Ironman Malaysia returns to Langkawi with activities for everyone
IRONMAN Malaysia Langkawi, the Tropical IRONMAN Adventure, took place on Langkawi Island on Saturday, 14 November 2015. The Tropical IRONMAN Adventure shows that Anything is Possible with a Celebrity Relay, the inaugural IRONKIDS Race and a host of activities leading up to Race Day.
These included roadshows around the island to meet and brief the crew. One unique feature of IRONMAN Malaysia is the involvement of the local community, with a turnout this year of 1,500 volunteers comprising of Langkawi residents.
The IRONMAN Malaysia Langkawi expo took place at the Mahsuri International Exhibition Centre (MIEC), located next to the Langkawi International Airport. Serving as a hub for the race, the exhibition hall also hosted the official professional athlete interviews, athlete briefing sessions, athlete race check-ins and the official welcome dinner, attended by representatives from Malaysia Major Events, Langkawi Development Authority (LADA), official sponsors and athletes.
With a backdrop of a stunning blue sky over Pantai Chenang, the inaugural IRONKIDS Malaysia race took place with over 100 children aged between 5 to 12 completing a 1km dash, finishing at the official IRONMAN finishers chute. Introduced with the aim to promote a balanced, active lifestyle to children. All participants received an IRONKIDS medal and finisher certificate, as well as refreshments and ice cream.
This year, the event took place across three locations in the beautiful island of Langkawi and was blessed with clear skies and great tropical weather. With an updated race route that bypassed the popular Kuah town, the 2015 route took athletes from Pantai Kok through Datai and the outskirts of Kuah town. This year’s race also featured a unique indoor bike-to-run transition at the air-conditioned Mahsuri International, being the 1st indoor transition in an IRONMAN race in Asia Pacific.
Staying true to the tagline Anything is Possible, the race also hosted the first IRONMAN Malaysia Langkawi Celebrity Relay, with IRONMAN Malaysia Ambassador and 11-time IRONMAN New Zealand champion Cameron Brown. Emphasizing the value of perseverance and striving for a healthy and active lifestyle, this relay brought together four individuals on personal journeys that transcend boundaries.
The team comprised IRONMAN Malaysia ambassador Cameron Brown, who started of the race with a 3.8 km swim, former professional Malaysian cyclist and SEA Games champion Sayuti Zahit, who carried on the baton with a 180km bike ride, actress, host, emcee and singer Irene Tan, who continued with a 24km run and TV host, producer and Managing Director of the BON Zainal fashion label Raj Aria, who completed the balance 18km to finish the race with a time of 13:41:41.
IRONMAN Malaysia, in collaboration with ASTRO Wishlist, also granted the wish of Malaysian triathlete and father Abdul Latiff Dollah, to participate in the race. He dedicated his efforts to his adorable daughter, Aincamelia Irdina Latiff, who was born autistic. He completed the race in 16:17:28, and had his wish granted when he was greeted at the finishers chute by his emotional wife and daughter.
2015 IRONMAN Malaysia attracted an amazing pool of Professional athletes from all around the world, with a total of 59 professional athletes competing for the USD 40,000 prize money and points to qualify for the 2016 IRONMANWorld Championship in Kona, Hawaii.
Swiss veteran Mike Aigroz took home the title of the Men Professional Champion of the 2015 IRONMAN Malaysia, Langkawi in 8:52:02 for his first ever IRONMAN victory. In the Women’s Professional race, defending champion Diana Riesler from Germany maintained her lead of supremacy with a time of 9:37:06 and a 12 minutes lead over 2nd place.
Malaysian participants made up 17% of the total 885 competitors for this year’s race. Barry Lee and Chin Mei See were awarded the title of Best Malaysian Male and Best Malaysian Female respectively, and both accepted 2016 IRONMAN World Championship in Kona, Hawaii participation slots.
Barry Lee was named Best Malaysian Male, completing the race in 10:23:07 and placing third in his age division (18–24) to qualify for the 2016 IRONMAN World Championship in Kona.
Speaking on his race experience, the 24-year old athlete said:
“I am very happy and honoured to have been named Best Malaysian Male, especially since I suffered an injury shortly before the race. I’m excited to be racing for the first time in the World Championship next year, too, and will do my best,” – Barry Lee.
Chin Mei See, 37, expressed surprise at being awarded the Best Malaysian Female title. It felt like a reward at the end of 9 months of training and preparation. I was a supporter at the 2014 race, and crossing the finishing line this year fulfilled my dream to be an IRONMAN. She will be participating in the 2016 World Championships in Kona, and hopes more Malaysian female triathletes will participate in future IRONMAN races.