Friday, August 29, 2008


This has absolutely nothing to do with SPORT. But as it is my birthday tomorrow I am taking the liberty to post my favourite comedic character – NAN, aka Joany Taylor, aka Catherine TATE. Chatting with Sam the other day during a run I was recalling some of my favourite NAN sketches along with my attempt at imitating her ladylike catchphrases! This is my all time favourite although I am sure I can find more. She has a very fowl mouth so I apologise if anyone is offended bit I think NAN gets away with it beautifully. And since I used to be an orderly Nurse many moons ago taking care of the living cemetery (aka Bexhill-on-Sea), that is my home town, I can hand on heart say there are many real-life Joany Taylors out there. Let me put it this way – it was an education!

(sorry for the poor picture quality but just listen if you dare).

Planning to do Powerman?

If you are planning to do Powerman and intend to stay the night at a local hotel before the event, I recommend that you book your hotel room well in advance to avoid disappointment. My vote goes for the Orient Star in Lumut which in my opinion, is the best of the lot even though its about 8k from the start. The Powerman special rate for a superior room is 168 RM and for a deluxe room is 183 RM . Contact details for the hotel(s) are on the Powerman website

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Rain Relief

OPPS! Didn't post the whole thing. Now you can enjoy.
It took me 1½ hours to get home tonight. RAIN, RAIN and more RAIN brought floods and stranded cars – I expect many of you were in the same boat (excuse the pun). Once home after taking care of my rumbling stomach I set about looking for something to lighten my mood, this is what I found. ENJOY!

Monday, August 25, 2008

TTH Genting Challenge - Update

Well, the Genting Challenge is shaping up nicely! Emma, Carmen and I did a reconnaissance trip of the route on Sunday and I can confirm the hills are "lovely". And there are plenty of them to challenge us all.
Just to give you a heads-up of what is being planned for the ride, the start will be close to Batu Caves and on the slip road to Ulu Yam. There is ample car parking space on the right hand side of the road just after crossing the railway line, next to a 7 Eleven. The plan is to start from there at 0730 sharp on the 1st October.
The route then follows the road to Ulu Yam (27.8km) and then right in the village towards Genting Highlands. The first drink stop is 1.7km beyond Ulu Yam and before the right turn to Genting. There, the riders can pick up water and some gel and take a breather before taking on the next stage of the challenge.

The next water station is a further 17.9km at the Gohtong Jaya roundabout. By the time riders reach this point, the elevation climbed so far is more than 1000m. And the good news is, there is further 1000m of climbing to go! Yeepie!
Once away from Gohtong Jaya, the climb starts to get really serious. The gradient increases to 12-13% in parts which is lovely and steep. This is where the Genting Challenge comes into its own and everyone can start to appreciate why Genting is held in such high regard as a famous climb in world cycling circles. The last tortuous 8.9km of the climb to Genting is as tough or tougher than some of the climbs on the Tour de France.

The finish line will be adjacent to the Resort Hotel immediately on the left where the road levels off at the top. The total distance covered is 56.3km. Arrangements will be made to allow the riders to take a shower and to change in one of the hotel rooms (one for the guys and one of the gals) and once everyone has finished and showered, all support crew and riders will go for a well earned buffet lunch at the hotel. The return to KL will be at around 2pm by means of the support cars. The bikes will be loaded onto the sweeper lorry for the return journey to Batu Caves.

As I mentioned in my earlier notice, there will be a nominal charge to cover the cost for the hotel room, the sweeper lorry, the fuel for the support cars, lunch, etc and I will endeavour to keep the cost to a minimum.

If you are interested or want to be frightened, you can check the profile of the Genting climb on the following link albeit this profile starts from Genting Sempah. Nevertheless, it gives you an idea of what's up ahead on the TTH Genting Challenge.

More updates again soon.

Welcome to LACTIC HELL

I took a little Genting Challenge reckie with Sergeant Sam and Carmen yesterday afternoon. Thought it would make a nice excursion and get to see what I am in for regarding the TTH Genting Challenge. Well in a nutshell, my legs were burning sitting in the car as the realisation sunk in on the hell that YOU and I are in for. S.Sam kept uttering the words “lovely”? What is up with the man? Apparently it used to be his and occasionally Simon’s weekly ride. It makes Ulu Yam look like a big fat pussy cat. I am apprehensive but I am not backing out and neither are YOU.
It looks set to be a great event S.Sam shall blog up some more details and pictures in the coming week until then I leave you with a couple of snaps I took.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Playing the Fool?!?

I have been accused of many things and like the next guy I like a joke but playing the fool is something I have never aspired to and particularly not whilst riding a bike. I can’t even ride “hands-free” so why would I attempt trickery and stunts on a busy highway? What IS she harping on about you may ask yourselves?
Here’s what happened...
Our normal routine Saturday ride nearly turned tragedy at the tail end of the ride this morning. Nobody’s fault it was just a nasty accident that could have been oh so much worse. But it is the actions of those people involved in the accident that made me so angry. I am still seething as I type this so I shall try to limit the use of expletives.
We (Sergeant Sam, Kona Carmen, Emma Pull-ME, Julie, KK, Chris & Li-sar) were on route back to BK via the Federal Highway. Just going up the Kerinchi link slip road I was having a tiring day and dropped to the small chain ring. Wouldn’t you know it – the chain dropped and I was on an elevation spinning thin air with the knowledge that there was a stream of traffic behind me.
What to do in this situation?
#1. Don’t Panic – check
#2. Don’t fall in the link of traffic – check
#3. Unclip ASAP – check
#4. Try to limit damage to self and George – Double Check
All was going to plan; I had unclipped and was trying to hurl myself against the hard shoulder wall. I saw the barrier bar and thought if I can grab that I will be safe from harm’s way. I caught the bar, kind of fell and the bike slipped out from under me, I think, (it all happened so fast). Li-sar was coming up behind me and clipped my wheel and then I had to look away. I thought it was curtains for the poor girl.
She skidded across the other side of the road into the line of an oncoming car. Amazingly Li-sar escaped very shaken and with a swollen knee but relatively unscathed. LUCKY ESCAPE.
Now is where the fun begins. The two people in the car, middle-aged man and lady then proceeded with the following actions:
1. Stopped – this is the correct thing to do ladies and gentleman.
2. Got out of car – correct again.
3. Accused me of playing the FOOL??? She said I was steering all over the place and kicking my leg out. When I tried to explain while admittedly shouting that my chain came off and that I was trying to balance and unclip hence the obscure movements she put her fingers in her ears! I was shouting a lot I know. I was VERY angry, and would like to have popped her one. Luckily my teammates stepped in and she and her husband moved on to poor Li-sar who was understandably shaking like a leaf.
4. Crazy Lady to Li-sar: What’s your name?
5. Crazy Lady to Li-sar: What’s your IC?
6. Crazy Lady to Li-sar:
What’s your insurance number
7. Crazy Lady to Li-sar:
I want compensation for my car what are you going to do?
8. Crazy Lady to Li-sar: You’re lucky we stopped, we could have killed you.
9. Crazy Lady to Li-sar: You should be thanking me for stopping.
Are you getting the gist of this ladies and gentleman?
What crazy lady failed to say:
1. Are you ok?
2. Do you need to go to the hospital, can we help?
3. I AM SO SORRY I RUN YOU OVER! (we know they could not have avoided it but still)
They wanted to make a police report to claim insurance and followed Li-sar and the team to BK. They found a policeman and he just laughed. Not at Li-sar, but at the Crazy lady. Because the long and short of it is there IS NO DAMAGE to their damn bloody crappy CAR!
When we got back to the car park and collected our thoughts it occurred to me that although they did stop the driver of the car made no effort at all to swerve! Me thinks they would rather hit a cyclist than swerve and risk hitting the wall and really damaging their SHITTY car.
SO to sum up:
Casualties: Li-sar has a swollen knee, I really hope that is all and that you will be right as rain for the interstate ride next week.
Li-Sar’s bike: The left side of her drop bars completely snapped – only the tape was holding them together, and the latest is the top tube is cracked through - so not good news.
Emma: Escaped with bruises and a headache for getting so bloody fired up
George: A miraculous escape – not a scratch.
Crazy Ladies Car: KK was rather angry like myself so maybe he took the rear of the car by mistake-all in the heat of the moment?? Anyway you can all see for yourself just how Fu#ked up it is NOT!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Gadget Girl

This cartoon made me think of our very own Ong Siok Bee, AKA Gadget Girl (for her devotion to hi-tech gadgets) and more recently R H BEE (basically cos she works for RHB).
I was reliably informed this morning that there was a nasty smattering of glass on route during yesterday's ride. Everyone managed to avoid the danger apart from Bee. WHY? In her words "I was looking at my GPS".
Well Bee, does this cartoon signify yet another gadget to add to your collection? All those in favour say AYE!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

TTH Apparel Update

I have not forgotton about the clothing. There has however been a change. I got fed up with the lack of communication from the US so have found someone in the UK and have been in constant emailing mode with them most evenings. Anyway, it is an Italian company, check out the link for more info:
I do have some sample images, but better still they are sending me over some full samples (sleeveless jersey, tri-shorts, women's tri-top and tri-suit) for us to look at before we place an order. Once the order is confirmed I do need to put down a deposit - so will need firm orders from those interested with the individuals deposit. I enquired about the possibility of having our names: (Sergeant Sam, RH Bee etc) on the backside of the tri-suit and shorts which I thought would be a pretty cool and fun addition. This would cost EUR4.50 per item and is optional.
They can also manufacture T-shirts, which I have been looking at. Not sure still what it would cost here (could be cheaper) but they use micro fibre material and can follow any design for EUR22.15 (about RM108), with no minimum order quantity, (obviously these prices are before any shipping which shouldn't work out too much per piece). Considering a Nike T-shirt costs more than this I think its ok.
See below the design I have done for this and give some feedback. I will get them to send a T-shirt sample over too. Will keep you posted and once the samples are in will let you know and we can arrange to have a "Viewing" so any alterations for inseams, Zipper, etc can be made.

Oddly De-motivated

For the past 6months my new found friend and constant companion by the name of MR Focus has never swayed. I have slept, worked and eaten always with my ultimate goal occupying my thoughts. I have NEVER experienced something so powerful. Some may call it an obsession and others may say it’s unhealthy and get a life. Maybe it’s a bit of both. But the strength I have found from having Mr Focus and believing in myself is ENORMOUS.
So imagine my wonderment on Monday morning when it suddenly all went away. I was/still am in a bit of pain from Saturday. I don’t think I have ever pushed my body to put up with such limits ever before. It is now Wednesday and I didn’t ride this morning. No big deal, but I did set the alarm and when I woke up thought, “No need to ride, so why get up”. Work is pretty hectic which doesn’t help matters but however busy, I am usually keener than ever to train. I know I need to rest and that is fine. I am resting. But I don’t like losing Mr Focus. Something that is with me night and day, I want it back. I feel I have entered no-man’s land and it's not nice.
It’s only been a couple of days and hope he will come back when my body is good and ready to start the final 6months of my journey. Last time I gave IM a silly 2 months to train and I know I was lucky to achieve what I did. This round I want to do it properly. The goal posts keep moving and to keep up with them I know some expert guidance and more blood, sweat and tears is needed.
So if anyway has seen Mr Focus idling around in places he should not be, ie: pubs and clubs! Can you please give him a stern talking too and promptly send him back to me, preferably by Saturday! Cheers.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Team Tri-Hard Genting Challenge - Update

Hi folks

Well, there was a resounding 'yes' to the poll with 89% voting in favour of taking on the Genting Challenge. Good on you guys! So, please consider the monkey is now on my back to get this event organized. As a reminder, the ride will take place on 1st October starting from somewhere close to Batu Caves where we can safely park some of our cars. The route will be from Batu Caves to Ulu Yam, Batang Kali, Gohtong Jaya and finishing in Genting. I will try and arrange changing and shower facilities at Genting so that the riders and the support crew can freshen up before we have a slap up late breakfast. I will also arrange a small lorry to act as a sweeper vehicle and to transport the bikes back to the cars in Batu Caves. There may be a nominal cost involved and spaces will be limited. So, I will be looking for riders to confirm their interest by paying in advance. I will get back to you in early Sept when hopefully all will be sorted. In the meantime, enjoy those hills!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Race Report: Desaru

A looooong report for a looooong RACE - you have been warned!
I bagged a lift with Sam and Carmen down to Desaru for the Long Distance triathlon. This was the last local tri race of the year and would complete for me a full set of distances. I still believed IM to be “my” distance but you never know I might find that a ½ IM would give me the same goose bumps – but then again that may have been beginners luck as someone kindly thought to mention. Forewarned of a lumpy swim, and scorching tarmac on the run, the bike leg seemed to have the thumbs up for being a good surface and gentle rolling hills and NO DRAFTING – sounded right up my I thought.
We arrived late Friday afternoon in time to register, put the bikes together and pop out for a spin with the rest of the team for a 30minute there and back. I couldn’t help myself, George just likes to go fast, I kept my legs loose and span and everything seemed to be in GWO (Good Working Order). An early dinner with everyone was followed by early bed. The race didn’t start until 10am but there really is not much to do in Desaru so bed and one English Channel on the TV would have to suffice.

Before I indulge you with the details of race day let me first tell you about the delights of my room. Everyone had the same deal and I feel the Kampong character of this “Golden Beach Resort” should be highlighted for one and all. One light worked, my bedside light cable was held together with sticky tape so I didn’t risk playing with that, there was no hot water and every time you turned the tap on, water spouted from every orifice. The shower rail was fixed to the ceiling, which meant the curtain didn’t cover the bath tub and since there was no hook to hang the shower on the shower hose span round and round in the bath. Randy got it right saying the whirlpool effect was preparing me for the swim. Friday evening the water looked inviting. Would it be quite as calming in 16hours time?
RACE MORNING: Breakfast was fixed for 6.30am, rather early I know but Sergeant Sam had spoken. I stumbled down a little after 6.30 expecting to see Sam and Carmen already champing at the bit. So imagine my surprise when they were nowhere in sight. Buggar this I thought and back off to my room I went. Funnily enough their room was next to mine and when I called Sam to see where they were I heard a phone ringing through the paper thin walls. A sleepy voice answered:
Emma: “Hi Sam, you did say breakfast at 6.30 right?”
Sam: “Yes. What time is it then?”
Emma, “6.45,”
Sam (and this is a classic), “SHIT! Carmen forgot to set the alarm,”
So it’s true people, even Sergeant Sam can be late once in a while, although on this occasion it really didn’t matter.
POST BREAKFAST: I walked down to the water to collect my thoughts. It looked choppy. Oh well never mind, if I can get out in under an hour I will be happy (previously I was hoping for 45min). Bumped into Steph at transition; she wished me luck telling me it was my race – HA! I told her I had to get out the bloody water first. She then replied with a grin on her face, yes it’s like a washing machine out there today. Cheers I needed that. It was like a washing machine and it seemed I was in for the long cycle rather than a quick wash!

THE SWIM: I just could not get going, a bit of breaststroke, and bit freestyle and then a bit of treading water and trying to sight with swimmers coming at me from everywhere. Kicked in the stomach, back, arms and kidneys, luckily my head stayed on and together. Like a ride at Alton towers if it wasn’t a race it was fun swimming in such manic conditions. The one BIG plus I took from it is I didn’t panic. And that for me is a HUGE improvement, if you remember my fiasco at the A formosa sprint all the way back in May.
T1: Out in one piece with my watch saying 54min, I sprinted off to transition. This is where I was going to play with fire. 90k is no short distance, I knew I shouldn’t red line so was aiming at keeping my heart rate in the young 150’s but also I am rather competitive and had to yet again to play catch up. So with no prior experience of the distance I thought let’s just welly it and learn for next year should it (excuse the saying, but I like this one) go TITS up!

THE BIKE: My bike was great, loved it loved it loved it. Took a gel every 45min, 1 ½ bars and plenty of liquid. Admittedly I was nearly but not quite hammering it and in the later stages of the 3rd loop that nasty 5letter word came to visit. CRAMP. Not quite full blown, it was enough to warn me to back off and stop being a silly girl. Relax Emma I said to myself, gently, gently catch a monkey. I heard people yelling good wishes and saying hi but my blinkers were well and truly on. I got off the bike in 2hr 40min official time 2.45.
T2: This is where 2.45 happened. I was 5 minutes in transition because Mr Cramp came to haunt me again. Racked my bike and bent down to put my socks on. I needed them for a 21. As I bent down my right leg started cramping in the quad, knee and groin. Ok I thought. No sitting down and no bending legs, let’s try and put socks on with straight legs shall we? Meanwhile I noticed Steph come into transition. I only got out just in front of her – that’s how bad it went.
THE RUN: Out onto the run and not even a K into it and BANG full blown cramps. Run through it, run through it, rather difficult but I kept telling myself don’t stop. Common sense prevailed and I stopped for a few seconds and punched my leg (don’t know why but it seems to work better than massage). I then stood up and carried on. Slowly I got into a rhythm, it wasn’t quick but at least I was running. I took the thimbles of water on offer at most stops and put a sponge on the nape of my neck each time. My fault for staying aero (mat rampet) style in the saddle so long! The heat wore off and the heavens opened on the second loop bringing a welcome reprieve. I started feeling slightly better but knew if I upped the pace cramp would come back meaner and harder and probably not give me a second chance. So basically the run was a fine line balancing what my mind would get my body to do and put up with.

The bananas had long since run out so having missed out there I settled for a gel intake on a water stop by the hill of the second loop. As I approached I reached back to get the 2xcaffine with tangerine. I patted my back, fumbled around. Where the bloody hell was it? I had lost the thing on the bike! EEK. So I was going to have to complete this without any more electrolytes. My last intake being at 85k on the bike, all good experience I tell myself. (Yeah right, Silly NOVICE more like it!)
I passed Randy Tan just after he was pelted at with sponges from a very jovial KK. I had seen Carmen, Chris, RH Bee, Li-Sar, Cecil, Gnae and Sam, basically everyone on route and as I passed the Tan Man I saw in front a girl. When I came in off the bike two girls where in front of me and I had yet to catch either one (usually my strong-ish run would allow me to at least run down one girl). The shape my body was in it was highly unlikely I could, but the carrot was there so I thought let’s give it a whirl.
To cut a long story short because this report is already waaaay over written, I didn’t catch her. I had to decide between turning it up a notch and getting totally body cramp and not finishing or just save my ego for another day. She finished 20 or so seconds in front. BUGGAR! I was 3rd and 3rd overall so still happy.
After doing the silly but normal thing of sitting down at the finish I tried to stand and realised I couldn’t and promptly fell over. Off to the medic tent eventually. My body temperature dropped so badly, my hands, lips and feet where turning a nice shade of blue. It didn’t help matters much that the medics left a bag of ice in the bed next to me under the blankets!
With no hot Milo to warm me up that’s all I really needed. I asked them to find my teammates and with the help of Chris, Randy, Sam, Ivie and Carmen they escorted me to my room in the pouring rain and collected my bike and kit from transition. I had left the air-con on so I ended up sitting outside the room in the corridor chatting whilst Ivie held down the on button on my crappy kettle that didn’t work, to make Milo. And since I had no hot water, my neighbours, Sam and Carmen ran a hot bath for me. After that I was finally able to stand and we went for dinner and some well earned beers.
Feeling rather sore today but it is to be expected isn’t it? This weekend for me was really to see how far I have come and improved over a long distance since February. My head is now in IM mode not that I think it has ever been anywhere else, but now it is IM training mode. Borneo Marathon (my first marathon) then Lumut Powerman followed by Phuket for fun (she says) and then the BIGGIE.
Thanks to all my good friends who called out well wishes – I did hear them and they do help. I would like to also pay particular congratulations to someone who is an example and institution of what this sport is all about, Patsy Yap. As we were leaving for dinner at 6.15pm, Patsy at 64years old was still on the run course. I saw her the next morning, post breakfast with a beaming smile on her face. I remember her asking me for advice in A Formosa – ME! I told her you are the one that should be giving me advice. I think it took Patsy around 9hours to complete Desaru. She does it because she can. Not to climb on a podium but just too compete and COMPLETE. Well done Patsy, hats off to you, I am proud to know you, proud of you and if I only match half of all you have achieved in the sport I will be a very happy bunny.
TO SUM UP: A super knackering weekend, with tougher conditions than last year, so I am told. TTH did extremely well which just goes to show how our Tri-hard attitude has helped everyone get stronger, faster and more confident. Here is the rundown of TTH’s achievements this weekend. BTW: No one did the sprint. I signed up but didn’t pay (good foresight). And if I ever think of doing a sprint after a ½ ever again you have permission to well and truly SLAP ME!
Sergeant Sam: 2nd mens over 50. Sam had a phenomenal swim, steady bike and sensible run. I must learn to listen more! Check out his take on the race below. Well done Sam, not setting the alarm obviously helped!
Carmen Leong: 2nd ladies over 34. She didn’t enjoy the swim but Carmen had a strong steady bike (she listens to Sam). Her run was fantastic and she knocked 17minutes off her PB! A great training race, Kona Carmen is right on track for IM Hawaii.

“Uncle” Don: 2nd. Don is one guy who I think looks even more serious than I when racing these days, an awesome effort, once over the smiles are never-ending. Great race Uncle Don, awesome result.
Emma “pull-me” Bishop: 3rd ladies 16-34 and 3rd overall lady. Thanks KK this is one nickname she can live with! Emma dealt with one too many obstacles but held her head and still got to the finish albeit painfully.

Cecil: 4th. A strong race from Cecil. I saw him on the bike and run and he even had time to acknowledge me. Caught Patrick on the run for a well earned 4th place.
Ngae: 5th mens over 50. Ever smiling and cheering, Gnae always puts a smile on my face. We passed on the bike and on the run. He was struggling with a foot problem and thought he might not finish but he did so in true TTH style for a well earned 4th place. Collecting his prize as usual with his favoured sarong replacing the Lycra!

Li-sar: 5th ladies over 34. I saw Li-sar on the bike every loop and on the run, she looked like she was turning in a truly gritty performance and with last year’s DNF probably in the back of her mind she came through and across the line in great time. Well done.
Chris: 5th ladies 16-34. Looking absolutely the business, Chris had an amazing race. On her new P3C, her bike has improved in leaps and bounds and she finished with a really strong run, something that usually bites her. Well done SEXY lady!

RH Bee: 6th ladies over 34. Bee had a PB today, didn’t panic on the swim, a steady bike and a strong run with sub 6min k’s which she rightly so should be duly proud of. Well done Bee!
Randy “The Tan Man”: 14th. Randy suffered on the swim. Usually his strongest discipline it proves just how tough it was out there in the washing machine. Despite this he had a solid bike, battled the onset of cramps and finished strongly.

KK: Unsure of KK’s position, I do know that the aim was just to get the finishers shirt. Suffering all week with flu and having been on antibiotics, KK finished well under the 7hour target he set himself and with as usual a beaming smile on his face. (Could it be something to do with the pretty ladies KK?)
Gane: DNF. Not sure what happened to Gane on Saturday. I saw him on the bike looking comfortable (he was smiling, that means comfortable in my book). Better luck next year and more to the point good luck for Bussleton this year.

Sergeant Sam’s RACE REPORT: The day started as a real scorcher in true Desaru style. All the participants stood at the starting line sweating their balls off as Chan did his race briefing yet again (I guess he had to since only about 20% of the participants attended his evening briefing). The shape of the swim course was changed this year to a long out followed by a short 100m parallel to the beach and then back to the start, 2 loops. The water was very choppy and once you were in the water, you could not see the first turning mark. The only thing to guide you was the line of small buoys that went vaguely in thedirection of the turning mark. Most swimmers kept to the outside of the small buoys where it became a bit of a bun fight and a roller coaster. I chose to take the inside line with the small buoys to my left which turned out to be a wise move. I had much clearer water albeit it was still choppyand I was able to get into a rhythm, if you can call it that after 50m or so. I had no panic attacks, thank goodness. In fact, I quite enjoyed the conditions. They kept my mind occupied on the job at hand and when I came out after the swim in 43min or so I discovered I was ahead of Randy and Japanese Sam, both of whom normally beat me on the swim. One reason for the choppy sea was the strength of the wind, even at 10am in the morning. So I knew that there would be some head wind on the bike. Sure enough and soon onto the bike, you could feel the effects of the wind. Of course, this helped you in one direction and it was against you in theother. I decided to adopt a conservative approach and to save myself for the run particularly since it was turning out to be a very hot day (39C) and very reminiscent of Langkawi. The last thing I wanted to do was to bonk so I took on as much water as I could on the bike which meant stopping at theturn-around by the golf course to refill my bottles since they only had small plastic cups and jugs as means to dispense the water. There were no bike-friendly water bottles that you could pick up on the move. Given that this water station was the only one marked on the bike course, it should have been managed better. I finished the bike course in just under 3 hours which is a tad slow for me but under the conditions, it's what I chose to do in the belief that the worst was yet to come. I went out on the run not knowing where I was in relation to the others in my age group except for Michael who was not far behind me. As I started the run, the heat of the day started to take its toll and I could feel my body overheating. I got as far as the golf course turn-around and gave myself a"Langkawi shower" by pouring loads of iced water over my head and back. Phew! You could see the steam coming off me in true cartoon style! I knew I was taking too long at the aid stations but it was either that or blow up! So, I took every opportunity to cool down and to take on two cups of waterand the odd gel. I could see that Michael was slowly but surely catching me up. Eventually things started to improve and I got into my stride and my breathing became less laboured. I passed Alvin from the Philippines who was in 1st place. He was suffering from cramps and persevering like a truetrooper. At the half way point, the sky clouded over and I became less concerned about overheating and more concerned about picking up my pace albeit I was still stopping at every aid station to take on water and to cool down. With about 4k to go and on that nasty little incline, Michael comes past me looking strong. I could not respond and once around the roundabout and heading back to the finish opening my stride, I knew I could not catch him. Good on you Michael! I finished 2nd in 5.22 and I was very happy with my time. We all went down to Sungai Renggit for the traditional "fish supper" that evening washed down by a few bottles of ice cold Heineken. Lovely!
We then retired to that famous ice cream parlour called the "Petronas petrol station" in Desaru for a well earned Cornetto before turning in for the night to watch the 100m men's final on the tv. It was yet another great day in Deasru. However and for some, the day did not end there. You will be amused to know that Dr Tan who did the race, Ngae and Jason of Pacesetters stayed up in the hotel bar drinking beer until 2am.

A lesson Learnt,Perhaps?

Congratulations to TTH and everyone else who completed Desaru this weekend. I was informed yesterday at breakfast from the announcer guy (sorry keep forgetting his name - but you know who I mean when I say "my good friend...),that a large number of participants did not finish Saturdays race. TTH did themselves proud by completing and competing very strongly and picking up some money along the way to deal with the nasty sun burn we picked up.
"My good friend" asked me what was up with my performance, "have you not been training?" he asked," Well I was in a calm, sorry, no buggared mood, so did not rise to the bait. I will post my take on the race a little later on today - it was interesting to say the least and perhaps a lesson learnt for this distance. (I said perhaps).
At 12noon on Saturday the mercury reached 39 degrees, and the one complaint that Sam brought to notice was the water stops albeit they were plentiful were only offering thimbles of water out of plastic cups. I was informed previous years had been bike bottles or bottle of water, even going slow and stopping on the run, grabbing a plastic 1/2 cup full of liquid was not enough to quench and cool.
Oh well, there will always be next year.
BTW: I am still buggared this morning. Not quite sure when my legs will want to work again.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Group Shot Making Headlines

Check out the link, it seems this popular picture from PD has been doing the circuits. It epitomises just what triathlon is all about: having fun with like minded people and smiling! Okay, competition, doing your best etc, is in there to - but it is the diverse group of people that gives the sport such a great buzz. I am rather sad Desaru will be the last local tri this year (that's because I am still a newbie I guess) so lets make a conscious effort to get together for an even BIGGER group PIC/HUG!

TTH Message Forum

A message forum has been added to the blog. See top right in the links column. Not sure how this will go but my thoughts are that this can be a "live" vehicle for letting each other know if you are attending rides and runs. Plus, if you have something interesting to say then now is your chance. On the other hand, if you have nothing interesting to say but cannot help yourself by typing waffle after waffle, GO FOR IT, cos you must be getting bored with me!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A Rare Reprieve

For the past few weeks the Wednesday morning ride has been extremely well attended which is very cool. This morning however on the ONE ride that is declared "EASY" 5 people turned up. Sam, myself, Julie, Li-sar and Randy.
Randy the poor chap was making sure his poorly Aragon was in good racing order for Saturday. We all (Julie, myself and Randy) set off together from MK and after Julie and I paused for breath in between our gossipping we realised Randy was no where in sight - opps. Got to the meet point and tried to call - BUT RANDY DOESN'T CARRY HIS PHONE WITH HIM!!! On the command of Seargent Sam we decided to go ahead, he knew we were on route so it would have to be a game of catch-up if he sorted out whatever was wrong with the bike.
It was a pleasant jaunt out; trying my new aero helmet out I had to put up with mickey taking from SAM of all people. Asked me if I thought I was Superwomen (well I thought that was obvious - of course I bloody am). On Saturday I was redlining the same route and very asthmatic coughing up my guts most of the way out due to the crappy air (I envy the clean air Simon, but the rain and mud - you can keep it). This morning however the air cleared and I kept a nice pace with 10-15% less effort. Very happy. On the turnaround Mr Randy Tan caught us up, the poor guy ended up having to go flat out - so much for his easy bike but at least he discovered the problems this morning and not Saturday.
I skipped my usual post bike run, heart willing, body not. Had the usual brew with Jules at Coffee Bean (I should have shares in that place) and went home to work.
And I have now just finished a 2.5k swim in lovely warm pool water at home, really could not bear the thought of Bukit Jalil's icy waters this evening. And so that's it for me. I shall now sit back and get very itchy feet waiting for Saturday to come round.
Good luck to everyone, have a safe journey down and a strong race.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Lite Jokes

Too few pictures of late and not many laughs makes Jack a dull boy. Cartoons are great. Take them with a pinch of salt and laugh out loud. I enjoyed some LOL moments whilst scouring the web for these funnies. And there are more to come...when the right moment arises of course! ENJOY!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Race Report: Malakoff 26k

Randy was in Penang this weekend and elected to do the Malakoff 26k run as his tune-up to Desaru. It proved to be a much smoother event than the KOR train wreck. Heres the report, in Randy's words:

Ivie, as usual, was wonderful enough to drop me off at race start. She wanted to stay and mingle but it was close to beginning and too early. So, off she went to continue with her snooze. I, on the other hand, burped all the way to the starting line. Few familiar faces were around. Shahrom was meant to run but, unfortunately, was not feeling too well. So, he decided to give the race a skip. Some mates from the Le Tuangers group was also there, namely, Yusran, Fadzil and AJ. And Shiraz too.
Start was on time at 5:30am. Thought it was a bit early, but actually, not bad an idea if the sun or heat is not your cup of tea. The start was together with about 400 runners participating. Not sure how it was at the back, but the start at the front got off without a hitch. Although it was early morning and still dark, the directions were marked well and there were quite a lot of Marshall's around. There were even quite a number of outriders around to handle the traffic.
Route wise. There were fairly big hills for the first 5km, somewhat like doing the double hills. After that it was relatively flat all the way till the end. Finishers got a nice medal and yummies after that.Typical of a pacesetters event. Water stations were spread out every 5km, with water and powerbar drinks given. All in all, quite a well planned and organised race.
How did I do? Didn't win, that's for sure. However, don't think I did that bad either. Unofficially (which means my watch), I finished the race in 2:08.56. Will have to wait for the official result to see my actual time (from the timing chips provided) and position.
And that's it for my report on the race.
Emma Says: Well done Randy for a strong race and choosing the right event. Will definitely earmark it for myself next year.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Race Report: Adidas King of the Road 22.7k

The Adidas King of the Road ½ marathon was held this morning; I guess we should have anticipated trouble from the start with the race being declared a 22.7k Half Marathon! Last year the race was run on the NPE past Sunway Lagoon and was under distance so this year Shah Alam took over. Was that a mistake? Err, having missed out on last year’s race due to illness I couldn’t say but this morning’s tribulations would lean towards a renowned YES.
Firstly, the good things:
PRIZE MONEY: The open categories doll out RM3000 for 1st place winners, very nice. And all age groups and distances get cash prizes 1-10.
Sorry, can’t think of anything else.
Factors that should be taken into consideration for next year:
VESTS: I ended up with an XXL vest, as did most of the other GIRLS of TTH! We pay good money for a nice Adidas vest and would like the correct size so we can actually wear it. Not everyone can collect their vests on the 1st day because some people have to work!
MARKERS: The first distance marker I noticed said 12k to go. Looking at my watch I thought bloody hell I’m supposed to be taking it easy. The second marker said 12k to go. EH up, what’s going on here? Am I running round in circles, having a touch of De-ja-vu or what? The 3rd and final marker said 500m to go. So I put a little kick in, ya know just for fun. Well I can sprint for 4-500m but not a 1000m!
WATER on run: 100PLUS was available at every station however haphazardly located. BUT there was NO water available. This is NOT safe. Were the organisers trying to give St. Johns ambulance something to do??? It’s so simple WATER=hydration. NO water=dehydration. Too much warm 100PLUS= very unhappy runners.
WATER after run: There was none. Oh but plenty of 100PLUS – the organisers must have got a great deal buying in bulk.
FOOD: There was none. NO food = irritable, tired and cranky runners wanting to go home but having to wait for...
PRIZES: Yes they were good. But should winners be made to wait on an empty fuel tank until 11.30am to cash in? WHY was only one person writing names on cheques? At the least there should be a queue for men and women.
THE RUN: Not the most scenic run I have ever completed, but I did learn a lot about the industrial estates in and around Shah Alam...LOVELY!
Despite the groans it was a good outing for the team:
Julie “Supermum” Foreman (pronounced Julie Foster, they couldn’t even get that right) came 1st in the veteran’s age group. Well done Jules! She received RM1500 for her effort and an Adidas watch. Why the 10k runners received super cool Adidas sunglasses and ½ marathon winners got a watch is another factor I do not understand.
Mariana came 7th in the open. She was also the 2nd Malaysian finisher and qualified for extra cash. Only later we found out she couldn’t have both and had to choose either the open prize money or the Malaysian finisher money and an Adidas watch – what an earth kind of incentive is that???
Emma Bishop stuck to her game plan and started with Bee and Gnae at the back. She did not want to give into temptation and try to run too hard as with the rest of the team her focus is next week. She came 8th so the money made the morning a little easier but she was still grouchy as Emma is not a happy bunny when hungry!
Carmen Leong surprised herself and came in 9th in the veteran’s age group, so the cash made her morning slightly more bearable too. The real target is next week so it was a great solid training run for our Kona bound Carmen.
Congrats also to: Sam (12th men’s senior Vet’s), Bee (13th Women’s Vet’s) & Gnae (14th men’s senior vet’s) for putting in a solid controlled effort in preparation for the scorching (so I am told) asphalt awaiting us on the run next weekend.
Pictures: I hope to blog some, but don’t hold your breath! And please feel free to add your comments about the race; feedback however good or bad can only help to improve the event should it run next year.
Will I run next year? Not on your Nelly, unless there is water on the run and food at the end!

Cooke Wins Gold in Women's Road Race

Event Report – Olympic Road Race – Women's 10th August 2008 – Beijing, China Report: Eddie Allen Images: Phil O'Connor
She stayed out of trouble for the first part of the race, she read every move intelligently, she got into the decisive final break and overcame a mistake on the final bend to clinch gold in a thrilling sprint at Badaling. It was a huge team effort for the GB team, played to perfection, with Pooley causing untold damage on the first climb of the Badaling Pass and Laws doing huge amounts of work in the opening stages. At the end it was between five riders in the final kilometre, and it looked as if Cooke was out of it after she lost ground on one of the final corners. Suddenly, Cooke had a mountain to overcome and kicked early, giving it everything to overcome the remaining four competitors in an inspiring and gritty final sprint in miserable conditions on the mountain.
Emma says: What a start for GBR cycling! Well done Nicole Cooke who without the huge effort from Emma Pooley that gold may not have been hers for the taking.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Wanted & Selling

Many of TTH, myself included have had a bike upgrade of late. Personally I am not looking to offload any equipment but many of you who have been in the sport for a while have probably acquired quite a stash of equipment or apparel you have never worn that you have little or no use for. If you would like to try and sell something, drop an email via the SELLING link with details and price and I shall blog it up for you. If you have a picture I can also blog that - but please no need for images of hydration belts and goggles!

Alternately there are many among you who would like to get your paws on some second-hand bargains. So let me know what you are looking for, send an email and I shall post your requests on the WANTED link.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Team Tri-Hard Genting Challenge

Have you heard of Alp D'Huez, Col de Iseran, Col de Madeline, etc etc? Well, if you have'nt they are all famous mountain climbs often featured in the Tour de France and it is during these stages that the ultimate yellow jersey winner is often determined. Hundreds of cycling enthusiats travel far and wide to take on the challenge of these famous climbs and for those who succeed, the thrill is out of this world even if it involves a lot of hard work. That should be no problem for a team like Team Tri-Hard!

Now, we too can experience that thrill in taking on our very own Genting Challenge. People may not realise it but the Genting climb is recognized as one of the toughest climbs in the world and it is one that demands a lot of respect. So, there is no need for us to travel to the Alps when we have our very own mountain climb on our doorstep.

So how about? Are you up for the challenge? The plan is to ride one-way from KL to Genting via Batang Kali (i.e. the more difficult but safer route) with support cars, drinks, sweeper van, etc during the Hari Raya holiday (Wed 1st October). The intention is to transport the bikes back to KL to avoid the difficult and dangerours decent from Genting. The ride should be treated as a personal challenge and not as a race. So there are no prizes for the first to reach Genting except each finisher will receive a well earned pat on the back! While it will not be a race, everyone's time for the climb from Batang Kali to Genting will be recorded to prove your wonderful achievement.
So and before I start to organize this event, please indicate in the voting box a 'yes' if you are interested in taking part. Or 'no' if want to remain daunted by the challenge!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Running on the Moon

A few lucky people from the team test-ran the new Nike Lunar Trainer yesterday afternoon. The feedback was extremely positive - See Report below. Meanwhile just to make you jealous here is a picture of us in our FREE Nike Lunar Trainers and NIKE running tops. We also got the NIKE+ Sportband, yes that was FREE too.
L-R: Randy, Carmen, Kimbeley, Chris, Emma, Julie, KK, Sam
LUNAR TRAINER TEST REPORT: On Tuesday evening a few of us from the team were invited to test-run the new Nike Lunar Trainer. The idea was Nike wanted to get feedback from local athletes on what we thought of the shoe. Now since many of us are die-hard Asics fans we were sceptics but hey, free shoes! We were there with bells on. (Sorry for those that didn’t get to come, logistics blah blah, certain numbers allowed blah blah – AGAIN, VERY SORRY!)
ANYWAY, these shoes are a lightweight training shoe. Similar I guess to the DS trainer from Asics in the fact that we could use it for racing. There is a Lunar Racer coming out and we are working on Nike to let Team Tri-Hard test-run this shoe too, so, NIKE if you’re reading this, you know where we are!
The Lunar Trainer weighs about 9oz (men’s). The Lunar Racer weighs 5.5oz! So it is equally as light as many of its competitors, but what about stability, cushioning and all that other mumbo jumbo. The tongue is seamless on both the Trainer and Racer – helping to prevent rubbing, while the upper on the Trainer is breathable mesh compared to the paper thin light weight upper of the Racer that accounts for its amazing 5.5oz. A lot of runners, myself included have naturally board feet and most broad wide fitting running shoes are clumpy and heavy so it was a pleasant surprise to see that the Lunar Trainer is both very wide and very light. The square tread of the rubber waffle sole is evenly distributed to help give a smooth even ride (this is a cushioned shoe recommended for neutral to slight overpronators), similar to the Nimbus I believe. The Lunarlite foam cushion in the shoe has been derived from NASA technology – so I am not kidding when I say “Running on the Moon”.
The Design: A florescent yellow sole paired with white upper looks cool and means you are not going to be missed when pounding (opps sorry, bouncing along) the Bukit Aman to Sri Hartamas route of a Sunday morning. Very Cool, although how long mine will stay nice and white remains to be seen.
The Test: We laced up, put our new Nike running vests on and went out of the HQ in the Curve into the searing afternoon heat for a 5K “jog”. Bouncing around like Tigger from Winnie the Pooh (that was me), we were all eager to test our footwear. From my personal opinion I found the ride very cushioned – which is surprising considering the lightness and thinness of the shoe – it also felt lighter than the 8oz weight (ladies size). Those guys at NASA really know their stuff I guess! I had a slight blister forming on my heel – but that could be due to 3 back to back tri’s with no socks and my feet are really quite a mess at the moment. The thing is I felt bouncy, I wanted to ‘run’ and so I ran to catch up with Kimbeley and she was having none of that and so my ego was very quickly shot down. I slowed down to run/race with Randy enjoying the bouncy lightness underfoot.
Would I buy a pair? Yes. But only now that I have tested them I would. To be honest I would probably not have brought them having never worn NIKE running shoes before, and I believe many of you feel the same way. If you buy a new shoe and it doesn’t work out then you have wasted a lot of money – how many of us have painfully run down that path before? So kudo’s to Nike for coming up with a great shoe that I feel will attract a lot of new fans and for allowing some die-hard athletes the opportunity to try them out. THANKYOU NIKE & THANKYOU Carmen for inviting us along.
BTW: The Lunar Trainer and Lunar Racer will only be available in the market from October – so to all those once again who haven’t got them...Nah, nah, nah nah nah!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

TTH Training Calender

We would like to alert your attention to the TTH Calender link on the right hand panel above the visitor counter. Click on the calender to view the monthly schedule of rides and runs, holidays and other interesting stuff going on. You can directly email from the link any questions you may have concerning a particular session or email just to let us know your tagging along!
The weekly alerts will still be posted as usual in orange, the calender just enables you to pick and choose rides and schedule your training to suit you.
Catch you on the bike!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Tickle Your Fancy?

Emma Says: Since it's another lovely Monday morning and the Olympics is just around the corner here's something a little different to the norm to inspire. Warning: View with caution an open mind and ENJOY the human form at it's finest - these are amazing pictures taken by award-winning photographer Nadav Kander.
Naked ambition: Britain's Olympians strip down as they prepare to make history in Beijing By Arthur Martin
Muscles taut and face locked in concentration, this is Rebecca Romero, who will be representing Britain in the Olympic games later this month. With a carefully placed arm and thigh to protect her modesty, she appears to be in perfect physical condition ahead of what will be a gruelling race in Beijing.
The 28-year-old, who won a sliver medal in rowing at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, only took up cycling seriously in March 2006 after doctors recommended the sport to combat muscle fatigue she was experiencing.
After reinventing herself as one of the world's top cyclists she will now seek to make history in China as the first British woman to win Olympic medals in two separate summer sports. Romero's previous experience of cycling consisted of working in a bike shop as a teenager. The athlete, who modestly describes herself as 'generally a lazy person', is now favourite to win the gold medal in the 3000m individual pursuit race in which she is already world champion.
'I am a really sore loser and I probably will be gutted if I get anything less than the gold medal in Beijing,' she said.
Romero also suggested she might be tempted to take up a third sport after the Games. She said: 'I might think about raising the bar a bit more. It might have to be a winter sport as I might not be able to wait for another Olympic cycle.' Only one other Briton has achieved the feat of winning medals in two sports.
Welshman Paul Radmilovic won medals in swimming and water polo in the 1920s, two sports which are arguably more closely related than cycling and rowing.

Above: Triple jumper Phillips Idowu shows off his toned body in all its glory. The images will be used as part of an advertising campaign for Powerade, the official sports drink of the Beijing Games. Idowu, 29, who has been hailed as one of Britain's best hopes of a track and field gold medal, said: 'This is definitely one of the more unusual shoots I've taken part in, but also one of the most enjoyable.
'Nadav made us all feel really comfortable, and we had a lot of fun. The Inner Gear for an athlete - how we train, what we eat, drink and when we sleep - is as important as what we wear, and it's great that a campaign like this brings it to life.'

Above: Swimmer Gregor Tait goes for a skinny dip. Cathryn Sleight, marketing director for Coca-Cola Great Britain which produces Powerade, added: 'Everyone is used to seeing athletes in competition or winning, but we wanted to give people the chance to see the real make-up of an athlete and their muscle and power, celebrating the body and spirit and the hard work that goes into training for all athletes whatever your level.'

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Courtesy Please

There will be a monthly schedule of rides and runs posted on the calendar link by next week. This will detail, destination, distance, duration, difficulty. Anyone is welcome to come along as it is great to have such large groups coming together, BUT myself and others of TTH would like to stress the importance of BEING ON TIME. Sometimes there are a few pick up points and it is not nice to keep everyone waiting. It’s not rocket science. Set the alarm 10minutes earlier, else you will find yourself riding alone or playing catch-up which as TTH seems to be picking up the pace each week, playing catch-up is not going to make a very pleasant ride for late comers.

Tales From a Sore Spot II

After 5 lazy arse mornings I was raring to ride today. George was left at home and I opted to take the older bike in my life “Scott” for the jaunt up to Ulu Yam. Only a circa 86k starting from Bukit Kiara, the intense and hilly ride was supposed to separate the "boys from the men". So imagine my surprise when the group tally this week totalled 17 with one more, Mr. Simon Cross to pick up on route. That pick-up never actually materialised and pleasantries were exchanged as we were leaving the breakfast stop and he was arriving. (Sorry you had a solo ride Simon, too much beer perhaps – or the alarm didn’t go off?).
Upon reaching the foot of the first hill having had previous experience of the torture around every bend I decided to use what momentum I could muster to help ease myself up the first little buggar. I must now apologise to the group as I thought we together at this stage and whilst trying not to go into cardiac arrest ascending the hills didn’t realise you guys were regrouping. It was only when Kimbeley caught me up that I saw there was only thin air behind us.
Apparently Gane tried that lovely local “smooching” noise to alert my attention to wait up but he now knows that WHENEVER I hear that noise I ignore it! I suggested next time he actually shout my name as it may work better but he seems to think it takes far less effort to make the smooching noise – whatever!
Had a nice chat with Kim (I did the talking) before she grew tired and probably bored of the pace and went off ahead to the top where we waited for everyone to reassemble before the descent for brekkie. Carmen likened the pace down to a stream of super bikes – it was pretty awesome, heads down bums in the air speeding as fast as you dare.
The first time I did this ride I was forewarned of a monster that was preceded by yet a bigger monster. I was then informed you had to do it all again on the way back. Gosh I miss those naive days – it got me a long way not knowing what was waiting around every corner. That time the return trip was pretty good. Second outing and the return was pure and simple, PAIN. This time round after 5 days of LIGHT exercise my legs were getting nastily lactic, my fault I guess for pushing as usual. At breakfast the legs were pulsating; I kept quiet but was not looking forward to the return AT ALL and would have done anything to prolong the stop.
Last to leave the coffee shop, (I said I wanted to prolong the stop), I was playing my usual game of catch-up, thank you Adzim for waiting and nice chatting with you. The hills came...and they went, they came...and they went. I felt great. I even starting humming to myself at one point, something I have not done since the IM training – the legs suddenly starting working.
I reached back to BK in a ride time of 3.05, pretty happy with that especially as I had promised myself a run afterwards. Randy and I set off and did 9k, whilst Seargent Sam, Carmen, Chris and KK went on a sensible 4k trot. Thanks for that Randy, I know you did not love every minute of it as I did, so cheers.
SO, it’s true. Rest, or in my case light exercise is the ticket – it works. Looking forward to a sadistically heavy week now followed by a taper for Desaru – BRING IT ON! BTW: I am known for my ritual of baking for the Saturday rides and it has been mentioned to actually put an oven on my bike. Maybe not an oven but perhaps this could be fathomed – not sure how it will affect my cool factor though?