Showing posts from 2014

Dukhan Triathlon 2014 (Team Relay)

24 October 2014

The Dukhan Triathlon 2014 marks the start of the new race season of 2014/15here in Qatar after a long summer break. Being the first on the race calendar, it attracted a big number of local participants. Almost every triathletes I knew, were there.  I was contemplated to enter the solo category but considering I am already tapering for New York Marathon next week, I decided to register in the team with my KBT (Kona Bound Triathletes) mates.

It was a windy day. The sea was choppy and poor Alan had to battle the waves, the currents and the kicks and punches in the entire 400m swim leg. He was clearly exhausted when he finished the swim and run from the beach all the way up to the transition in 11'19" where Davy was waiting to start his bike leg.

We were lucky to have Davy in our team at the very last minute. We were desperately looking for cyclist when our original rider, Najib had to pull out two days before the race because of some chest infection.

The weather was…

Edinburgh Marathon 2014

25 May 2014

I registered for Edinburgh Marathon while I was sulking for not getting into the London Marathon through international ballot yet again. The race was promoted as the UK's flattest and fastest, since I have never been to Scotland, I took it as a travel opportunity while hoping for a PB race.

Edinburgh is a beautiful city, probably one of the prettiest I have been so far. I really enjoyed the sightseeing, museums, culture, history and the hospitality of its citizen. So one of the objectives checked. Now for the main objective. I woke to a heavy torrential rain. I was already drenched and cold by the time I lined up in the assigned corral. It was windy too.

The race started from London road in the centre of Edinburgh and heading down towards the forth. It was all downhill until we reach the coastal road along Forth of Firth. The course then turned undulating the whole way. I got carried away running downhill this early in the race and ran faster than my target pace. At that…

New York 2014: D -168 New York Im coming

I have secured the ballot to run in the New York City Marathon in 2012 but have deferred it twice, but this time it is for real, New York Im coming. My upcoming trip to New York will be sponsored by my employer, Oryx GTL.

I just signed the sponsorship agreement yesterday and already bought the flight ticket to New York JFK. I am so thankful for this opportunity and will do my best to inspire and promote a healthy lifestyle to my collegues.

Qatar Cycling Federation Al-Shamal Road Race

9 May 2014

I have been cycling twice a week as cross training since last December when I bought my road bike. I have since then fell in love with cycling and enjoyed it even more than running. My speed and form is getting better and my results in the GMC Tri Series were the evidence.

Eager to see where I stand amongst the pure cyclists, I decided to participate in a road race that took part 9th May 2014 in Al-Shamal. There were an Elite 71 km and Weekend Warrior 36km categories. Yes I took part in the later. I have never rode more than 40 km so far, so I would not gamble and risk of coming last in my first cycling race.

Al-Shamal is located about 70 km north of Doha. Not familiar with the place, I joined a convoy departed from Ikea at 5:30 am. The drive to Al-Shamal was interesting and somewhat a nervy experience as we were driving in thick fog all the way. The fog was so thick the visibility was reduced to just a few metres. But we made it to Al-Shamal just in time for the registration…

GMC TriSeries Race 4

5 April 2014

Alhamdullilah, I got my first podium finish in a solo triathlon event in the last GMC Triseries race. I only competed in the Super Sprint race (400m Swim, 10km Bike, 3.3km run) because I was not ready to swim anything longer than 500m in a race yet, and I was really tired from the 5km Night Run race on Thursday night and the 25km long run yesterday. I also made a right decision strategically as most of the established triathletes in Doha were competing in the Sprint distance. Happy Days. 

I thought my swim was good, at least I wasn't so spent when I dragged myself out of the pool into T1. The bike section was great. I felt comfortable with my bike and just hammered it through the rugged surface of the technically challenging bike course. Apart from running which is still my strongest, I have improved considerably on the bike too as I managed to pass many people who overtook me during the swim. Right then I knew that I would made it to the podium. It was also good to see…

Road to Ironman

I fell in love with triathlon. After two super sprints and a sprint, I am ready to challenge myself to the ultimate test of competing in Ironman races in 2015. Ok call me crazy or suffering from a mid life crisis, I am now feeling it is time for me to conquer my fear and overcome my weaknesses. Particularly the swim and the hills (on bike or run). I have decided to do the Ironman Western Australia in December 2015. It is a long preparation, in a grand scheme that include a Total Immersion swimming workshop and two half Ironman races or Ironman 70.3. I call it Project Busselton 2015. I have appointed a mentor to guide me with the process. He is non other than Abang Sofian Triathlete. He has finished 17 or 18 Ironman races including some in Kona.

First stop, Buffalo City  South Africa. It is arguably one of the most difficult Ironman 70.3s but that is the very reason why I chose IM70.3SA. I will tackle that monster course in South Africa and see if I have what it takes to become an Ironm…

Doha College 5km Night Run

Thursday 3 April 2014

I only entered this race at the very last minute. Firstly because the start time was way too late, at 10 PM! Secondly, I still have to do a 30 km long run on Friday and thirdly I am competing in a super sprint Triathlon on Saturday.

It was a super busy week. But I was glad I did it. Almost every one from #Pelaristyloyo took part in the event, including my 7 months pregnant wife. So it wont be right for me as the club captain if I hadn't. My plan for the race was just to have fun and not beating myself up since I have an early start the next day  for my LSD. But a race is still a race. I ran 'comfortably' hard close to my 5 km PB pace. The course was out and back starting from the Aspire athletics track, round the football pitches on running track to the Dome and back. The wind was really strong at some sections. I was maintaining the 4th position from the start with the pace around 4:00/km. It was hard on the way back as I had to weave around the crowd …

The Pearl Triathlon Team Relay

Finally the most anticipated triathlon event in Doha, The Pearl Triathlon took place today at my very own 'backyard'. This was the last event before the racing season take a long summer break here in Doha. The race was sold out weeks earlier, and drawn entries from the local triathlon community and participants as far as Kuwait and the neighbouring UAE.
I only entered the team relay in Olympic distance with Alan (Swim) and Najib (Bike) as I am currently in the peak of my marathon training for Edinburgh. A solo tri would my run sessions as I would need few days to recover. The quality of the competition in the Olympic relay was high. I must admit that I was not expected that at all. I thought we stand a chance for a podium finish. Our team Kona Bound Triathletes (KBT) came 4th after giving our best shot with a total time of 2:27:29.

Olympic Distance:

Swim 1500m - 29:24 (Rank 4th)
Bike 40 km - 1:11:38 (Rank 5th)
Run 10 km - 43:51 (Rank 3rd)

The run course was 2 laps from the transitio…

Aquathon 2013/2014 Race 5

Aquathon 22 March 2014
I have no intention to do any Aquathon races this year because it will disrupt my marathon training. But I changed my mind at the last minute and signed up in the last race of the series. I want to see if I have made any improvement in swimming in a year. Not that I have been swimming a lot, but I have been swimming once a week on Saturdays with at Al-Jazeera Academy.
The 500 m swim was still hard but was not as hard as it was the last time I did it. I managed to breathe on both sides after every three strokes for …… wait for it … 100m, before reverted back to my usual pathetic breath on the left only at every 2 strokes with short pull. I tried to relax and focus on the technique, high elbow – reach – pull; one arm always at the front; kick etc etc. but I was too tired to think about all the sequence.
As usual I was so spent after the swim and the 5 km run was as hard. I just focus on cadence and maintaining the same effort. The run was made harder when we had to r…

Road to Edinburgh 2014: Week 8 Run #1 Interval

I have one more big race this season after RAK, Edinburgh Marathon. I registered for it after my ballot entry for London was unsuccessful (yet again).

I have started my training a week after RAK in a 14 weeks training plan based on Run Less Run Faster book. The training has been great so far. I have been focus on my training and stick with the plan until last weekend madness where I competed in a 5km race on Thursday evening (5th place overall), ran 25 km on Friday morning and competed in the Super Sprint Triathlon (which I won Silver).

So it really affected my training this evening. The plan was to run a 4 x 1200 m @ 3:50/km pace after warm up. But I was too tired to continue after the 3rd rep and my calves muscles sore. Clearly I have not recovered fully. So I called it a day.

Here how it looks on Strava.

RAK Half Marathon 2014

I came back to the UAE just three weeks after Dubai Marathon, this time for my favourite annual race, the RAK Half Marathon. I was hoping for a 1:35 ish finish this time but my coach has warned against pushing it too hard as I was still recovering from my marathon. She estimated a 1:42 finish for me. But I just ignored her warning and try to run at 4:30 ish min/km. She was right. I was tired since KM 5! Paul Concannon, my friend from DBRC asked me about my race plan earlier in the race. I told him that I was going for 1:35. That was his goal too and we agreed to pace each other. I was struggling and I knew he did too. I can tell by the way he breathed. I could not keep the the same pace without struggling too much. I was running in anaerobic heart rate zone. I was perplexed; I should still feel 'comfortable' at that pace. But I just tired. My pace slipping away from KM 6. Paul, though struggling, managed to maintained the effort and continue. He finished the race in 1:37.

I slo…

Dubai Marathon 2014

Dubai Marathon has always been my season opener since I started running. Not that I have run for many years. I did 10k in 2012 and the full marathon last year. I could have gone someplace else like Muscat or Mumbai, but Dubai seems like the more logical choice since it's closer and I will be going with a lot of running friends from Doha. I was accompanied with three Malaysian friends from #Pelaristyloyo, Aizal, Yasir and Ashran aka Bulat, other than friends from Doha Bay Running Club, Otmane, Joost, Davy, Erin, JC, John, Wendy, Scott and many other.

I did my marathon PB in Dubai last year, and I failed to rewrite it in my subsequent races in Paris and Munich. Known for its fast and flat course, Dubai seems perfect for a PB aspirant. So that was my goal, a PB. My coach wants me to run at a steady pace between 5:00/km - 5:20/km for a 3:45 finish while paying attention at my heart rate.

I started the race conservatively before settling into my race pace. I was running with Davy and Gar…