Ironman (IM) 70.3 Putrajaya Expo 2015
Prestigious Brand: Malaysians should be proud that the world-famous sports brand of IM is staging its second consecutive 70.3 event in Putrajaya on 5th April 2015 with a new title sponsor, TIMEdotCom. As in last year, 5-times Ironman Champion & Ambassador, Craig Alexander (Crowie) is also here to inspire all the participants.
During today’s press conference, The Aussie admitted that given the age factor, his body will no longer permit him to train as hard as he used to when he was at his peak. Nevertheless, Crowie still enjoys racing, and he has decided to compete this time because he was persuaded to do so, by the many favourable reviews from his friends who raced this course last year. The favourite professional woman competitor is the on-form Parys Edwards (GBR) who topped the inaugural Subic Bay 70.3 a month ago in the Philippines with a time of 4 hours 18 minutes. Men’s Professional Athlete Josh Amberger (AUS) is aiming to improve on his 3rd placing in Subic Bay with a time of 3 hours 57 minutes. However, Josh failed to get on to the podium on race day, as Italian Domenico Passuello won the Men’s Pro Open with the fastest time of 3 hours 58 minutes. Ironman royalty Crowie came in an astonishing second with a time of 4h 08m. Emma Bilham came first in the Women’s Pro Open with a time of 4h 24m. While Parys finished a close 3rd place behind 2nd finisher Kathy Duffield with 4h 33m and 4h 34m respectively.
Malaysian Rock Star: Elite competitor Rupert Chen is aiming to reduce his time to below 5 hours. Rupert revealed that he has been “training smart” in preparation for this event by working more on his weakest link of running. Congratulations to Rupert for putting another sterling performance on Sunday to become the second fastest Malaysian finisher, and let’s wish him well in his journey to Ironman Langkawiwhich will be held on 14th November 2015.
Team Specialist: Young & talented local runner, Jason Loh, knows how it feels to be a winner, and at last year’s inaugural Ironman 70.3 Putrajaya, his team won the relay event. This year with new team members, he hopes to repeat this feat, and he is all too aware of running in the blazing heat, “My running pace when running under the hot sun is slower compared to my pace for the cooler morning races because I need to avoid overheating which will impede my performance.”
From Penang: Handsome Hugo is looking forward to his mixed relay event as he will be anchoring the bike leg, while both his other team two mates are females. Hugo quips, “Other mixed relay teams with 2 males will have a natural advantage compared to a team like mine.” It will be interesting to find-out if Hugo’s team can beat the odds.
Tadonamo Support: As the group Tadonamo chief, Sherul Nizam points out, “Did you know that there were only 200 Malaysians who participated in Ironman Langkawi 2014 out of a field of 1,400 participants. Many athletes are put-off by the thought of open water swimming. That is why Tadonamo is staging mini triathlon events to introduce triathlete-wannabes to open water swimming and to get a feel of what it is like to race a swim, bike & run event.” Recently, some of the local triathlon events like Penang Triathlon & Ironman 70.3 Putrajaya have introduced a Duothlon category too to give non-swimmers a taste of the exciting triathlon atmosphere on race day, and hopefully, inspire them to partake in triathlons in the future. Based on my firsthand experience, I can recommend beginners to join the Tadonamo group activities as their members are very friendly, helpful & experienced as a hands-on support group for triathletes of all backgrounds and abilities.
The Expo: During the two-day race kit collection days, there were many sports and triathlon vendors offering popular branded goods from sports nutrition
to flashy racing bicycles. I was manning the ElliptiGO bicycle booth together with my friends from Naroo Mask Malaysia.
As expected, the expo shoppers consisted mainly of the Ironman participants who were looking for good deals. Since there were so many international competitors present, I could not help but envy them because with their foreign currencies and all the items being priced in our weaker Malaysian Ringgit, it meant that they could afford to buy more of our local goodies. Jokes aside, it is good for our economy to have foreign competitors spending more money during their stay in Malaysia.
Sight-Seeing: One Caucasian lady who was part of a big triathlete contingent from Dubai complained, “We will be spending a few days in KL after Sunday, but no one has given us any information on the local places of interest to visit.” Perhaps, somebody from the race organiser or from Tourism Malaysia is reading this right now, and they might consider setting-up a Visit Malaysia information counter at next year’s expo.
Coming Back: Mark the 3rd April 2016 on your calendar! Better still, start saving-up now and don’t miss-out this golden opportunity to join a world-class sporting event at our very own doorstep. Once you have registered for this event, you will be more likely to train for it.
To me, it was really inspiring to see so many first-time Ironman out there, and I am sure they will all be back to the same place next year to be joined by the next wave of rookie triathletes.
The Victors: The event officials and the participants were all amazing. It takes countless numbers of unseen volunteers & supporters who are courageous & determined to successfully pull-off a big show like this – I salute you all.
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