful way
And answered, "This is Remembrance Day,
And the poppy there is the symbol for
The gallant men who died in war.
And because they did, you and I are free -
That's why we wear a poppy, you see.
"I had a boy about your size,
With golden hair and big blue eyes.
He loved to play and jump and shout,
Free as a bird he would race about.
As the years went by he learned and grew
and became a man - as you will, too.
"He was fine and strong, with a boyish smile,
But he'd seemed with us such a little while
When war broke out and he went away.
I still remember his face that day
When he smiled at me and said, Goodbye,
I'll be back soon, Mom, so please don't cry.
"But the war went on and he had to stay,
And all I could do was wait and pray.
His letters told of the awful fight,
(I can see it still in my dreams at night),
With the tanks and guns and cruel barbed wire,
And the mines and bullets, the bombs and fire.
"Till at last, at last, the war was won -
And that's why we wear a poppy son."
The small boy turned as if to go,
Then said, "Thanks, lady, I'm glad to know.
That sure did sound like an awful fight,
But your son - did he come back all right?"
A tear rolled down each faded check;
She shook her head, but didn't speak.
I slunk away in a sort of shame,
And if you were me you'd have done the same;
For our thanks, in giving, if oft delayed,
Thought our freedom was bought - and thousands paid!
And so when we see a poppy worn,
Let us reflect on the burden borne,
By those who gave their very all
When asked to answer their country's call
That we at home in peace might live.
Then wear a poppy! Remember - and give!
~~By Don Crawford.~~


In Flanders field the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
~~By Major John McCrae, May 1915.~~

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Get well soon Esmen

A brother triathlete, Esmen was hit by a car last night while training for Powerman. He suffered a fractured collarbone and head injuries (thank goodness he was wearing a helmet).

Having been similarly hit by a vehicle and hospitalized I know firsthand how scary this can be, probably more for the family than the victim. Take care everyone out there, remember there's only one winner between a tonne and a half of speeding metal and 75kg of Lycra, flesh and carbon.

Get well soon Esmen, and don't let this setback put you off doing what you love. Get straight back on the horse so to speak.

Thanks to Juliana Ali for alerting us to this unhappy news but I'm looking forward to hearing the good news of Esmen getting back on the bike and starting his next triathlon.

Esmen is warded at Ward Neuro 4 A2, Hospital Kuala Lumpur. Visiting hours :- 12.20pm-2.30pm and 4.30pm-7.30pm. His full name ; Esmenn Mohd Mokhtar

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Miri Sprint & Olympic Distance Triathlons

(Photos from so many people via Facebook - thanks so much to you all)

Yes I am in this picture but I had to share Jack's new hair cut - fashion victim or what! Nice one Jack.

Miri Sprint distance tri on Saturday and Olympic Distance race on Sunday and having spent all day Wednesday in bed with a cold and chest infection I wasn't even sure I'd make it. The day in bed was smart though and by Thursday lunchtime I felt well enough to test the body with a spin class followed by a 5km treadmill run. It went surprisingly well so I was on the plane at the crack of dawn on Friday morning.

I checked into the hotel, put the bike together but never could get myself around to doing a short swim, ride & run to get the body going, test the bike and truth be told test the body. I decided that rest was a better option and proceeded to take it easy the whole day and slept at 8pm.

At around mid-day on Saturday I did put a ride in only to find that my gears were really not happy with the race wheels and although the cables were pretty new it looked like the rear shifter cables needed changing. Tch tch. Having tried to sort that out it was too late for a run tune up.

This year the swim was in the ocean as the marina (the perfect location for a triathlon) was out of bounds as last years crocodiles had grown too big to take the chance this year. HA! They were bloody enormous last year I just don't think the organisers believed they were there. Recently though there were almost daily sightings of them!

I went for a quick dip and swam to the turnaround buoy. The waves were wicked and were breaking at least half way out. I'm no Australian surf swimmer but I get the idea of dipping the head and swimming underneath the waves - I'm not sure everyone had that knowledge or confidence though - as it turned out quite a few racers didn't even go round the buoy - oh well ay! Having said that the waves were breaking almost all the way out to the turnaround buoy during the actual the race. It was a short swim but an exhausting one.

Onto the bike and "wham bam thank you mam" I was on my favoured discipline, it was Simon's world now - here we go! Putt, putt, splutter, sputter, caputt! What was wrong? My heart rate was through the roof and there was NO POWER going through the legs.

Then someone went past what! I genuinely cannot remember that happening in a race in Malaysia EVER! We hit the only hill on the course and he then continued to ride even further away from could this be happening? Then Wong At Thiam came by, not racing but testing his legs, he rode away from me too, dropped back, had a look, then rode away again...usually one of the few guys that can work with me in a drafting race and he clearly was confused by my poor form (or was that him having a chuckle)!

I was still catching Razani (my only real competitor in this race - or so I thought), but as soon as the guy who'd dropped me hooked up with him then they were both gone! At the turnaround I then saw Don Khor honing in on me - OH MY GOODNESS! Even if I stayed ahead of him on the bike my running legs were going to desert me as my bike legs had!!??

Oh well ay, do what you can do but DON'T GIVE UP...then I hit the hill on the way back and really really struggled up it, I almost blacked out twice and had to really force myself to stay conscious, literally - it sounds a bit dramatic but that's the way it was.

On to the run and a strange thing happened - I was moving pretty well, a long way from my best but pretty well. Razani was in sight and not pulling much out on me, I wonder where Don is? At the turnaround the question was answered very swiftly. He was about 300-400 meters behind but moving super fast. We were on the way home however and even though I was totally spent, somehow I managed to speed up - yes he was still likely to catch me at that speed but I was going to make him hurt so badly he will think twice the next time.

As it turned out he didn't catch me and he told me afterwards that he used everything trying to chase me down and when we passed each other he was just showing off - haha, he convinced me anyway. So I finished 2nd in 55minutes and won RM350 (USD115) - flight paid for at least.

As usual the VIPs turned up late for the dinner/prize-giving and we were forced to watch the hotel Filipino band (they did some very good covers but on a distorted PA system) while the food was sitting there tantalisingly close and untouched. In the end one foreign bloke had enough and stood up by the food rather rudely looking at his watch until the organisers got the message (If you hadn't guessed that rude foreign bloke was me).

A tip for any organisers of races, set dinner for 7:30 but have the doors open at 7:00 with the food immediately accessible. People need to get an early night the eve before a race as most will be up by 5:00am. Competitors will show the band and the cultural dancing far more interest and respect if they've got food inside them or at least in front of them. As for the late VIPs, I'm sure that if you explain that triathletes tend to go to bed by 9:00pm on race night; so it be great if the prize-giving could be done at 7:30. That way there's a good chance that they may even turn up by 8:30.

Strangely I felt like the cycling legs were back which was really was strange as I had no indication to suggest it but I was illogically more confident about them today.

The swim was a wave-fest again and was two laps of a triangular course. One side of the triangle was along the beach. We were told that we had to run around the buoys at each end of the triangle and yes we could run back down the beach before entering the water and then we were told we could not. Mmmm!

My first lap went OK and I trotted down and along the beach and then straight back into the water. People in front of me were then either wading straight out or wading parallel to the shore. It didn't take me a split second to work out the best course of action - as soon as I was in the water I trotted back along the beach ankle deep but in the water until I was closest to the buoy at which point I turned left waded out and then swam through the waves to the turnaround. I'm fairly sure I heard my name being called but if you're going to set a silly course then the smarter competitors are going to use the rules to the best effect. It's amazing how many people followed my lead! Strange that!

Onto the bike and all I knew was I had to get to the top of the hill before Wong came steaming by otherwise I was a dead duck (drafting race). I hit the bottom of the hill and started climbing and then Whoosh whoosh whoosh, Wong's disc wheel came barrelling past me. I had less than a second to decide - go with him and risk blowing up before the top of the hill or pace myself and see what happened.

Had I chosen the latter my race would have gone off like a wet firework but fortunately instinct (and denial) took over and I was standing in the pedals giving it everything that I had - which was infinitely more than the day before I was pleased to say. Wong was still in touch but I was not within drafting distance, so a huge effort down the hill and then I was on him.

Another guy came with us but was soon spat out the back. We slowly started picking people up and the guy who passed me the day before got in the train too. Within a few minutes I was recovered and doing at least my far share of pulling if not a bit more - cool, I wasn't fully "back" but at least there were signs that I could compete.

At about 15K we came across Razani and a Czech guy in my age-group, the Czech guy is notorious for not doing ANY WORK in the pack and today was no exception. If there was ever a little break in the group he just waited for someone else (usually me) to close it down.

I was starting to feel pretty narked about it and although I beat him last year on the run I doubted that my form would be enough to beat him this year unless I dropped him on the bike. So I engineered a little gap with him on my back wheel and about 15 or 20 of the group behind in the train. Wong, Razani and about four others pulled away. I was hoping that someone would go, then I would jump with them and use the tow to be sure of getting back with Wong and Razani.

No one went, the gap got bigger and bigger until I reminded myself that I wasn't really on top form and I could find myself trying to make the bridge and ending up in no mans land. BOOM, I went for it, I sprung the trap and sprinted after them, I looked down between my legs and saw that no one had managed to stay on my wheel. Now it was up to me to bridge the gap, it was hurting but my bike form hadn't entirely abandoned me today and I made it.

Now I was worried that without a concerted effort the pack behind would reorganise and reel us in. A bit of encouragement (some might call it shouting) and the new downsized pack with Razani, Wong and a few other tasty cyclists were in top form, organised and my devious little plan was a success.

We continued to pick up more and more of the leaders, there were several mini attacks from the group, including one by Wong and myself (several others by Wong too I hasten to add). None worked, the pack was too strong and the breakaways were short lived.

I got dropped a little on the hill at the end but I wasn't too concerned, Razani was the only guy in front of me and I knew I was unlikely to beat him in the run today. As it turned out the Czech guy's pack was over a minute behind so I was clear in 2nd.

I was hurting pretty much straightaway on the run (check out the eyes in the photo - scary) but hey, that's the way it's supposed to be and no doubt everyone else was hurting too. I got to the 2.5k turnaround point and Razani was flying, no catching him today. Then the Czech guy was there not far behind - oh dear, looks like 3rd is the best I can do despite the fun and games on the bike. I told myself that whatever happens keep him behind until we hit the main road (about half way) and it'll be less demoralising. He overtook me just as I turned onto the road, cool I thought, another little moral victory for myself at least.

There was no one in reach of me for 3rd in my age-group now but I still had my old sparring partner Don Khor to fend off, once again he was flying but was just a little too far back to close me down. Job done, Razani beat me by a couple of minutes I reckon (no official results out), the Czech guy by about 20 seconds ahead (although once he passed me he eased off a lot). I finished in about 2 hours, won RM1800 (USD580) so that'll be split between Shilpa, the boys and the maids - hopefully they'll be happy too.

I loved every minute of it, even the bike leg of the Sprint race (strangely) but especially the bike leg of the Olympic distance, I love playing out the tactics, super fun and takes one's mind off the screaming pain.

So that was that. Miri is a real gem of a race, with RM100,000 (over USD30,000) prize-money it's the richest race I know of in the world for amateurs. I'm just sad that this year it wasn't as well supported as last year.

I know that some of the organisers read this blog and I'm probably not going to be the most popular chap for sharing my thoughts but I shall anyway, for the love of the sport and for the love and loyalty I have for this wonderful race.

I heard one guy calling the race a little "soulless" this year. It wasn't soulless in my view, there just weren't enough people racing.

First of all, we don't race for the money, it's a very Malaysian thing having prize-money but it's not the be all and end all. I race Ironmans, Phuket tri and other Olympic Distance triathlons where there aren't any prizes at all for the amateurs, but I still race them as hundreds of others do. Therefore what I suggest is to take RM20K of the prize-money and put it towards a web-site and some marketing initiatives.

The simplest thing would be to pay something to Mr Chan as a facilitator and use his website and influence. I'd even go one step further and get Mr. Chan to manage the event as he has in recent years. (I'm sure I'm stepping on some toes now but it's coming from a good place - we all want the best possible event and that means more competitors and more streamlined organisation. Mr Chan delivers both in heaps - if memory serves me right he even uses chip timing these days!).

Sadly have to say that I have never ever ever come across an event more difficult to enter. There is no website but fortunately I was prepared, I got my secretaries to email (x2), fax (x2)and telephone (x3) my entries in and even then I was only registered for the OD race, my entry for the Sprint never made it - this story is similar for many other athletes and has been repeated many times over the years.

So there you have it - my ten cents worth. The race was not in the slightest bit spoiled by the new swim venue, despite the waves, it was just different.

The choice of race hotel and venue is perfect in terms of location, cost and staff friendliness (very athlete friendly too I must say).

Everyone in Miri as always were outstandingly friendly, a particular mention must go to Albert and Michael who did a super job and make the race worth going to just for their friendly, embracing enthusiasm.

Free transportation to and from the airport as always - this is an outstanding touch and always puts me in a wonderful mood every time a race organiser sees this as a chance to ingratiate the competitors to the race rather than a chance to rip-off the athletes (are you reading WTC?)

The police marshaling was perfect at every juncture that I encountered and I didn't hear anything to the contrary from anyone else.

Water stations were spot on and all the water I grabbed was ice-cold (a big shout out for that, it makes such a massive difference).

New transition and run course were spot on although run really should be 10k rather than 8.5k (can't believe I'm saying that).

New extended bike course was almost exactly 40k, transition to transition, well done for that (it was only 37K last year).

As I said earlier, this is a gem of a race and deserves to be one of the biggest in South East Asia, it certainly has the potential. We all owe it to ourselves and the race to be there next year (I will be) but the organisers owe it to the race, themselves and us to make entry easy, give us a website, give us online registration, do some marketing other than just distributing forms and by all means use some of the prize-money to pay for it. No one is going to complain about that, and if they do, please let me know and I'll have a word.

One final note, fix the date early so people can plan for it (put it on the website), I suggest a have the race a couple of weeks after Powerman so people can recover and they can use it as a tune-up for Phuket if they're going (it seems to work really well last year). Either way, the original date this year clashed with Powerman and the new date then clashed with Trailblazer and a Mountain bike race in Malacca.

And a final final thought, invite every one's good friend Tey along to take some of the best action sports photos around, I'm sure an AirAsia flight a hotel room and a few perks might persuade him to come and then you'd have a thousand top quality photos for the future promotion of the event and Miri!

Fingers crossed for next year and provided I'm not blacklisted after this post goes public you'll see me there again and hopefully with my "A" game.

Big Black Guy, Little Irish Guy

(Another corker from Disco Dave's Mum)

A little Irishman goes into an elevator, looks up and sees this huge black guy standing next to him. The big guy sees the little Irishman staring at him, he looks down and says: "7 feet tall, 350 pounds, 20 inch penis, 3 pounds of testicles, Turner Brown."

The Irishman faints and falls to the floor.

The big guy kneels down and brings him to, shaking him.

The big guy says, "What's wrong with you?"

In a weak voice the little guy says, "What EXACTLY did you say to me?"

The big dude says, "I saw your curious look and figured I'd just give you the answers to the questions everyone always asks me...... I'm 7 feet tall, I weigh 350 pounds, I have a 20 inch penis, my testicles weigh 3 pounds and my name is Turner Brown."

The little Irishman says:"Turner Brown?!....Sweet Jazus, I thought you said, 'Turn around!'"

Monday, November 01, 2010

The Italian Bookkeeper

(Another gem courtesy of Dave Spence's Mum)

A Mafia Godfather finds out that his bookkeeper, Enzo, has cheated him out of 10 million Euros... His bookkeeper is deaf. That was the reason he got the job in the first place. It was assumed that Enzo would hear nothing that he might have to testify about in court.

When the Godfather goes to confront Enzo about his missing Euro10 million, he takes along his lawyer who knows sign language. The Godfather tells the lawyer, "Ask him where the 10 million is that he embezzled from me." The lawyer, using sign language, asks Enzo where the money is.

Enzo signs back, "I don't know what you are talking about." The lawyer tells the Godfather, "He says he doesn't know what you are talking about." The Godfather pulls out a pistol, puts it to Enzo's temple and says, "Ask him again!"

The lawyer signs to Enzo, "He'll kill you if you don't tell him...” Enzo signs back, "OK. You win! The money is in a brown briefcase, buried behind the shed in my cousin Bruno's backyard in Milan!"

The Godfather asks the lawyer, "What did he say?" The lawyer replies, "He says you don't have the balls to pull the trigger."

Ironman Access Program

(courtesy of

Simon says: -
If WTC (owners of Ironman) were a character in a James Bond 007 movie then they'd be the evil corporation trying to take over the world.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Bryan Payne takes to the water

As some of you will know Bryan is a PFG (Previous Fat Guy) who qualified for the Ironman World Championships this year. Congratulations Bryan. Unfortunately Bryan has been hit by injury and since then just a few short days have passed and he's not doing so well. Last night he ate his entire Kegerator (home made beer on tap)!!!!! But the great news is that Bryan says he has got his head around it and has started swimming again today. He even sent a photo of himself before he drained the pool.

Authorities are still searching for three small children and they say they're soon going to move the search to Bryan's naval just as soon as the tunnelling equipment arrives from Chile.


School Lunches: Part 3

(More excellent commentary from and written by Rick Copley)

OK, part three. Put your seat-belts on.

So in Part One I talked a little bit about the crap that I ate at lunch when I was a school boy. Part Two featured the crap that my son eats for lunch in 2010. Fantastic stuff. Neither one of us enjoyed simple nutrition at lunch time. No kidding.

Today I want to tell you how our kids CAN eat a healthy supportive meal at lunch time. It’s really pretty simple. Does it really matter… uhhhhh YEAH!!

Kids are fatter today than 5 – 10 – 20 – whatever, years ago. Is this fact open for argument?

Is it because of school lunches? Even I am not naive enough to believe that is the sole or even the main cause. I do, however, think that it matters and that it is a factor.

Let’s look at two ways that can help our kids to eat a lunch that enriches and nourishes their bodies.

Brown bag it. OK, you don’t send your kid with a brown bad anymore. Technology allows for more efficient lunch packing. They sell lunch boxes at Wal-mart and Target. You can get a simple ice pack there as well.

OK, so what do you put in their new shiny lunch box?

Drink: Water. NO THEY DO NOT NEED JUICE OR SODA OR MILK. Please. They need water to live. End of story.

Snacks: Fruit is AWESOME! Lots of energy and nutrients! An apple perhaps; or a banana. (If you send a banana make sure it is protected. Banana and ice packs do not go well together!!) Also you should include some veggies. What kid would not like a sliced up cucumber or green pepper in his lunch box? Fantastic! A few handfuls of nuts it GREAT as well! Good protein and fats to keep the energy up!

Lunch: Tupperware rules. Leftovers with brown rice, veggies and some meat will help them to have energy for the rest of the day! How about a salad with some beans? Mmmm. A sandwich is acceptable at long as it doesn’t involve mayo or white bread. A turkey sandwich with mustard, tomatoes and lettuce is a good option. Tasty and nutritious!

Dessert: NO DESSERT NEEDED! HA! We want to be nutritious not destructive!

Notices there are no pretzels or potato chips or pasties or candy? No soda! No juice! No white bread! No micro wave! Support their bodies with healthy food!

See Nick's Full article here

Simon says: -
Nick has described our strategy of packing the boys off to school with their lunch everyday. Only water to drink, fruit, veggies (although they don't thank us for this one) and all good wholesome food.

If they eat it all then they get a smiley face on the smiley face chart at home and a little treat - no we're not perfect, we still resort to bribery.

And no the boys don't yet throw the good stuff away as they still believe that we watch their every move with our "magic eyes" haha.

Of course that won't last and we will have our challenges but we've started well and most importantly we've started creating habits that we hope the boys will stick with for the rest of their lives.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Tinker, Tailor, Pilot, F1 Driver...

Seb and Sid had their "Book Character" dress up day at school last week. Their Nani and Nana (Grandma & Grandad - Shilpa's Mom and Dad) bought them the most amazing costumes from the US on their recent holiday. Pop even sent them by overnight express courier from Bangkok to make sure they arrived in time for the big day.

Seb, who is our budding F1 Driver didn't fit into the drivers costume and Sid who either wants to be a pilot or a train driver was too small for the pilot's outfit. Oh well ay! They happily swapped (I was amazed) and proceeded to be two of the coolest looking kids in school (too many pirates and fairies - although I thought the Chef looked really cool too).

Friday, October 22, 2010

The truth about pain!

I had some great debates over the past few days on Facebook about various topics including Total Immersion Swimming and pushing through pain so I thought I'd share some thoughts and parts of the debate with you.

One of the contributors wrote - "My race starts in T1", indeed that's how I used to race triathlons, my swimming was such a disaster and I'd cycle past hundreds of people repeating a little mantra to myself "If only I could swim, if only I could swim".

I tried everything including in a "Total Immersion" course to get better - but that just resulted in my spending three expensive training days floating a few centimetres below the surface and almost drowning. I learnt a lot about balance in the water but not much else.

In the end Brett Sutton (head coach of TBB) brought it home to me in a comment I read on TBB Forum - "Swimming hurts! If it's not hurting then you're not doing it right". What on earth is he talking about I thought, the good guys make it look effortless, just like TI. True but they are also hurting too, trust me THEY ARE HURTING. So where is this leading? Read on...

I believe that most people misunderstand pacing and back off to a pace in their comfort zone. Especially in swimming. I'm a terrible swimmer but I never swim in my comfort zone (anymore), I'm right up at the red line (it's very unpleasant) BUT ...I'm not in the red i.e. not anaerobic as that will guarantee I will crash and burn before the end.

If on the other hand you need to stay within your comfort zone just to survive the race then that's fine but you're participating not competing - you need to either settle for that and be happy with it (which is totally cool by me) or if you want to get better and compete then you need to push the limits without blowing up - a fine balance I know but a necessary one.

Whatever you "save" in the swim you'll never regain on the bike and whatever you "save" on the bike you'll never regain on the run. I read recently that the fastest way to race was hard on the swim, hard on the bike and if necessary hang on for the run rather than saving yourself in any particular discipline.

It seems to me that no matter how deep we dig there's always more to find. On the run there's always something there, always something extra - at the point where you were about to ease off on the run due to "exhaustion" or should I say "perceived exhaustion", imagine that a band of hungry cannibals were 200m behind you in hot pursuit. If it were real, would you carry on jogging or do you think you might be able to nail the rest of the run to the sanctuary of the finish line?

Exhaustion and pain are just tools the brain uses to protect the body but those protection mechanisms kick in very early. So the question is, how much do you want it? How much are you prepared to hurt?

I'm not talented (certainly not physically or athletically) I just have a bigger ego than most, I reckon I'm just prepared to hurt more and longer, nothing more. There are so many lean, muscular athletes I see, not just at races but every weekend training, I wish I had their bodies, but as it happens I usually beat most of them, but WOW, if I had their bodies with my ego and my willingness to go past the pain barrier in training as well as racing then I'd be unstoppable.

The real talented people on the other hand have the good fortune to have the physical talent AND the desire and the WILL to overcome pain and perceived exhaustion AND are willing to put the time and pain in during the many hours of training.

Never allow yourself to believe that an athletic looking guy or girl can beat you, they can't on looks alone however kind genetics have been to them. If you want to beat them though the race starts when the gun goes and finishes when you fall over that line. If your race starts in T1 then your race will never really start until you master the art of hurting in the swim and then on the bike and then on the run. ENJOY haha

One very valid point that one of the contributors made to the debate was that it's all very well pushing through the pain barriers if you're an experienced triathlete with years of experience under your belt but if you're a relative newbie and/or have potential injury problems then pushing the pain barriers will do nothing other than set you back months if not years. I COULDN'T AGREE MORE. MY COMMENTS ARE FIRMLY RESERVED FOR THOSE ATHLETES WHO DO HAVE THE EXPERIENCE AND DON'T HAVE LOOMING INJURY PROBLEMS.

Although you've got to identify the difference between potential injury pains or just an excuse to back off!!!

A final little point about the summary, I said the race starts when the gun goes off - in fact as we all know the race really starts months before the gun goes off in training but I'll take that as read!!!

School Lunches: Part 2

See and by Rick Copley's article Part 2 here

Simon says: - A stand out couple of paragraphs that hit me personally from Rick's latest article are these: -

"I mean THE most important thing. How about our health! Learning math and social studies is vital I do know. What good are they when you are dead at 50 from a heart attack?

I would argue that our health is the most important thing in the world. School is such a fantastic platform to teach our kids how to eat."

My 40 year old cousin died last year of a heart attack, as far as I know he has always been overweight and did little exercise as so many people these days. It broke my Aunt and Uncle's hearts and when my Auntie overheard me talking about the alarming obesity rates on the streets of the UK these days she quite rightly felt compelled to express another side to my somewhat one-sided view of "blame the parents".

She explained that they simply didn't know, they were never educated about nutrition and the right foods to eat or the consequences of not eating healthily and doing exercise.

When you think about it no one even knew about the dangers of smoking in those days (except the tobacco companies of course but don't let me get started on that one). Just to put things into perspective, my Aunt and Uncle are intelligent university graduates who became successful professionals but when they were young parents the knowledge simply wasn't generally available.

It is now of course, so parents of today's information age, you have no excuses, you are responsible and you're doing a rubbish job (certainly if you look at the UK and the USA).

However, as Rick clearly points out that health is the most important thing in our lives. I'd personally say happiness is but of course without health then there is no happiness. He also points out that school is a wonderful platform to teach our kids about healthy eating. Exercise too for that matter (so why is Physical education being reduced year on year in our schools? - MADNESS).

So ultimately schools carry their fair share of blame when our kids are being let down. Chips, pizza's and overly processed food should be removed from school canteens, choices should be increased but just healthy ones. We as a society get bombarded with so much crap food anyway the last place we want or need it is in our schools.

Adventure Race for kids

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