Monday, February 25, 2008

Ironmen and women, recidivist and new

Ironman Langkawi 2008 finishers;
in random order
Mejar Kalam, Salman, Chan Jun Shen, Azwar, Shazly, May Senn, Ariff, Ihsal, Karoline, Steve, Jasmi, Stupe, OP Sofian, Bacin, Ridzwan, Amru, Saiful, Abu, Wong/Hafiz, Carmen, Iwata-san, Simon, Raymond Hee, Fiona Lim, Mr Ngae, Azwar/Pipot/Zebets, Azmar, Sanggup, Yuseri, Kohing, Jeffery Mujah, Saravana, Zabil, Randy Botak, Cecil, Frankie Ambrose, Puzi, Don Khor, Dicky and many many more
Oops, so many, nearly forgot, Paul and Edwin

Full report and pictures to follow later, just some highlights for now:

  • Tickets to Kona for SWAT and Carmen Leong
  • Dr. Fiona was struggling with injury on the run
  • Stupe managed to gain 3kg!!!
  • Mr. Ngae took a unplanned side-excursion during the swim (distracted by Langkawi mermaid, hehe) which earned him a 2hr+ swim time
  • May Senn has to change the name of her blog
  • Bacin is gonna spend saturdays and sundays watching tv from now on (any bets on how long till he's back on the bike?)
  • Recovery-ride to Broga coming saturday likely to be cancelled due to lack of participants
  • Azwar settled his score in Langkawi
  • Chan Jun Shen is the youngest Malaysian to finish IM Langkawi at the age of 18yrs 1 mth and 26 days
  • The weighing scale was not yet packed when May Senn arrived
  • Shaving does not make you faster as proven by Al-Faris. New thesis -more hair means better aerodynamics
  • Pls help, Sanggup wants the number of the pretty girl at the roadside halfway the run-track
  • No matter how many times Iwata faints he'll continue at full speed shortly after
  • Mr. Ngae and Chan Jun Shen finished the race together and crossed the finish line holding hands
  • OP Hisham has a big heart for 'poor' triathletes, the cheaper the bike the harder he will cheer!!!
  • Due to excessive amounts of suffering a few bikes can be expected to be for sale soon (no names)
  • SWAT Junior expected in June/July
  • Wearing those pressure-stockings make you look kinda gay

UPNM highlights

  • All seven team members completed IM-Langkawi
  • Jasmi finished second Malaysian behind Wong Ah Tiam
  • Youngest IM-finisher Chan Jun Shen with a time of 13hr50min
  • UPNM-record has been broken for the fourth consecutive year, Salman Alias finished in 12hr 09min
  • UPNM-team:
  1. Jasmi Sarael 10.57
  2. Salman Alias 12.09
  3. Chan Jun Shen 13.50
  4. Ridzwan 14.29
  5. Kalam bin Pie 15.35
  6. Amru Muhammad 15.51
  7. Mohd Saiful 15.51

A great atmosphere at the finish-line while waiting till the last of our friends safely finished with an IM-medal around their necks.

Lastly, a big thanks to the four OP's, doc Hisham, Kam, Bandit and Budin for letting me tag along with you guys, you're true gentlemen and friends!!! Thanks also to The Navy seals Shaiful and Robika, fellow cheerleaders....

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The stones are cast

Not many UPNM kadets can swim at this level

Watch and learn

Outdoor bike sale

Getting ready for the ride to Putrajaya

Water boys during the run

Waterfamily with Mr. Ngae and Chan

Suka sangat buat gambar, same fam. with Johan

Marathon des Sables finisher Mr. Ngae

Chan JS, aiming to become UPNM's youngest Ironman on the 23rd

Redzuan, another Sabahan

Johan 'Are we finished allready?'

Last training before Ironman. We used UPNM's facilities to have a OD triathlon training session.
A bigger crowd then we expected turned up, all familiar tri-bandits. Azwar, Stupe, Adzim, Abu, Saiful, Erwin, OP Sofian, Bacin, Dicky, Adrian, Ariff, Mr. Ngae, etc...

Swim in UPNM's pool, some 20 of us were swimming, looked nice all these swimmers smoothly pulling lanes. One of the UPNM's coaches was on duty as a life-guard. Think he was quite surprised to see this whole group swimming, only a few kadets can match these levels...hehehe

We were busy gettin water from the canteen so started a bit late. I did only half OD distance.

Continued cycling, out of SG Besi town unto Besraya towards Putrajaya. Promised to cycle REALLY SLOW. Yeah yeah, their interpretation of slow!!!

Never mind, I know very well that I'm not up to that level (not yet, one day I'll show them - anybody scared yet??). Cycled with Johan and Kalam, another group got slightly lost but Chan managed to get them back before they ended up in JB.

A few people left after cycling, other continued unto the run. Only the bravest of the brave got to the top of Ironhill (Mr Ngae, Chan and Redzuan). The majority turned back at the bottom of the hill.

As it was a very hot day, we put the water in the car and I roped In Danial and Dayan to form a mobile waterstation.
Nice training, worth repeating.....

Only a few days left before Ironman Langkawi. Kalam is leaving on thursday.

The stones are cast now: not enough training, too much training, wrong training, just hope it all works out on the 23rd.

I'm not even taking part, guess because I know how much hard training has been put in, how much hope, how many doubts.....

Good luck to all, you are all winners for daring to dream big................

Friday, February 8, 2008


Joined the ride in Putrajaya this morning. Normally I'm scared to join the mutant club but got bored sittin' at home and so did Danial. With a lot of people out of town and Kalam still in Sabah difficult to organise a ride with our 'own level'. Announced was a 50km ride around Putrajaya and 10-20km run afterwards. I can survive 50km, told Danial we should just follow our own speed. However this morning only Shazly showed up, all the other mutants were apparently knocked out from the ride on thursday. We were joined by three pro-footballers (dunno their names and faces, I'm a total Ignoramus when it comes to football). Well these guys are new to cycling but their legs are nearly my size but not filled with blubber like mine..... So they cycled better than Danial and me. I suspect Danial was online till the early hours of the morning, which explains why he had difficulty keepin up.
I estimate we cycled around 50km, (my speedmeter rosak). Shazly was running when we came back but Danial didn't have 'umpphh' for a run, neither did the footballers. So I just ran around the circle at the mosque once. Bit malu, runnin and cyclin around in thights in front of mosque....
Feel better after the ride, need my regular dose of endomorphins (Addict!!!)....

Tryin to get some work done on the computer, prepare some powerpoints, but my heart is not in it. Workwise I'm at a crossroads, got a few offers but haven't decided what to do yet:
First - Offer from one of the big nursing colleges to work as an lecturer.
Pro's; salary increase, sponsorship for bachelor and masters degree (something I've been wanting to do for a long time but lacked the finances). 5day work week
Con's; Work not very attractive. Turning out nurses like factory, quality of nurses from these colleges also not great. Would loose touch with my specialism (intensive care nursing)

Second - New hospital opening in the middle of 2008
Pro's; Able to work as pioneers and have a big say in the set-up of the education department. Working with good and professional management, would look forward to work with these people again. Able to stay in my specialism.
Con's: Salary probably no significant increase (waiting for offer letter). Far to travel, would be very difficult to fit in any training during week days. Workhours 9-6, alternate saturday off.

Last - Stay put
Pro's; Familiar, no hassle to rearrange work permit. Acceptable travel distance. Involved in JCI-accredidation preparation. Able to stay in my specialism. Also the person that used to make my work difficult has resigned and left.
Con's:Too often still regarded as 'just one of the ICU-nurses'. (But starting to get my voice across). 5 1/2 day workweek.

Anyone got a 3-sided coin?

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Is there any hope left????????????

Since the beginning of December nearly every week has a public holiday in it. Of course I'm not complaining about his, on the contrary -wished it would continue all year round!!!
On sunday Kalam, Danial and me joined 'Kayuhan LTdL" (LTdL=Le Tour de Langkawi). The event took place in Putrajaya, free t-shirts for the first 100 participants to register. There were two distances: 40km and 1km.
UPM turned out in full force with some 20 cyclists - mostly female.Several other groups, including scouts.
We thought we were quite late as Kalam send the UPNM team to towerthon before driving down to Putrajaya. Only Danial got a t-shirt but there was still plenty of time. As usual speech upon speech followed for about an hour. At the end our ears were sore and finally we were flaggedc off, VIP's in front (Dato' Azalina). After 1km the first group reached their finishline. I couldn't believe my ears when the anouncer said it was now time for refreshments!!!
Is there any hope left????
I guess there is. Some 2000 cyclists showed up....
Only a few familiar faces (Azmar, others dunno names). After the 1km cyclists were out of the way, we happily cycled. Felt good on the bike, Dino's lessons have helped me a lot. After 20km we came back to the starting point in front of Kementerian Belia dan Sukan. I took my time, have a drink, relax my legs for the 2nd loop, had my racebunny marked. BUT the organisers tought one round enough (takut orang penat ke?).
So we packed our bikes and went home. Quite happy with my time, just over half an hour for 20km. Kalam managed to follow behind the lead cyclists, Danial also left me behind, happy with his new bike.

On the way back we got some great news; UPNM's team won the university category in the towerthon!!!
Congrats to UPNM (all five winning guys are members of the triathlon-club)
Big Booh to UPM (only cycled 1km, these ladies better join kelab masak masak)

Now having another long weekend ahead, not sure yet what to do Swim? Cycle? Run? Kalam is in Sabah till friday. He's climbing Mount Kinabalu together with the UPNM's cadets. This is a yearly event and it is the third time Kalam joins the climb. However since he's an Powerbar Elite athlete now in case anyone asks, my answer is:
"Kalam is undergoing High Altitude training before IM Langkawi"

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Japanese looks

Laluan berbasikal sangat mencabar
Oleh Harris Rajahdin
CABARAN lebih sukar menanti peserta Ironman Langkawi 2008, 23 Februari ini berikutan perubahan laluan basikal sejauh 180 kilometer yang menjadi sebahagian daripada acara lasak yang menggabungkan disiplin renang, berbasikal dan larian. Perubahan itu diumumkan Pengarah kejohanan, A Chandrakumanan dengan laluan berbasikal baru yang dipilih tahun ini adalah lebuh raya baru LISRAM menuju lapangan terbang di Padang Matsirat. “Saya ingin memberikan amaran kepada atlit tempatan. Tahun ini laluan berbasikal sangat mencabar dengan ia akan melalui lebuh raya LISRAM menuju ke lapangan terbang.
“Kami sudah membuat tinjauan bersama polis dan mereka bersetuju dengan laluan berkenaan. Atlit hanya akan dibenarkan menggunakan sebahagian jalan dengan sebahagian lagi ditutup,” katanya pada sidang media penyampaian penajaan Powerbar di Nestle House, Petaling Jaya, semalam. Turut hadir Pengurus Pembangunan Perniagaan Bahagian Nutrisi Nestle, Mohammad Rahimi Abdullah dan beberapa triatlit tempatan tajaan Powerbar iaitu Don Khor Ngee Leong, Hairul Azwar Hashim, Ngae Koh Hieng dan Mejar Kalam Pie .
Menurut Chandrakumanan, penyertaan pada kali menyaksikan peningkatan dengan lebih daripada 800 atlit daripada 38 negara akan memeriahkan saingan, berbanding tahun lalu yang menyaksikan 680 atlit bersaing dengan 580 daripadanya menamatkan acara renang 3.8km, berbasikal 180km dan larian 42km. Hanya peserta yang menamatkan ketiga-tiga disiplin dalam jangka masa 17 jam layak dinobatkan gelaran Ironman. Triatlit negara, Muhammad Hafiz Wong Abdullah (Wong Ah Thiam) yang muncul peserta terbaik Malaysia di Kejohanan Dunia di Kona, Hawaii apabila menamatkan acara itu dengan masa 9 jam 57 minit akan berusaha melakukan 9 jam 45 saat di Langkawi. Ironman Langkawi yang dianjurkan sejak 1999 menjadi siri kejohanan kelayakan ke Kejohanan Dunia di Kona, pada Oktober. Dua slot khas ditawarkan kepada dua atlit terpantas tempatan dalam kategori lelaki dan wanita bagi mewakili negara di Kona.

Triathlon / Langkawi Ironman: Le Floch, Nicole won't defend titles
By : Devinder Singh
Ironman Malaysia race director A. Chandrankumanan (2nd from right) posing with Nestle (Malaysia and Singapore) country manager Emily Loo (left), Powerbar business development manager Mohammad Rahimi (2nd from left) and Ironman Malaysia sponsorship manager Aaron Sharma after the presentation yesterday.

THE ninth edition of the Ironman Malaysia Triathlon in Langkawi on Feb 23 has attracted a record 800 triathletes from 38 countries but the men's and women's defending champions are not among them.
Xavier Le Floch, who won his maiden Ironman title and also became the first Frenchman to triumph in Langkawi last year, and women's champion Nicole Leder of Germany will not be defending their titles.
Race director A. Chandrankumanan said Le Floch and Nicole cited family commitments for giving Langkawi a miss this year."The defending men's and women's champions will not be in Langkawi as they both have had a birth of a child in their respective families recently," said Chandrankumanan after a sponsorship presentation ceremony with Powerbar in Petaling Jaya yesterday.However, the 2008 race, involving a 3.8km swim, 180.2km of cycling and a marathon run, has received the most number of entries in its nine-year history.
Last year, 550 triathletes started the race, which fell short of the organiser's target of 700. Completing the course within 17 hours were 463 triathletes who received the Ironman certification.This year's local challenge will again be spearheaded by Malaysia's top triathletes Wong Ah Thiam (who finished 89th in 11 hours and 20 minutes after a tyre puncture last year) and Dr Fiona Lim, who won the women's 35-39 age group and ended 149th overall in 12:23:18s.The competition offers US$50,000 (RM170,000) in prize money with 35 qualifying places to the World Championships in Kona, Hawaii, in October. Two tickets to Kona are reserved for the best placed Malaysian man and woman.

Ironman Langkawi 2008 -- UPNM persiap jagoan
ACARA berbasikal pada Pertandingan Ironman Langkawi menguji tahap kesabaran dan ketahanan para peserta kerana melibatkan laluan sejauh 180.2km.

’MELENTUR buluh biarlah dari rebungnya' mungkin sesuatu yang klise terutama dalam masyarakat negara ini yang berbangsa Melayu.
Sungguhpun demikian, peribahasa yang diwarisi sejak turun-temurun itu telah banyak kali terbukti kebenarannya.
Menyedari ‘kebenaran’ peribahasa tersebut, Pegawai Perhubungan Korporat Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia (UPNM), Mejar Kalam Pie berusaha mendidik sebilangan pelajar pusat pengajian itu dengan ketahanan fizikal dan mental.
Persiapan tersebut adalah bagi menyertai pertandingan triatlon ‘Ironman Langkawi 2008’ yang bakal berlangsung pada 23 Februari depan.
“Biar badan mereka tegap dan tahan segala bentuk cabaran fizikal. Bila badan sudah ‘keras’ dan mental pun kuat, barulah layak dipanggil askar,'' katanya ketika ditemui Utusan Malaysia pada sesi latihan pasukan tersebut baru-baru ini.
Kalam yang turut bertindak sebagai pengurus dan penasihat Kelab Triatlon universiti tersebut sebenarnya telah memegang jawatan itu sejak UPNM dikenali sebagai Akademi Tentera Malaysia (ATMA) bermula pada 2005.
Pada tahun tersebut, beliau berjaya menghantar seorang pelajar UPNM yang dilatihnya bagi menyertai kejohanan triatlon paling elit di dunia itu.
Tahun berikutnya UPNM menghantar dua orang peserta ke Langkawi dan pada tahun lepas, seramai empat pelajar universiti tersebut bertanding di sana.
Tahun ini pula, Kalam bercadang membawa tujuh peserta dari UPNM termasuk dirinya bagi memperkuatkan pasukan.
Menurutnya, antara kepentingan sukan triatlon ialah ia dapat membina ketahanan fizikal serta mental para peserta.
Bagi sesuatu pertandingan triatlon yang menggunakan nama ‘Ironman’ di seluruh dunia, ia meliputi cabaran berenang sejauh 3.8 kilometer (km), berlari pada jarak 42.2 km dan berbasikal sepanjang laluan 180.2 km.
Kesemua jarak di atas merupakan ketetapan antarabangsa bagi pertandingan ‘Ironman’ yang berlesen.
Sementara itu, hak eksklusif dan harga lesen jenama pertandingan yang mahal dari Amerika Syarikat tersebut membuatkan pertandingan Ironman sekitar Asia hanya diadakan di Malaysia, China, Korea Selatan dan Jepun.
Kerana itu juga, ramai peserta dari seluruh dunia yang ‘obses' mahu memperkuatkan mental dan fizikal masing-masing akan berebut-rebut turun berentap di pertandingan berkenaan.
Bagi Kalam, pertandingan seumpama ini penting disertai oleh bakal-bakal pegawai tentera kendaliannya kerana ia akan mengajar mereka untuk tidak mudah berputus asa.
Katanya ini kerana jika negara berhadapan dengan sebarang ancaman atau perang, para pegawai dan anggota Angkatan Tentera Malaysia (ATM) harus terus-menerus mempertahankan negara.
“Mana boleh perang sekerat jalan. Biar putih mata, perjuangan harus diselesaikan,” jelasnya.
Tiga aktiviti pergerakan fizikal pada jarak yang jauh itu jelas menguji kesabaran dan ketahanan para pesertanya.
Bagi peserta yang tidak tahan atau tidak cukup latihan, mereka mungkin boleh muntah, pitam atau pengsan.
Menurut Kalam, seseorang peserta triatlon yang profesional biasanya mengulangi ketiga-ketiga rutin itu pada jadual latihan masing-masing dalam tempoh sekurang-kurangnya 36 minggu.
Namun kerana kesibukan latihan ketenteraan serta kelas yang perlu dihadiri, para pelajar UPNM ini hanya memulakan sesi latihan bersama sejak tiga bulan lalu.
Bagi latihan berbasikal, para anggota pasukan triathlon UPNM ini biasanya berkayuh dari Kuala Lumpur ke empangan Hulu Langat di Selangor yang mengambil jarak kira-kira 100km sehala.
Sementara itu, Kalam sengaja memilih Bukit Besi yang terletak di dalam premis UPNM bagi latihan larian mereka agar kepayahan `mendaki’ bukit itu dapat menguatkan kaki ahli pasukan.
Latihan berenang pasukan ini pula hanya dilakukan di kolam renang UPNM tetapi pada pertandingan nanti, para peserta sebenarnya akan mengharungi laut.
Sementara itu Kalam yakin sungguhpun sukan ini masih kurang popular di kalangan masyarakat di sini, ia semakin hari kian mendapat sambutan.
Mungkin kerana populariti yang kurang juga menyebabkan sukan ini dipandang sepi serta tidak mendapat ‘kepercayaan’ para penganjur dan peserta.
Namun Kalam yakin dengan dedikasi dan sokongan Menteri Belia dan Sukan, Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said, sukan ini semakin mendapat perhatian.
Di peringkat UPNM pula katanya, Naib Canselor, Leftenan Jeneral Datuk Wira Ir. Ismail Samion sering memberi galakan serta kerjasama daripada segi sokongan moral dan kewangan.
Beberapa anggota pasukan UPNM yang ditemui ketika sesi latihan berasa yakin dan teruja untuk ke Langkawi bagi menyertai Ironman.
“UPNM bernasib baik kerana mempunyai Naib Canselor yang sungguh ‘sporting’ dan yakin dengan kebolehan anak-anak buahnya,’’ jelas Kalam.
Bagi Pegawai Kadet Kanan, Mohd. Salman Alias, 21, tahun ini beliau berazam untuk memperbaiki catatan masanya di Ironman Langkawi tahun lepas iaitu 13 jam 28 minit.
“Mungkin tahun ini saya mampu mencatatkan masa di bawah 12 jam,’’ ujarnya yakin.
Beliau yang merupakan ahli pasukan paling senior kini berada dalam tahun akhir jurusan kejuruteraan mekanikal.
Dalam pada itu, ahli pasukan paling muda, Pegawai Kadet Chan Jun Shen, 18 pula, menganggap penyertaan sulungnya tahun ini di Ironman Langkawi bakal mengajarnya banyak perkara.
“Saya mahu bersaing dengan orang yang lebih berpengalaman agar mampu mencatatkan masa lebih baik pada masa akan datang,’’ jelasnya.
Acara kegemaran Jun Shen adalah berbasikal kerana dalam pertandingan tersebut, disiplin itu mengambil jarak yang paling jauh berbanding dua yang lain.
Daripada keseluruhan 20 ahli Kelab Triatlon UPNM, hanya enam orang yang turun berlatih tempoh hari termasuk Mohd. Salman dan Jun Shen kerana yang lain terpaksa menghadiri kelas dan melakukan aktiviti ketenteraan.
Empat yang lain ialah Pegawai Kadet Mohd. Adi Fakhari, 20, Pegawai Kadet Mohd. Saiful Ahmad, 20, Pegawai Kadet Mohd. Hamdi Hamdan, 18 dan Pegawai Kadet Ahmad Syazwan Rusli, 18.
Kesemua mereka bercita-cita mahu mengharumkan nama UPNM di arena antarabangsa tersebut menerusi kategori umur 18-25 tahun namun tidak semua akan terpilih.
Bagi Kalam, sungguhpun pasukannya mempunyai ramai atlet berpotensi dalam acara itu, pihaknya tidak mampu membawa bilangan peserta yang terlalu ramai kerana kesulitan kewangan.
“Insya Allah jika kami mempunyai kewangan mencukupi pada masa hadapan, anda akan lihat tim Ironman Langkawi UPNM 2009 akan menjadi semakin besar,’’ katanya.

Off day for KL on friday. Joined Kalam for press conference with Powerbar and Ironman organiser. Of course several familiar faces. Some yrs ago I would never have expected our family to become a recognisable part of the local triathlon scene. We heard about the kids-biathlon at the Japanese school awhile ago and all three boys were enthusiastic about joining. So I emailed their details to the school and took half a day leave (I normally work on saturday). But last night got an sms from a friend sayin he contacted the school and was told the biathlon was only for Japanese kiddies. Danial, Dayan and Darimi were quite dissapointed, but what to do. I found an email from Iwata in my mailbox but some virus got in and rendering the message unreadable, didn't bother to check back with Iwata. Hehehe, we toyed for a short while with the idea of passing Dayan of as Japanese by glueing his eyes more slit-shaped......
So instead decide on a ride in Putrajaya. We got up quite late, Chan, Salman and Redzuan came along. We met up with Johan in Putrajaya and were off. Danial on his new polygon bike. As a group we sucked, no clear race leader, no clear route. We managed to break a group of 7 cyclist into 6 groups!!! Manged to regroup, thanks heaven for hand phones or else some of us might still be out here.Still just had a nice time, just a short ride....
Went for customary b'fast and met up with Azmar, Dicky and Bacin. Of course they asked about our training session, we just smiled 'mysteriously'......
Azmar got an sms from Steve sayin he'd gotten 4th place in the biathlon. AHUM, never noticed Japanese features in Steve, deeply hidden I guess...................