A journey of my 3rd Ironman - Ironman Langkawi 2017

The journey started since early the year when OP Zalman my junior in RMC contacted me asking whether I'm interested to do Ironman this year. Although my last Ironman race was 7 years ago, I still remember the toughest part is the commitment on the training which I wasn't really keen initially. I told him I want to let Fiza to take the slot, but he said he can try lobby to get the spots for both of us. Then, I replied... race on! We filled-in all the necessary forms and documents and submitted to My Major Events.


We didn't hear any positive news from MME until around middle of the year. Then we started being serious following the training program. I don't really have proper training plan, what I did was following Fiza's plan over the weekend and due to work commitment I tried my best to do at least one training a day during weekdays. First target is to race in the Iskandar Challenge with timing sub 7 hours. I did achieve the target and very satisfied with my on-going training.
Ironman Training

Continuing the training 2 times a day 6 days a week in 6 weeks before Ironman take a toll on my body. I felt extremely lethargic and sleepy during the day. Lost weight from 80kg early the year downed to 74kg during Ironman. Probably due to age factor, recovery also a lot slower than before. Luckily my immediate supervisor Meno understand my situation because he himself is an ultra marathoner.


We took the flight to Langkawi 4 days before the race day. It is important to be there early for athlete check-in, briefing, checking out race course, bike prep, swim test, bike check-in, carbo-loading and have good rest before the race. At the expo, we met many of our fellow triathletes. It was a festival in Mahsuri International Event & Convention Center, not only athletes but their supporters also enjoying the atmosphere.
Before race



The swimming start at Pantai Kok. The course was 3.8km in 2 loops. I registered to start in zone 1:30-1:45 hrs (orange swim cap). So far, my best 3.8km swim in the pool was 1:45, plus minus on the navigation I thought I would take longer to finish the distance probably 1:50-1:55 hrs. I think the timing is still ok and quite far away from COT 2:20 hrs. Fiza started in zone 1:15-130 hrs (purple swim cap). It was rolling start and she started  about 2-3 minutes in front of me.
photo credit: Finisher Pix, Jack Ah Beh

The first loop was a bit crowded, so I tried to stay away from the right lane. Start slow, try to manage my heart rate from beating too fast. It was smooth swim and lesser tense. After completed the first loop, I notice my stopwatch has stopped ticking. Now, I have no idea what was my timing in the first loop, should I go faster or slower in second loop?? To be safe, I decided to push a bit in second loop. I remember I overtook many people in second loop especially those wearing purple swim cap. Out from the water I was rushing to the T1 because I do not want to be left behind by Fiza.


When I rushed out to the bike hanger, I saw there were still many bikes, including bikes at both sides of my bike. I guess I must have swim quite fast. At that point of time, I still have no idea how fast I swam. Mount my bike and off I go.....
photo credit: Jack Ah Beh, Escape, Tey, FizSaid & Finisher Pix

First climb Datai was easy peasy, but on the way down my chain dropped and it stucks behind chain stopper. How can the chain dropped behind chain stopper? It took me more than 5 minutes to fix it. Then I continued cycle as fast as I could trying to catch up with Fiza in front. My target is to beat my PB 15:09 hrs, clock sub 15 and catch up with Fiza during the run. I already purchased the official photos package cost me RM400 as a motivation to cross finish line together with her.

Turning into second loop I still haven't seen Fiza, I guess she must have gone too far in front for me to catch up. Just before the bike special need the bike dropped again. This time it was very difficult to fix, I almost wanted to throw the bike but I threw the bottle into the bush instead because the bike is belong to Fiza. I lost another 10 minutes here!! I took deep breath and calmed myself down. I managed to fix it and continue cycle toward T-junction to Datai. From this point onward, I became phobia at changing front gear. I tried not to change it too often.
My face dead serious when cycling

On the way down from Datai I bumped into Fiza when she called me out, but I was so surprised why she's on the way up to Datai?? What is going on here? Why is she at the back? I felt uneasy with this situation. I worried if she got into accident or she fell sick, or maybe bike problem. But I'm pretty sure she swam faster than me but why she behinds me?? Then I decided to slow down a bit... I don't care anymore about clocking my PB or sub 15 hours. All I want is for her to finish the race within cut off. I completed the bike course in 7:15 hrs. It was slow compare to my best timing 6:30hrs in my first Ironman in 2009.


I took longer time in T2 for solat and waiting for Fiza. When I my body about to get cool, I decided to continue running slowly with hope Fiza will complete her bike leg within cut. There's no point for me to wait if I don't know whether she will make it or not. Out from MIEC, I ran several km with Idzham. Then, he left me behind after 6km. I ran walked to Meritus Pelangi passing by the finish line. By this time the pros already crossed the finish line. Luckily the weather was nice and cloudy.
photo credit: Azrul

After completed one loop, I bumped again into Fiza near the airport runway stretch. She doesn't know it was such a relief to find out she made it before the bike cut off. When I asked what happened, she said bike problem in very moody voice and very sour face. When I want to know more in detail, she didn't respond and continue running toward MIEC leaving me behind. My poor baby....

I don't look like pushing to the limit
Passing the finish line for the second time was really mental. I was extremely tired and sleepy at the same time. By this time, it was nightfall and extremely dark around breakwater area. After came out from breakwater, I sat down at medic tent for awhile because I felt like going to collapse. After several minutes I continue walk back to MIEC before my last lap. 

photo credit: Jack Ah Beh & Knut

I made it to MIEC by counting the cars parking along the airport street next to the runway used to light up the course. I hate that place! I walked more after that knowing I will make it even if I walk all the way to the finish line. Then at the same place before, I bumped again into Fiza. Looking at her pace, I was very sure she will make it to the finish line within the cut-off time. Then I shouted at her that I'm gonna wait for her before cross finish line. At this point of time, I don't care anymore about clocking the PB. All I want is to cross finish line with her. 
A dream comes true

I made it to the last timing mat in 15:36hrs which I didn't know the timing stop here and then I sat down on the carpet about 20m before finish arch waiting for Fiza. Supporters along the fences keep asking me "abang tunggu sape? kenapa tak habiskan?" Nearly an hour later, I saw my sayang approaching the finish line... I stood up, took her hand and we ran together to the finish arch. It was one of the best moments of my life! 
I love you sayang! Well done, although you didn't achieve your target this year.

Since my first Ironman in 2009, I always wished someone I love will wait for me at the finish line but 8 years later the dream came true and even better, I crossed the finish line together with my loved one.
With our finisher Tee

Our medals


I would like to thank to My Major Events for sponsoring the slot. Thank you Zalman for proposing my name to MME. Thank you training partners Zalman, Syuk, Diana, CK, and many others to mention here. Thank you my supervisor Meno and my network procurement team in Celcom for backing me up during these few months on training. Thank you Faiz Amskins for delivering the best quality OP trisuit with reasonable price. Thank you Lucozade for the drinks. And last not least special thank you with loads and loads of love to my sayang for pulling me back into triathlon and ensuring my quest for 3rd Ironman title is running smoothly. You're my best Ironman partner in this world. Love you bebeh!!
Best swim time for IM distance, overall timing 27 mins slower than my PB. 


So sweet nya. Untung Fiza dapat lelaki budiman macam kau bro.

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