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Challenges Triathlon

Mohd Allie Helmy and Colin O’Shea spearheads the 113 Desaru Triathlon

Mohd Aliie Helmy spearheads Malaysia’s aspirations at the 113 Desaru Triathlon. (Facebook)

The Triathlon season continues through mid-season and the beaches of Desaru beckon the multi-sport athletes this weekend at 113 Desaru Triathlon. Renowned for white sandy beaches facing the South China Sea, Desaru’s roads unroll into undulating stretches providing a stiff challenge on bike and the run for the Triathletes.

Tough Asia caught up with Malaysia’s 5-time Ironman Mohd Allie Helmy and Singapore’s Triathlon Coach Colin O’Shea who will spearhead the 1.9km swim, 90km cycle and 21km run challenge in Desaru, Johor this weekend.

Mohd Helmy won the 113 Desaru Triathlon 2015. Facebook)
Mohd Helmy won the 113 Desaru Triathlon 2015. (Facebook/EnAikAY)

TA: What’s your target for 113 Desaru Triathlon?

Helmy: To be honest, I would be glad to complete the race below 5 hours. I’ve was having fever for two 2 weeks, so I’m not fully fit but I’ve resumed training and raced at the Kerian Duathlon last week. I’m feeling a bit more race-ready now and will do my best.

TA: What’s your favourite part of the course?

Helmy: Definitely the bike and the run as I’ve raced the course before. The bike course will be challenging like an Individual Time-Trial (ITT) as no drafting is allowed on the undulating roads.

However, on the run the hill at U-turn will throw a spanner in the works for everyone.

TA: Any advice for beginners at Desaru?

Helmy: During race, relax and take it one step at a time. On the bike, watch your nutrition for it is important.

Prepare sport drinks like isotonics and electrolytes and drink it before you feel thirsty. Also, eat some energy bars a bit at a time to maintain your energy, so that you will not be tired on the run.

Triathlon Coach Colin-O'Shea will be racing for the first time at his regular training ground, Desaru. (
Triathlon Coach Colin-O’Shea will be racing for the first time at his regular training ground, Desaru. (

TA: How have you been preparing for 113 Desaru Triathlon?

Colin: I was racing at the Bintan Triathlon last weekend and came in third overall. It was a tough but really good challenge against top competitors.

Recently, I have just recovered from Dengue.

My aim is to race at Ironman 70.3 Busselton in West Australia and looking forward to the Ironman 70.3 Championships in Australia at the end of the year with a top 10 finish.

Therefore, Desaru would be good to build up race practice and sharpness. It’s a good race, challenging but good for me and my overall race program.

TA: What’s your favourite part of the course?

Colin: It will be my first time racing at Desaru also I’ve been training in Desaru. It’s a stone’s throw from Singapore and for training it’s great with its undulating roads.

Desaru will definitely be challenging in all areas. With my swimming background, I will look for a good start out of the water and a solid position into the bike. My run is relatively strong, so hope to finish strong.

Colin-OShea-SG Triathlon2
Colin-O’Shea looks forward to a top 10 finish at the Ironman 70.3 World Championships later this year. (

TA: Any advice for beginners at Desaru?

Colin: As a Triathlon coach, I always tell my team to manage your efforts. It’s gonna be hot, so if your heart rate is spiking too early, tone down your efforts. Also, in leading up to the race, rest and eat well, and manage your nutrition on race day.