road riding in Penang | Malaysia


2005 Desaru Half-Ironman Triathlon, Part I
Desaru, Johor, 18 September 2005

story and images by Teoh Ween Sze with additional reports from Finian Lee and Ong Kai Seng

Friday, 16 September: The day started early, 4:00am to be more precise. Not that it matters anyway, since I've not been able to sleep due to the butterflies in the stomach feeling. Throw in a late conference call the night before and my perpetual habit of leaving packing to the very last minute, there you've it, half an hour snooze before the alarm rings and I'm jumping out of bed and into the shower room. Finian a.k.a. "The Eating Machine" came by at around 4.30am, and off I go into his car and into an adventure (I hope).

We went to pick up Kai Seng a.k.a. "The Super Human" and the very recent nickname derived from this Desaru trip itself, "The Sleeping Machine". Went across the Penang Bridge and waited for Yeang a.k.a. "Red Shorts" and Corey. Stopped by for breakfast at Bukit Merah R&R and we changed drivers to Sleeping Machine while Eating Machine takes the much needed snooze (and believe me, he definitely need that snooze as to be explained later on). My job, although I was soooo sleepy, was to talk non stop to Sleeping Machine and keep him company, which I did pretty good job if I have to say so myself. Stopped at Sg. Perak to refill petrol and Sleeping Machine states he is too tired to drive, so we changed driver again to Finian (bad move Fin :D) and he will take over the wheels after Ipoh or KL.

zzz ... for me after the Sg. Perak stop until Ipoh, so some blank spaces here. Sleeping Machine slept all the way from the Sg. Perak point to somewhere in Yong Peng. We even managed to take a photo of Sleeping Machine indulging in his favourite past time. We stopped by for lunch at somewhere in Yong Peng, and that was when the Sleeping Beauty decided to wake up. This switching drivers around continued until we reached Desaru at 3:00pm. Phew, what a long ride. We checked into some crappy chalet called Desaru Holiday Chalets. You would not believe trickle of water coming out of the showerhead. Furthermore, we got to know that they were charging us a different rate for the weekend and did not bother to inform us about it. Well, beggars can't be choosers, can they, since the rest of the hotels were fully booked.

Did some freshening up, and proceeded to the official hotel to complete our registration and pay the registration fees. We collected the race kit which consisted of stuff such as race numbers, t-shirts, relay band (which is a crappy hair scrunchy), swimming caps, and recovery drink packet. After hanging around the hotel and looking for familiar names amongst the list of competitors, we headed back to the chalet for some rest and pre-race preparations (not me for sure, since I'm only required to change into my swimming costume and get body marked tomorrow). The guys went about their business such as filling up/taping power gels onto the bikes, pinning race numbers on running vests and bikes, and last minute fixes on the bikes.

Red Short's red Giant ready to rock 'n roll ...

We had to return to the official hotel for a briefing session (which incidentally was quite hilarious with the organiser and his "farnie" English). This was followed by the usual carbo-loading buffet dinner but we decided otherwise and went to town to have dinner instead. After a little spot of shopping for breakfast tomorrow we had quite an early night, hitting the sack at around 10:00pm and despite all the snoozes he's been getting, Sleeping Machine also hit the sack early. *Brrrrrr!* (it was so so cold and someone kept on snatching me blankie away - Fin, was that you???!).

Next: Part II


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