To recover from her shin splint injuries two years ago, Fitri Tasfiah was out of running for a while. It was during this time that she picked up swimming as part of her rehabilitation.
In early 2018, she slowly started to run again but she could only manage 5km. That was when her friend suggested she try a triathlon so she could do swimming and cycling as well, instead of just focusing on running.
Hence, the 34-year-old yoga teacher, host and blogger signed up for the TriBuddies Anniversary Triathlon that was for beginners. “I only had two weeks to prepare for it and I found myself riding a road bike for the first time! I also had to adapt my body to do three sports at one time – swim, bike and run,” she recalled.
For someone who thought doing an Ironman race would be impossible for him, Dedy Bunyamin has completed five full distance Ironman races (including the recent Ironman Malaysia) and nine Ironman 70.3 races in the last five years.
“A good friend of mine started doing Ironman first and I slowly picked up an interest as I found that it is boring to just cycle. Then I was influenced by this friend who managed to complete an Ironman even though he wasn’t sporty,” said the 49-year-old business owner.
Four years ago, Hilda Novianti picked up running after the birth of her second child. A friend of hers, Riyo Hanggoro, then invited her to try a mini-triathlon event held by Triathlon Buddies Indonesia, the largest triathlon community in Indonesia, in 2017.
Through this community, she was introduced to the sport more and learnt how to swim in the open water, how to do transition and more. Her first triathlon race was in Sungailiat, Bangka, Indonesia in April 2017. Sungailiat is known for its calm waters, hence being friendly for first-timers, and the road is smooth for cycling too. Hilda finished third in her age group in the sprint distance!
From there, she continued to participate in more triathlon races and her most memorable thus far is the Ironman 70.3 Bangsaen race in Thailand earlier this year.
“The course was challenging, especially the swim and run legs. I was having a hard time during the run due to hilly route, but I’m glad I finished it!” the 38-year-old homemaker and mother of two recalled.
Previously a banker, Hilda resigned from her corporate career a few months ago so she could focus on her children. This also means she has more flexibility in planning her training. “Instead of training early in the morning before I head to office, now I have more time to train. This is largely possible thanks to the good domestic support system I have and a supportive husband!” she said.
What Hilda likes about wearing PURPOSE (besides the comfortable and flattering fabric) is that it reminds not only herself, but also others when they see her, about their purpose. “It’s good to be constantly reminded of our purpose not just in sports, but also in many aspects of life, either in our family, relationship, education or career,” she added.
“When I met with Noor, the founder of PURPOSE, I listened to his story and how he created and invented the brand. From his story, I saw how much passion he had to make the most comfortable and coolest kits for our Southeast Asian weather, and how this brand is built out of a true love for triathlon. I am confident that PURPOSE will achieve greater success in this region and serve more and bigger markets in future.”
One morning in 2017, Lucky Bagus Waskito could not get out of bed because of severe pain in his lower back. After consulting five doctors, one of them finally found the cause – this was a subsequent effect of his knee injury eight years ago.
“I competed in the Indonesian Collegiate Basketball League in 2009 and during one of the games, I got hit by a player from the other team. My right knee got twisted badly and I tore my meniscus. I did physiotherapy for nine months after, but I guess the old injury came back to haunt me,” the 31-year-old reservoir engineer explained.
Claire Walton is just arriving in Kailua-Kona for a third consecutive year for the prestigious Ironman World Championship. The 35-year-old English and Literature teacher at an international school in Malaysia will be racing in PURPOSE at the most exciting endurance race this weekend!
“Kona, for me, is a few days away from normality, where I can revel in the beauty of the island, where I can listen and watch those around me knowing they too have gotten up at 5am daily, regardless of exhaustion, that they too have pounded the streets relentlessly, have swam until their arms are dropping off. Triathlon should not be about the individual, but the collective shared experiences,” she said.
When you live with an Ironman, it is pretty
hard not to get influenced at some point. Jinella Chua did a sprint triathlon
in her early 20s and thought that anyone who would do a full Ironman is crazy.
Then her husband asked her to sign up for
an Ironman 70.3 this year and on the spur of the moment, she did. They went for
the Ironman 70.3 Bangsaen in February and it was their first trip overseas in
over 10 years.
The 43-year-old sports and adventure manager at SMU ended up doing four Ironman 70.3 races this year (one was a relay) and the year isn’t even over yet.
As a mother of five kids – her eldest is 20
and her youngest is 2 – you wonder where Julie Jamaluddin finds the time to do
it all. Work, family, training for triathlons and managing the Singapore
Women’s Triathlon Club are just some of the many things she does.
The 42-year-old educator was very active
when she was younger – she was in the school team for athletics, cross-country
and netball. But adult life just got crazy busy and she didn’t have much time
to try new sports – until she found triathlons.
“I got into triathlons through my husband and his friends. You can’t be at the finish line without being inspired by their achievements from all the hard work that they’ve put in,” she said.
Samantha Lee recalls watching the news
about a triathlon event when she was a kid and made a mental note to herself
that she will try it one day. That day came in 2012 when she took part in her
first sprint triathlon.
Going into triathlons is only natural for
the 31-year-old banker, who learnt how to cycle at the age of four. Growing up
in a family of runners and cyclists, Her parents taught her how to cycle and
she used to ride to school.
At her first sprint triathlon, she was thrilled to survive the swim as swimming is her weaker discipline. Despite suffering a slipped disc a few years back – and experiencing back aches that affected her training and motivation – Samantha soldiered on.
It’s funny how Philippa Glover actually hated
her first triathlon. It was a sprint triathlon she did in Singapore three years
ago and the tough swim and hot run put her off so much that she vowed never to
do it again.
Never say never!
Meeting other like-minded women in the sport however, has changed her mindset towards the sport and now she is participating in Ironman 70.3 races. Surviving breast cancer has also changed her perspective towards life and she now enjoys pushing her body.
A month after she bought a bicycle, Chris
Ang went for the Audax 200km ride and loved cycling so much that she joined her
friends for weekly group rides. It was during one of these rides that she
learnt what an Ironman triathlon is.
Curious to give it a try, she started to
train for swimming and completed her first triathlon in the same year – the
Bukit Merah 113 in September 2016. “It was a wonderful experience where I
enjoyed every moment of it without the desire of chasing for time or position.
I completed it with a great smile!” she recalled.
A few months later, she took part in Ironman Malaysia and that goes down as her most memorable experience ever. “The months of sweat, time spent, effort and hard work put in, tears and satisfaction all made this the most memorable one for me,” she said.