Race Report: Officially a half Ironman at 113 Triathlon Bukit Merah 2016

3-month crash course to half Ironman

From the date I bought my first road bike HASA (click here for a full write up) on June 4 to the date of 113 Triathlon at Bukit Merah on September 4,2016, it has been exactly 3 months.

I have covered my first part of training in earlier post: Journey to half Ironman: 3-month preparation (part 1). You may click here to read more. And due to 2 back to back full marathons (Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2016 and Kuching Marathon 2016) in early August, I took a one-month break from cycling and swimming from July 17 to Aug 19. I only resumed cycling and swimming training from Aug 20 to Sept 4, squeezing in 2 more swimming sessions and 5 more cycling sessions (2 on HASA road bike and 3 on Lifecycle stationery bike). As for running, it is a continuous training. :)

Here is a summary:

Swim training (total distance 15 km)
Frequency: 9 times ( 2 x 1 km + 3 x 1.5 km + 4 x 2 km)
Bike training (total distance 306 km)
Frequency: 10 times 
> 7 x Hasa road bike (1 x 17 km + 2 x 37 km + 3 x 47 km + 1 x 74 km)
> 3 x Lifecycle stationery bike (3 x 15 km)
Run training (total distance 384 km)
Frequency: 12 times (10 x 30 km + 2 x 42 km)

By any standard, I feel that I seriously lacked training in both swim and bike.  For bike, I wished I had more time to cover longer distances, cycle more frequent. I also wished that I had more time to learn more cycling techniques. With such short span of time, I only managed to learn the basic gear changing, uphill and downhill control, etc. Very basic. I couldn't even drink water on the bike. For swim, I suck in freestyle. And my breast stroke is faster than my free style. :) I wanted to learn submerged swimming technique before the half Ironman distance but again time was too short to learn.

The odds were against me to become a half ironman in my first try. But I am a very stubborn person. :) I told myself by hook by crook I would just go and whack! 

If I don't TRI (half Ironman), I will never know! Just do it! :)

Race venue: Bukit Merah Laketown Resort

I have never been to Bukit Merah Laketown Resort. I have passed by a few times on the way to Penang but it never occurred to me that one day I would visit this place. After all, Bukit Merah is synonymous to eco and water parks. And I think I am too old to visit water theme park. :) Besides, KL has few world-class theme parks if I were to go to one anyway.

With a stopover in Bidor for famous wanton noodles, it took us (4 in 2 cars) close to 4 hours to reach Bukit Merah Laketown Resort from Kuala Lumpur.

What greeted us at Bukit Merah Laketown Resort in Perak on Aug 2 (Friday) was truly a pleasant surprise.

It's such a breezy, beautiful, spacious, relaxing resort surrounded by lush greenery and fronting one of Malaysia's largest 7,000-acre freshwater lake. You can say I'm very kampung. But seriously, I have never seen such big freshwater lake in Malaysia before. And I was so impressed. Instantly, I have fallen in love with the 7,000-acre freshwater lake and the breathtaking scenic views. Yeah, it's muddy no doubt but I still got super excited to know that I would be swimming in this freshwater lake.

We planned to spend 2 nights here. On Saturday, I would give back to sports community by taking photographs for sprint distance participants while supporting a friend to his first ever triathlon event. On Sunday, it would be my actual DNF or half ironman day! :)


Race pack collection (Aug 2)
Based on the start list at 113 Triathlon website, there would be 296 individual participants and 5 relay teams

113 Triathlon (Elite)                 : 3 participants (including my encourager Kevin Siah)
113 Triathlon (Individual)     : 195 participants
113 Triathlon (Relay)               : 2 teams
113 Sprint (Individual)             : 82 participants
113 Sprint (Relay)                    : 3 teams
113 Mini (Individual)               : 16 participants
Total individual participants     : 296

We went to collect our race pack at 3pm. Crowd was very small compared to the usual running events or even the Port Dickson International Triathlon 2015 (my first ever triathlon event - sprint distance). When we collected our race kit, the swimming cap had not arrived yet. So we were asked to pick up the swimming cap later or on event morning itself.

I personally love the 113 triathlon series' red drawstring backpack bag and the Lifeline ID's black water tumbler very much. :) May be it's because I love red color and the water tumbler was the first tumble I have ever received in any race. 

We then attended the 3.30 pm race briefing chaired by race director Andy. Most of the attendees to the race briefing were for the Sprint distance. I guess the half Ironman (113 triathlon) participants would attend Saturday night's 7.15 pm briefing.

Pre-race day (Aug 3)
I was busy taking photos for 113 Sprint participants and enjoying facilities at Bukit Merah Laketown resort, especially the beautiful 7,000-acre freshwater lake. We also drove to Taiping Lake Garden for lunch and sigh-seeing. I will save this part for another article.

In the evening, I was supposed to attend the dinner provided by 113 triathlon organizer. I decided to skip to join my friends to have simple nasi goreng and goreng mee hoon at the Malay stall. One of the reasons was that I felt intimidated to see so many seasoned triathletes. All looked so professional and seasoned. As a first timer without even a proper tri suit, I decided to shy away from the rest. :) I would feel less pressure that way. I know it's not good to be so anti-social but that was the only way I knew how to deal with my pre-race anxiety! Sob Sob! In fact, my friends also noticed I spoke less and less towards the evening due to my nervousness. :)

113 Triathlon - Half Ironman day!
The long-awaited half Ironman day had arrived! 

So many questions and doubts went through my head! 

To start or not to start! Would I DNF? Could I even finish the gruesome half Ironman distance? Would I end up last? Would I meet cut off time? Would I fall in the bike with the sleep slope? Would I finish my 2 km swim in the lake? What should I really wear? Would people laugh at me without proper tri suit? .....

Finally, I told myself to shake off all the negativity and to focus on completing the race. Forget about how others would think, be it I complete or DNF, I should not feel ashamed. At least I would have TRIed the best I could. 

Swim 2 km @ beautiful Bukit Merah Lake

The swim route required us to swim 2 loops with total 6 big yellow buoys to pass through for each loop at one of Malaysia's largest 7,000-acre freshwater lake. 

I wanted to go for a swim at the lake the day before as warm-up. I also wanted to get myself comfortable with swimming in lake. You see - I have never swam in a lake in my whole life! And I wonder how deep it would be, got big scary crocodile or man-eating fish or not, or a dinosaur!! (letting my imagination run wild for a moment..) After all, I decided not to do any swimming warm-up. I didn't think it would help me much on race day anyway.

The water was rather muddy and I couldn't see the bottom. A local Malay chap told me that it's about 15 feet deep. I also thought the water was going to be cold, but it was kind of warm. The race director Andy mentioned before that the lake water level was quite low and dry a few weeks back. So we were lucky to have the freshwater lake filled with water for all of us adrenaline enthusiasts! :) 

Originally I wanted to wear my newly bought tri-short to do all 3 legs. But as a newbie, I ended up buying TYR cycling tights instead. the big pad would not be comfortable for me to swim in. And it became a laughing stock on Facebook after I posted the photo up. lol!! Therefore, I decided to go back to basic - wearing my comfortable Arena swimming trunk.

I was very very nervous before the start! I took 3 pieces of bread and 1 banana as breakfast and for my swimming energy. I was so happy that my no. 172 was into the second batch

For the swim, 3 elites went first, followed by those from 1 to 100. And mine was last batch. I was happy with the arrangement! But I just prayed that I would not be the last one to come back from the swim.

There was a 3 min difference between first and second batch's start off. And when it was our turn to go down from the jetty to the pontoon, I started to have fear again! But I decided to focus and concentrate. Prayer also helped me to overcome my fear. 

Off we went!! I followed the other participants to go down the pontoon and started to swim freestyle towards first yellow buoy.

Wow! It was rather crowded and I kept hitting others. haha! Then I decided to swim slightly further away from the string connected the buoys to avoid the crowd. I felt much better!

You know what? It was so wonderful to swim in a warm, slightly choppy freshwater lake! Besides the muddy water making visibility very low, I actually enjoyed swimming in it. I felt as if I was swimming in a swimming pool. :) And compared to swimming in the sea, I preferred this experience better. 

As I swam past the first buoy, I heard some people screaming. I stopped to take a look worrying it might be someone in trouble. I then saw one participant being held on his neck and chin by another participant while waiting for safety boat to go near. (Later I found out that the participant was experiencing leg cramp!) I was just glad that the situation was in control.

I continued to swim freestyle, alternate with breast stroke when I got tired, focusing towards each buoy. When I finally finished swimming first loop (1 km), I was so happy. 

1 more loop, 1 more km to go! 

Unfortunately, my tiredness kicked in during second loop. I felt as if no matter how hard I swam freestyle, I was getting slower and slower with my feet sinking deeper and deeper. See - I am a lousy swimmer, particularly freestyle. I then made a decision to swim breaststroke as much as I could. Swimming breaststroke allowed me to relax a bit more. I could also see the buoy in front with breaststroke which was very helpful. 

When I reached the 3rd buoy making a left turn towards 4th buoy, I decided to swim freestyle again. I made a wrong decision!! I ended up not being able to see the buoys clearly and I lost my direction. I swam further and further away from the rest. I only realized my mistake after reaching 1.5 km. I stopped and held my head up to see my position. Oh no - I was way off course. Without feeling nervous, I quickly decided to swim towards the line then only followed the line to swim towards the 4th buoy. That was a close call!! haha!

I managed to finish 2 km swim reaching the pontoon at Jetty in 59 min 08 sec according to my Timex Ironman digital watch

I was so happy to have finished my 2 km swim! I couldn't stop myself from smiling as I ran up the jetty towards the Transition area. As I passed through the water sprinkler for a quick body wash, I also smiled for camera!! haha! :) I was simply overjoyed!

Transition 1
I changed from Arena swimming trunk to wrongly bought TYR cycling tights with ASICS running vest. The ASICS running vest came with a back pocket, allowing me to put 4 power gels and one energy bar inside.

I also carried my Samsung Galaxy Edge 7 in my Nathan running pouch so that I could activate the Nike+ running app during the bike leg. I needed to know my distance and my pace to ensure I could meet my cut off time. Without a GPS garmin watch, I could only rely on a running app. And in fact, it was my first time to try a running app during race. All the while, I was wearing my Garmin Forerunner 10. Unfortunately, my Garmin Forerunner 10 could only last for about 3 hours 30 min. 

Only after I fully changed into cycling gear with sun glasses and hand gloves, I pushed my bike to the timing sensor area to embark on 2nd leg: 90 km bike.

Swim (59 min 08 min) + transition time (8+ min) = 1 hour 07 min 50 sec

Participants standing at the pontoon waiting to be flagged off for the 2km swim.

I put on sun block and took a photo with the beautiful freshwater lake and sun rise as back drop. 

Yohoo! I completed 2 km swim at freshwater lake! 
A first for me!! So thrilled!
(photo credit: Jack Ah Beh Photography)

Yeah!! It's worth the celebration! Once impossible, now it has become possible!! (photo credit: Jack Ah Beh Photography)

Bike 90 km @ scenic village and lake surroundings

Cycling was my weakest sport! I lacked training in cycling. I bought my road bike only 3 months ago. And I only managed to cycle the furthest 74 km once before this. And in total I cycled only 7 times on HASA road bike.

How to bike 90 km one stretch without much training and limited cycling skills?

I would really like to thank the company of Nike+ running app. I let it tell me my time, distance and most importantly my pace every km. My impromptu decision to carry my Samsung Galaxy Edge 7 with activation of Nike+ running app was the best decision I'd made for the cycling. I saved the usage of my Garmin Forerunner 10 for the running leg for due to its shortened battery life. 
The first 2 km was tough due to the steep hill outside the resort. I pushed my bike up the hill, then slowly cycled down the hill with brakes until I reached the main road. After which, it was almost all flat.

I would also like to thank a female participant who looked to be a seasoned triathlete. I asked for her permission to allow me to tag behind her or at least tried to keep up with her as much as possible. That decision helped me to ride more comfortably, slowly moving towards my target pace of below 3 min per km. I stayed around the pace between 2 min 30 sec per km and 2 min 36 sec per km throughout most of the journey. 

Another 2 people to thank were William (not sure about your last name but you were riding almost same pace as the female seasoned triathlete and I was trying to pace between you both!), and Kevin Siah (thanks for your shout out to me to encourage me to push on! Appreciate it!)

I really loved the bike route, especially during first loop. I rode along the scenic lake with breathtaking lake view. I could also see a train passing across the lake towards Penang. With the fresh air blowing onto my face and my body still not fully dry from the swim, it was rather refreshing! 

Along the route, we passed by villages and kampung. The locals were so friendly! The smiled and welcomed us! I also saw some kids saying hi to us. I waved at them and said hello to them too!

There were few times whereby the motorists slowed down to allow us to ride our bike safey. They would only overtake us when they felt they weren't a threat to our safety. So considerate and friendly of them!
Riding a bike along this stretch of kampung road reminded me so much of Langkawi. It also reminded me of Bali. Both times, I was running full marathons! And until today, they both remained as some of my most favorite marathons. 
Perhaps I was a small town boy born in Langkawi. And I had a particular liking to kampung! haha!

The weather was getting hotter! Imagine riding under scorching hot sun for close to 4 hours? Hydration was so important and crucial! 

There were only 2 water stations for each loop. This means there was a water station for every 20-25 km. First water station served only canned 100 Plus! I was so surprised to see the canned drink! For me, I didn't know how to ride on a bike and drink 100 Plus at same time. So I stopped my bike and took my time to drink one can while taking a small rest. :)

First loop was nice! But second loop? It was testing on my mental strength, physical strength and patience already!! 

The freshness of the bike route was no longer there during second loop. The sun was getting hotter. The participants were getting more and more spread out. What made it worse was that by the time I reached the 1st water station (2nd loop), we were told that they ran out of water or 100 Plus and we had to wait. How could that happen? How could that happen? It was so hot yet no water? The organizer could have prepared more water right? I was furious but I decided to cool down. I didn't want it to affect my first half Ironman. :) So I kept calm. I looked at my water tumbler (I carried only 1 water tumbler) and realized I still had 1/2 of 100 Plus left.  Without much hesitation, I started to think like a camel - conserving as much energy and water as possible until the next water station. I also tried to have better breathing, keeping it as consistent as possible to hold me as long as I could.

Thank goodness! The strategy worked! And I managed to reach the last water station right outside of Laketown Resort before turning in to the Transition 2. However, I decided to skip the water station and head straight towards transition 2. 

Oh no - the 2 km hill was ahead! My legs started to cramp. I couldn't even cycle up the steep hill. So I decided to push my bike all the way up again.

When I finally reached Transition 2, my Nike + running app showed distance of 90.21 km at average pace of 2 min 26 sec per km in 3 hours 38 min 56 sec.

2nd hooray!! I finally conquered my weakest sport, riding 90 km - the furthest ever, and completed it within cut off time of 4 hour 30 min. Double joy for me at this stage but my body was so so so tired already! And mind you, it was about 12 noon. So hot!

Transition 2

I took my time (about 5 min transition time) to change my TYR cycling tights & ASICS running vest with back pocket to ASICS running shorts and Adidas SCKLM 2016 running vest. I also drank lots of water to hydrate myself. Oh yeah - I decided to use my Garmin Forerunner 10 for time and pace instead of Nike + running app. I didn't like carrying a phone to run. :) So I ended up wearing 2 watches to run. I consumed another power gel before I started running. By the way, 

hot hot hot!! Sweating with sun burning on my shoulder!
(photo credit: Jack Ah Beh Photography)

No matter how difficult, kena ada gaya also for photo as memory! haha!
(photo credit: Jack Ah Beh Photography)

Still can smile! lol!! (photo credit: Jack Ah Beh Photography)

Run 21 km @ flat housing area and oil palm plantation

Oh no - loop again!! Sigh!! I really don't like swimming, cycling or running loops!! It's very mentally challenged on how to make something not interesting seemed interesting! :) 

And for the run route, I would need to pass through some housing area, Lakeview college before heading toward a small road with oil palm plantation. And at the end of 5 km or so, I needed to make a u turn back to Laketown Resort. And it was only 10 km! I need to make another loop before I could complete 21 km!! Phew!!

I looked at my watch and it was 12 noon. So hot! My legs were like jelly. My body was aching. I was so "stoned" already. 

Initially I was rather confident that I could finish my 21 km within 2 hours since my half marathon time was around sub 2 hours. But I totally forgot that I couldn't run at the same speed right after a 2 km swim and 90 km bike. If I could, I would have been a professional athlete!! lol!!

True enough, my speed was getting slower and slower. And I stopped at every water station for banana, water and 100 Plus.

It was during this time that I saw Weng Woo and Phylix Ng again. I saw them earlier during the cycling leg. Of course, they passed me like gushing wind as they were super awesome triathletes! Since I was a newbie to triathlon, I didn't know many people. So i was very happy to see someone I knew. :) They both were very encouragious to me too knowing it was my first time.

As I ran back to the Laketown resort before making a u turn to do my second loop, it started to rain heavily!! If I was not mistaken, the rain started around 1.34pm. It lasted for about 30 min or so. 

I could see big smiles on virtually everyone's face for the welcoming rain!! It definitely lifted up my spirit to run the boring second loop for the final 10 km!

I walked. I ran. I walked. I ran. I have never walked so much in a 21 km run before. And i have never run so slow in a 21 km run before. haha! Now I know my stamina wasn't so good and my endurance needed to be improved further.

With the help of the rain and a sudden surge of energy, I picked up my running speed as I made the u turn back to finish line! 

When I was about to reach the finish line, I increased my speed again!! 

Few more steps... few more steps.... few more steps.... and I shall become.....

ahem... let me cross the finish line first!! :) So excited!!!

(This last 21 km run took me about 2 hours 42 min to finish - a painful torturing journey!)

Made the demotivating u-turn in front of the resort for the last 10 km. 
Raining heavily! But we all welcomed the rain!

U-turn! u-turn! yeah yeah yeah... boring! So tired already by then...
But gotta push push push for the last 10 km!

Officially a half Ironman :)

When I crossed the finish line with a total time of 7 hours 33 min 44 sec, I was elated!! 

I held back my tears for pushing myself to the limit to achieve this difficult item on my bucket list.

I couldn't believe I actually could finish the gruesome half Ironman distance!! 

And I couldn't believe I was already at the finish line!! 

It was very much like living in a dream!!!

All my self doubts before the race, all the anxiety and fear! They were suddenly gone!! diminished!! 

And what replaced them were great joy, gratefulness, great satisfaction and total tiredness!! :)

After collecting my hard earned 113 Triathlon's half Ironman finisher medal and finisher tee, I was starting to allow the fact that I actually crossed the finish line to sink in! :)

So, I'm officially a Half Ironman triathlete!!! Hooray! (I'd better bite my finger to ensure I wasn't dreaming!!)

I have so many people to thank in my short 3-month journey to half ironman. Thank you to all of you (you know who you are) for believing in me, for guiding me, for teaching me, for giving me advice, for helping me in my training and for encouraging me. 

Without you all, I would have been still a 100% human! Thank you!

Crossed the finish line and became half Ironman!!! Yohoo!! 

Result within 15 min after crossing finish line:
2 km Swim: 1:07:50; 90 km Cycle: 3:43:55; 21 km Run: 2:41:57. 

Total time: 7:33:44. Overall Position: 65. Category Position: 11.

Nike + app helped me in my bike. Garmin Forerunner 10 helped me in my run. And Timex Ironman digital watch helped me throughout swim, bike and run. 

Honored to take photo with Weng Woo and Phylix Ng at finish line. 

For sweet memory! :)

What's Next? Another Half Ironman?
Hmmm.... at the moment, my answer is no. Why torture myself again? :) Once is enough! :) 

But again, I might change my mind next year! haha!

Anyway, let me rest first...... my body is still aching after 3 days! And my shoulders are burning due to sun burn!! And I am very hitam manis now with dark tanned skin. :)

I now can sleep soundly, rest well with the Half Ironman finisher medal next to my pillow!!! (Just kidding!)

Written on 2016.09.07



  1. I just came across your blog and am very inspired! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!I am 11 days from my first Half Ironman and completely understand on an emotional level everything you felt leading up to this day! My favorite line is:
    Finally, I told myself to shake off all the negativity and to focus on completing the race. Forget about how others would think, be it I complete or DNF, I should not feel ashamed. At least I would have TRIed the best I could.

    It's so so so so true! I'm just going to go out there and Tri my best. That's all I can ask of myself. I hope I have the same success as you! Again, CONGRATULATIONS!!!! You deserve that medal!

  2. Dear Funny Girl,
    Thank you very much for reading my humble sharing and for your well wishes. Appreciate it very much. Without you realizing it, receiving your encouraging comment has very much motivated me to continue writing even though at times I wanted to give up. :) From the bottom of my heart, thank you very much because your reading and comment has come at the right timing.

    11 more days from your first Half Ironman? Or I think may be by now it's 10 more days? Oh wow!!! That must be very exciting yet anxious! :) I'm sure right now you are also going through the emotional roller coaster as what I have experienced.

    Yeah - you are right - just going out there and TRI your best!! And I strongly believe that you will complete your first Half Ironman with a big smile on your face and achieve another great milestone in your life.

    Will you be doing it in Chicago? How is the weather now? Perhaps you don't need to cycle and run under scorching hot sun like me in Malaysia.

    Go and enjoy yourself during the race!! You will realize that something once thought impossible shall become very possible. And your dream shall become true!!

    I'm so so excited for you now. Go go, Funny Girl! You can definitely do it!!

    It will be great if you can drop a comment here after you have completed your maiden half ironman. You can simply leave this comment, "I TRI THEREFORE I AM HALF IRONMAN". :) Because I know you can do it!!!

    All the best to you!

  3. By the way, I am SOOOOOOOOOOO envious of the picture you have at the top of this post!! LOVE IT!!!!

  4. Dear Funny girl @ savitre,
    Wow! "I TRI THEREFORE I AM HALF IRONMAN!!!!! :o)" Yohoo! A big big big congratulation to you for officially becoming a half ironman!!! I'm so so proud of your great achievement!! I could definitely feel your anxiety, great excitement, joy, and turning from unbelief to firm belief state of mind!! yes! Anything is possible! You have just proven yourself!! Way to go, savitre!! Truly awesome!!

    Glad you know you enjoyed the swim! Happy to know you were helped by the push of the current too. :) It was in a river? Cold or not? Did you all start the race by batch or all at one go? I could feel your joy of the swim! Fun yeah! :)

    "Being from Chicago, we don't know what hills are. " You have such strong sense of humor, making me smile from ear to ear reading your race report. You are not alone! I also saw riders passing me by left and right! 90 km with hills - not an easy task - but you did it in style! You finished in the center. (with riders in your left and right... haha!) :) I too was most impressed by you!! Your mental strength must be very strong on that race day to pull you through the BIKE leg.

    Did you say "long torturous run"? How come it sounded so familiar? :) I know what you mean - thinking running could probably be our best bet with full marathon experience! But I guess we both experienced the same - "one would've thought I had never ever ran a day in my life.".

    95 degrees was super hot! It was about 35 degree celsius - almost same weather as here on race day!! Super hot! Did you apply sun block or you got sun burn as part of your "souvenir" from completing your first half ironman? :)

    Air conditioning - if you can carry one to run.. haha!!

    Yeah - rain rain rain!!And you kept telling yourself, "any minute now, it will rain...it WILL rain!" Nope, no luck. No rain for me." I couldn't stop laughing when you said that! It's only those who experienced it know exactly how it feel to welcome a rain!! Sorry to hear that no rain! But hey - you got refreshing coke cola at aid station!!! That was a booster!! I didn't have that. sob sob!

    Your mom is very supportive of you! You and you mom were shedding great tears of joy!! What mess were you talking about? Tears were merely reflecting your great joy, great satisfaction of being an overcomer in life by completing your first ever half ironman!! I salute you for being close to your emotions! That's what makes human great - feelings! How I wish I was there to cheer you on as well and share your great joy!! Truly, I'm so proud of you!!!You are strong!!!

    Yeah - we might not know each other - one from Chicago and one from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, but as you said, we are training buddies in spirit! Yohoo! I'm very happy to hear that!!

    And hold on a second - did you say may be one day we will be toeing together at start line for our first FULL IRONMAN? FULL IM or FOOL IM? lol!!! Hey - never say never, right? Who knows? (Seriously, do you plan to be a full IM next year? If so, I really look forward to that day to come. You will be my great encourager in return.)

  5. Thanks again for your continuous encouragement to get me to continue blogging and share my thoughts and experiences. I'm deeply touched. From someone I really don't know to becoming training buddies in spirit. All through the glory of internet! Such great motivation!

    Hey - you used to blog but you stopped. Why don't you start again with this half ironman race report? You have written already anyway here... and it's great!! Why don't you put it on your blog? Or may be I can put up a guest post for you here instead? :) It will be a great privilege and honour if you can be a guest author for this Chicago half ironman experience of yours here! I'm sure many of us here in Malaysia and Asia would love to know more about windy city Chicago. Also, it will be great to hear and read about your great adventures in future too. What say you? Then we can be blogging buddies too in addition to running buddies in spirit. :)

    Thanks for loving the picture on the top of this post. :) It was taken with the fresh water lake where we swam 2km. Yeah, I love the picture too myself. Behind it, it's lots of sweat, pain, and more pain.. you have experienced it too! But all ends well. We both are half ironman now!

    btw - you can actually update your blogger profile already - adding 7 marathons and triathlon (half IM) into your credential! :)

    Proud of you! And thank you!