In just over 12 hours time, the Ironman Triathlon World Championships would unfold in Kona, Hawaii. Although there is no clear favourite, there are definitely some who would be likely contenders for the crowns of being king and queen of Kona this year. I am a Crowie fan myself but I see the odds are in the favour of Eneko Llanos after bagging two Championship titles - Asia Pacific and Europe. For the women, I'm sticking to my guns and rooting for Rinny, whom I am a huge fan.
But apart from having this year's biggest show in Ironman taking stage soon, massive news made the headlines recently, hitting somewhere closer to home. After a 3 year hiatus, Ironman would once again return to Malaysia... my home country! A two loop swim course in sheltered waters off Legenda Park, followed by a two loop undulating bike course from southeast to northwest of the island and back, rounding up with a 4 loop run course along Kuah town and finishing at the iconic eagle statue at Dataran Lang. Here's the official press release.
|Picture of Dataran Lang taken from the official website|
Ironman Langkawi, Malaysia was my first ever Ironman in 2009. I had no idea what I was in for. My longest ride before the race was 160km. I had a modest goal of 12 hours and I was totally elated to cross the finish line in 11:15:20. A year later, I came back with higher expectations. I sliced a whopping 25 minutes off my bike split. But in the heat, I struggled on the later stages of the run, finishing in 11:33:12. I was eager to make amends the following year but sadly, 2010 was the last we saw of Ironman Malaysia. Since then, I've been really blessed to be given the opportunity to enhance my Ironman experience overseas, in Australia and recently, Canada - adding another 5 more Ironman finishes to my cap.
|First tri bike, dorky glasses and poor bike fit. Ate too many gels and bananas. But had a ball at my first IM|
|In my 2nd year, I had more pressure on myself and when the heat turned up, all wheels came off and I jogged/walked the 2nd half of the run|
To have Ironman return to Malaysia in 2014 is a dream come true to many Malaysian triathletes, be it those who aspire to tick off their bucket list of completing an Ironman distance or those reminiscing some nostalgia and yearning to relive those special moments again. I fall in the latter group and I'm over the moon when I heard the news. Although that puts me in a difficult situation being so far away from home, it would have been totally different story if I was back in Australia.
Most of you know I have yet to commit to a full Ironman race for next year. I've heard rumours about Ironman Malaysia was in the works and now those rumours became reality. Apart from the additional costs of the long travel home for this race, I would also need to consider the 30 hour journey and jetlag. Plus it would be in my final month of working contract here which only gives week of handover to the lady I'm standing in for.
Having said that... I know what my heart wants. Big kudos to all those involved in bringing Ironman Malaysia back. When registration opens on November 7, I'll have to make a call.