Well done to all those who took part in the Singapore National Aquathlon Championships last weekend. A large and strong turnout by the looks of it and some sparkling performances from ANZA members. Selected ANZA times and age group positions:
Wendy Wilcox, 1st 1:25
Ruth Stubbs, 7th 1:33
Thomas Burford –Taylor, 6th 1:14
Peter Bennett, 28th 1:27
Kari Nore, 2nd, 43:02
Kathryn Campbell, 3rd, 43:28
Jackson Campbell, 2nd, 7:27
The Europeans prospered best in the heat and humidity to dominate when Ironman made a successful return to Malaysia last Saturday. Patrick Nilsson from Sweden was first over the line with 8hrs: 41mins. Followed by compatriot and Phuket based Freddy Cronenborg with 8:58. Diana Riseler from Germany took the ladies prize with a time of 9:26
A strong Singapore contingent, including a couple of ANZA members, made the journey up to Langkawi for one of the toughest races on the circuit
From a personal perspective, this was by far the most grueling race I have taken part in.
The Swim – conditions were perfect. No chop as we started out in the harbour with a very novel rolling start (where your time started when you crossed the start line – thus avoiding the mass brawl sea starts – take note Singapore/Bintan) . A straight out and back swim meant sighting was easy and good times to be had. I was delighted with a 1 hour 13 swim. I avoided the jelly fish – but many didn’t – including one of the pre race favourites, Cameron Brown, who was stung and suffered an allergic reaction during the bike at 120km and had to retire
The Bike – This was very nasty. A few decent hills to start with followed by a bit of flat. Just when I was getting into some kind of rhythm came the lumpy hills branded as the “Red Bull Tough Zone” – enough said really. The sun came out in force on the bike and energy supplies were quickly drained. During the tough zone I passed James Clarke from Journey Fitness who was taken out on the bike by another competitor who went over the centre line and hit him in a head on collision – leading to a broken collar bone for poor James. A 90 minute wait for an ambulance and zero communication to his wife who was back in town waiting for him was not good and the organisers need to look at their medical and comms support going forward. As I started the 2nd lap of the course, I really started to struggle here. The many miles and hours of training on RTI’s, Batam, Desaru and Bintan were simply not enough for this terrain and climate. I completed the 180km bike ride in 6 hours 4 mins and was completely exhausted – but happy to be off the bike
The Run – The brutal heat and humidity was now very apparent and the flat, totally exposed 4 lap run course was pure survival. The aid stations were well equipped and had big tanks of iced water for athletes to douse themselves with to try and keep cool – some people were even getting into the tanks it was so hot! I kept it together knowing that an Ironman race doesn’t really start until 20km into the run and started passing a number of people who were all over the place, many walking, staggering, throwing up, cramping – the lot. Those midday runs on the green corridor started to pay dividends now. I finished the run in just over 4hrs and got an overall PB and top 10 placing in my age group which I was delighted with.
Overall – I would say this was a good race for those who like it hot and hilly. An OK location – in southern Langkawi rather than by the 5 star beach hotels up north – we stayed at the Westin hotel which was very, very good – but think it was the only decent place to stay at in the south . Well organized (apart from the medical support) and decent ‘after party’ on the beach the next evening – which is the important bit!
Well done to Singapore based athletes Tim Cosulich and Assad Attamimi who both came first in their respective age groups and qualified for the world championships in Hawaii
ANZA times and age group positions:
Martin Reynolds, 9th, 11:35
Patrick Osswald, 27th, 13:26