Just when you think you're tough enough

Tough Takes Triathlon

Exclusive Interview with Triathlon Power Couple Sue Teoh and Jessen Lee

Best known as Malaysia’s Power Couple in Triathlon, Sue Teoh and Jessen Lee romps the road and off-road Triathlon scene.

At the off-road triathlon, Xterra Malaysia in Langkawi recently, Sue finished second while Jessen finished in third place in their respective age-categories and qualified for the Xterra World Championships in Maui, Hawaii, USA.

Tough Asia caught up with to find out how they harnest and combine their strengths on the rough terrains of Xterra Malaysia.

What’s your best memory or moment from the Xterra Malaysia race?

Jessen: I really enjoyed the mountain bike course.

Sue: Climbing up the mountain was brutal. It’s a long steep climb. Downhill was manageable and I rode down three quarters of it.

What’s the advantage like having someone else understand the race, racing and supporting you in Xterra?

Sue: We get to discuss the whole race plan, our strategies. He told me to just take it easy on the ride, especially the climbs.

Jessen: On the race, we don’t get to see each other, until when we pass each other with a quick check, “Are you ok?” and “I love you, bye!”

Between road and off-road triathlon, which do you prefer and why?

Sue: Off-road, it’s a lot tougher but it’s more interesting with the adrenaline rush. The scenery always changes. Need a lot more skill on the bike, even on the run.

Jessen: Coming from Mountain Bike background, Xterra suits me perfectly except the swim. Different trails present different challenges.

TA: Well, you’ve Sue here who’s a Swim Coach.

Sue: I’ve really tried.
Jessen: I’ve been progressing albeit slowly.

Tell us something no one knows yet about your other half.

Sue: Jessen is very extreme, which he explains is good for training as he will go all out.
Jessen: Sue is quite a homely person, apart from the usual rigours of work and training. So after the race, she would just love to stay in the hotel.

How do you encourage new friends take up Xterra ?

Sue: I usually tell people to get on a mountain bike first and get used to the terrain, then get into trail running. You will need a lot of leg strength off-road and when you go on the road, it gets easier.

What mountain bikes are you both riding?

Sue: Scott, my very first mountain bike ever on a mix set of Shimano groupset.

Jessen: Mine’s provided by Pedal Spot. It’s a 27.5″ Merida Big Seven Team Issue on SRAM groupset using the new Fox 32SC forks.

Both Sue and Jessen combine their strengths to run Kids of Steel Triathlon which introduces young children into the multi-sport of Triathlon which covers swimming, cycling and running.

Look Sue up for classes in swimming and running, while Jessen conducts mountain bike classes. Follow Sue Teoh Fitness Trainer and Jessen’s Ride School on Facebook for more info.