Just when you think you're tough enough

Tough Takes Triathlon

Racing the Triathlon Family Spirit at 113 Family Tri Series

Triathlon has been gaining popularity in sunny Malaysia for the past few years, and races has been mushrooming all around the country, thanks in no small part to the efforts of organizers like Eventure Global.

Eventure introduced a new concept for Triathlon called 113 Family Series, with the third leg of the series held in Marlborough College, Johor recently.

As a parent of two children, I loved this concept aimed at children and beginners alike, as the race distance seems reasonable, and that the races were conducted inside the compound of a private institution which is safe for the children and all the supporters.

Race Pack Collection Day 

Marlborough College is roughly 40 minutes away from my place in Johor Bahru. I went with my daughter, Chanel to collect the race pack but opted not to check in the bicycle until race day itself. Our race pack consists of t-shirts, bibs, ankle chip, swim cap, numbered stickers for bikes and helmets and a wristband packed into a nice drawstring bag. The race pack collection process was smooth, and we had a nice stroll around the race venue.

Race Day

On Race Day morning, we arrived around 6.30am to a scene of absolute chaos. I mean, I’ve been to quite a few races in my time, but this was first time I’ve seen the Transition area so packed with all the participants, supporters, volunteers and so on. The organizers were having a hard time trying to get everyone out of the Transition area.

We were hoping that there will be some kind of briefing for the participants, but at the end of the day, we just had to make do with the info we got online in regards to the race route.

Another issue I noticed was the staging area. The whole area was super crowded, and it’s very difficult for the organizers to communicate the flow of the race. Some children were lining up at the staging area, even when it’s not their turn to race. The organizer had to resort to manually calling each number (without a loud hailer) into the pen when it was time to race. Instead of wading into that chaos, Chanel and I just waited nearby instead.

Chanel’s Race

Chanel’s race will be published in her own words. Briefly, I especially loved that there were at least 5-6 safety volunteers around and in the pool to assist and encourage the kids. I was very grateful to the volunteer who assisted her with at the transition area.

Overall, she ran a good race, and I was a very proud Papa when I saw her chasing down another participant en route to the finishing chute. That’s my girl!

How my race unfolded
When my race started around 10.40am, the weather was scorching! The swim was an uneventful 3-loop affair around the pool. This was the first time I’m doing a race in the pool, and I’m totally loving it.

The bike on the other hand, was 5 loops inside the school compound, which I didn’t enjoy as there were numerous speed bumps along the hilly route. There were also 2 sharp corners that might be a tad dangerous for high speed manoeuvring.

I was pleasantly surprised to see my kids cheering for me at the transition area. That brought a smile to my face as I laced on my shoes for the run.

My leg hadn’t fully recovered from the stress fracture I suffered in IRONMAN Langkawi, so I opted to just take it easy on the run and have fun. The volunteers were very enthusiastic and encouraging around the course, and I thoroughly had fun around the beautiful 2 loop course.

All in, both Chanel and I really enjoyed ourselves in the race. Although there were a few minor hiccups here and there, I would say that this would be a great race to bring your kids to as an introduction to Triathlon. Keep up the good work Eventure Global !

I guess what they said about sports is true. Families that race together, stay together.

More about the author

Zee Lim spends an unhealthy amount of time every weekend clad in colourful Lycra, and fantasizing about his next big race. Just don’t ask him how much his bike cost..