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Greenhills Tri Team Represented in IronMan Langkawi

September 25, 2014

1014202_488865401202951_573605570_nI had the chance to interview some of my teammates during the team’s send off party for them last Saturday. Each had different insights and strategies but the same goal of finishing the race injure-free.

Let me share with you some of their answers to questions thrown at them during the party so you can get to know them better.

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Bernadette Tan aka Berns

Berns is an ultramarathoner who competed and finished various ultra events including TNF100. She is the only female representative of the Greenhills Tri Team who joined IM Langkawi.

Is this your first time to be competing in a full Ironman event? Yes

What made you decide to join? Aspirational. In my opinion, you are not really an IronMan unless we’ve completed a full IronMan distance.

Why Langkawi? Closest to the Philippines and the timing is perfect. Since I started training in January, September would be a perfect time to compete.

How many 70.3 events have you completed prior to joining Langkawi? Two

Do you have a coach and are you following any prescribed program? Yes. I follow Coach Dan Brown’s program.

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Peter Jarin aka Doc Peter

Doc Pete is an otolaryngologist by profession and has started joining triathlons a long time ago. He is a member of the Greenhills Running Team.

Is this your first time to be competing in a full Ironman event? Yes

What made you decide to join? As Edmund Hillary said when asked what made him climb Mt Everest. Because it is there. In addition, peer pressure.

Why Langkawi? Closest to the Philippines and cheapest

How many 70.3 distances have you finished prior to joining Langkawi? 10 but I also signed up for TU3 which is happening in October.

What is your 70.3 PB? 5:50

Any target time for Langkawi? 14:30

Toughest discipline – Bike

When did you start training for Langkawi? Mid-June of this year

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Dennis Gan aka Oyster

Oyster is a restaurant entrepreneur who started doing triathlons back in 2012.

Is this your first time to be competing in a full Ironman? Yes

Why Langkawi? Closest to the Philippines and cheapest

When did you start training for this event? December 2013

Any target time for Langkawi? None. Just to finish.

Toughest discipline – Bike

How important is it to have a team when training? Very important. It kills boredom. For me, training is more difficult that racing. It is when you need the support of other people.

How do you prepare yourself mentally? I don’t let this event be the source of my stress. No pressure as my goal is just to finish.

How long do you train in a week? Weekdays a total for 6 hours. Weekends, 6-8 hours.

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Jeng de Guzman aka Jeng

Jeng loves to bike. This is an understatement. He is a businessman by profession and he started his triathlon “career” in 2012.

Is this your first time to be competing in a full Ironman? Yes

Why did you decide to join? Because of Doc Peter. He asked me to so I said yes.

How many 70.3 have you joined before this event? Three

Any target time for Langkawi? 14:00

Toughest discipline – Run.

Finished any full marathons? Not yet.

Who is your inspiration? Doc Art. Kahit pagod na, nilakad lang nya yung last leg and he finished.

What is your strategy to finish the race? Swim – survive cut-off. Bike – push it. Run – Run-Walk.

What is your strategy for nutrition? Bike leg – Perpeteum every 20 mins and peanut bar every 30 mins.

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Dennis Shiangho aka KK

Quiet, reserved but deadly. KK is one of the most dedicated athletes in our team. He designs boats for a living but eats and breaths triathlon. 

When did you start doing triathlon? Last quarter of 2010. I have joined over 15 races.

How many 70.3 have you joined before this event? Three

Any full marathons under your belt? Trail. TNF50. My toughest race.

Weakest discipline? Swim

What is your PB for a 21k race? 1:46

What is your race strategy? Swim – Drafting, avoid the pack and stay away from the buoy and lane lines.

Bike – maintain a speed of 30-33kph flat portions of the course and 40kph+ during downhills.

Run – relaxed during the first 3k with a pace of about 5:00-5:30 and 4:40 during the last 5k

Target time? 12 hours

Race nutrition strategy? Perpeteum, banana and energy bar

Any inspiration? Yes. Our teammate – Melody Yapson (Yiiiiiiiiiiheeeeee)

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Emerson Go Tian aka Emer

Emer is an ultramarthoner first and a triathlete second. But in my book, he is an “ultra” endurance athlete. He has finished the very tough Bataan Death March 102 and has found a new love in traithlon. 

Is this your first full IM? No. Jeju Korea was my first.

What was your finish time? 15:45

Why choose Langkawi to be your 2nd foray into this sport? Closest to Manila plus I was pushed by Uncle Willy (Yao) to go.

What is your weakest discipline? Bike

When did you start training for this event? A month ago

Longest distance you’ve ran? Bataan Death March 102

What’s your strategy? Just have fun. Eat when you’re hungry. Stop and rest if you’re tired.

You feel that you’re ready? YES!

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Art Virata aka Doc Art

I have known Doc Art close to five years now. And believe me, this guy is all about endurance. He has completed the Bataan Death March 160 and several full IronMan distances. Together with Emer, he is also an “ultra” endurance athlete. Doc Art is a pediatrician by profession.

I heard that this is not your first FM distance? Yes. This will be my third. My first two were Metaman Bintan 2012 and 2014.

What is your PB? 16:20

Why Langkawi? Well it holds the IM brand and it’s the closest to Manila

When did you start training for this event? January 2014

What is your weakest discipline? Swim.

And your strategy? Allow the strong ones to go ahead, swim in clear water. For bike, stop at every station for at least 2 minutes to eat and drink. Breakdown the race so that you look forward to the next station instead of the finish line. For run, I will walk constantly with a speed of at least 6-7kph.

Tips: It’s achievable, if you believe you can.

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Willy Yao aka Uncle Willy

Uncle Willy is simply amazing. He is the oldest representative of GHTT to Langkawi. A true inspiration to all, he completed 66 full marathons and has completed several ultramarathon distances. 

Is this your first full IM? Technically no. I had two previous attempts. The first one was in Jeju Korea, second was at Western Australia. Both instances, I injured myself a few days before the race which resulted in two failed attempts. This is my first time to join without any issues. 

How old are you Uncle Willy? I am 64 years old.

I heard you have finished a number of marathons, how many exactly? Sixty-six

What was your best time for a full marathon? 3:16 Boston Marathon

When did you start training for this event? April this year.

Longest distance you’ve ran? Bataan Death March 102.

What is your weakest discipline? Swim.

And your strategy? If you feel tired, switch to breastroke.

Your nutrition? Erito, sandwich, Vitargo, a carbo drink I discovered. 

Only Oyster is not serious...Haha!

Only Oyster is not serious…Haha!

The GHTT Langkawi Team in serious discussions about the bike route.

The GHTT Langkawi Team in serious discussions about the bike route.

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Jeng and KK

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Some of the GHTT boys

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The ladies of the GHTT Team. Berns Tan to the far right.

The ladies of the GHTT Team. Berns Tan to the far right.

Customized GHTT shirts for the Langkawi participants.

Customized GHTT shirts for the Langkawi participants.

I am amazed at the perseverance and dedication of people who join full IronMan races. I know how difficult it is to train for a 70.3. Double the distance means double the training, double the pain. These individuals have truly inspired me.

Good luck to my teammates and to all those who are joining the IronMan Langkawi, Malaysia. My God be with you on this journey.

Stay safe! Race smart team! BRING HOME THAT MEDAL!!!

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