Saturday, January 22, 2011

Good-bye Ironman... for now

Ironman Langkawi. On? Off? Who knows.

Whatever it is, I've said good-bye to Ironman racing. If it's off, it'll be a shame. I was looking forward to going and lending support to my friends who were going to race. After four years of getting continuous support from friends while I was participating, I figured it's time to give back.

I've always enjoyed racing in Langkawi. Many have complaints about how it's organised but I have to say, with the exception of 2010, it's been one of the best organised events in this country. 2008 was exceptionally good (I guess they had to step it up there because Faris Al-Sultan was racing and the ESPN TV crews were covering it). Maybe I'm just easier to please than most athletes here.

I have very fond memories of Ironman Malaysia. My first big-time disappointment DNF-ing on '07. The biggest high of finally crossing the line in '08. The camaraderie of athletes and supporters. The makan at Wonderland. Istana Condo. The list goes on.

Having since done an Ironman in Australia, I have to say, nothing beats racing at home. Sure, Busselton was great, well-organised, great support from the community, etc, but it still felt cold (and I'm not just talking about the weather). You don't get the warmth of having your friends around cheering you on.

This post is not meant to eulogise the demise of Ironman Malaysia (we don't even know if it's gone yet). The good-bye is from me to Ironman itself. I've done 5, finished 3, and I've not gotten anywhere. My times have always hovered around the 15:30 mark and it seems to all be in vain. I need to make massive improvements everywhere before I can even begin to think about doing another one.

For the first half of this year I will focus on improving the run while enjoying the bike. Sub-4 marathon is the goal. Impossible? Maybe. But we try. Then if that is achieved, the second half will focus on improving the bike and enjoying the run. Will get a turbo trainer and possibly a powermeter, if I can afford one. Swim, we'll just throw it in there.

If all goes well, I'll reacquaint myself with Ironman in New Zealand in 2012, which will coincide with my 40th birthday. If it doesn't go well, I'll just find another way to celebrate the big four-oh.

So, for now, it's good-bye Ironman. If you do show up in Langkawi in May, I'll see you there, but I'll be there supporting my friends, and not to face you. But I'm sure I'll face you soon enough...