Monday, October 11, 2004

Perhentian Island Challenge : Part 4

The Aftermath...

We Got Medals!!!

Well, the organisers was kind enough to present each finisher with a medal. That was sweet of them. Since this was the first Perhentian Island/Quadrathlon in Malaysia, the total prize money was RM20K! But of course, non of us managed to come close to get any of the portion of the pie.

Nevertheless, everyone that came, and finish the race was more than happy of their personal achievements. OP Adventure did pretty good, personally, if you were to ask me. We not only better our own full dress rehearsal time by 30 minutes at least (does this mean we pushed ourselves more), to some, it was a personal thing.

Some of us were bugged with injuries sustained during those many years of knee bashing exercise or games.

Some of us had chaffing and blisters at all the most unusual (and not mentionable places).

Some of us only decided to train like in the final 3 weeks before the race itself.

Some of us, had to conquer their personal fears of swimming in the open sea (in swimming pool, there is always the *touchable* flooring, should anything goes wrong) and the depth at high tide at the far end of the swimming league could well be more than 30 feet, not forgetting the elements.

This applied to kayaking as well, as kayaking in Putrajaya Lake was by far a luxury, compared to what we had to do in Perhentian.

Even the biking trail somewhat resembled the famed technical outback of Kiara, where most riders will at least take a tumble or two. It is evident as the Perhentian trail took a few casulties in some of those expensive reliable bikes.

But of course, the so called trail run was the biggest ploy of them organisers. Duping us to believe that it will be loads of running, but instead, it was much more technical than the *Tok Penghulu, Where the Fakawi* trail during the AXN KL Race.

Again, It was exhilarating, exceptionally fun, especially chanllenging for all those first, or even regular triatheltes (as Kayaking wasn't even in any triathlon events).

And as usual, these races thrives on adrenalin rush. It breathes on the spirit of competiveness.

OK. I better stop before it sound like some ad for some car company...

But i am sure you all know what i meant. For those that had taken part in this races, they now what it takes to achieve what they achieved. Personal sacrifices. Training pains and injuries. Monetary issues. The list could go on. We now have the same respect for these atheletes that compete in international arena as for those that does well in the corporate sector.

Me and Doc after the race

Prize Giving and BBQ Dinner
We had our lunch at our usual joint. Food don't taste as good after those hours of toiling with the elements. But it did taste better than those bananas and powerbars/muesli bars. It was also then that we saw the last 2 contestant, ladies category, running their final 400 meters to the finishing line, to complete their race nontheless. We cheered them on. We know, how important it is to finish the race, and not just PARTICIPATE. Kudos to them!

Later in the evening, after loads of washing up and damage control over all the equipements and bodily parts, we went for the scheduled BBQ dinner cum prize presentation.

Food were buffet styled. it wasn't anything really impressive, if it was even impressive in the first place. The race for food also happens here, maybe this should be called a hepthalon, including fighting for food is concerned. LOL. The organisers did their best to accomodate paying guest and also the participants to the prize giving ceremony, but some of us can't help but to feel cheated that the buffet spread cost RM40 per head. Then, the ice cream came was funny to see grown ups fighting for that one scope of miserable flavour laden, colour enhanced ice cream. So much so for atheletes taking care of their health and food intake. hahaha.

This applies to you as well Bro, better finish that last stick of ciggie...

The winner was announced later. Well done to all of them. The ladies champ was seen going to the stage with one member's leg in cast, apparently sprained ankle sustained during the trail run. The other member, also the champ for the Mix team in the AXN race, was carrying her injured teammate to recieve the prizes.

The Mix team champ was called upon as well, with a pretty muhibbah mixture of races in their blood.

The male Champ, and also the overall champ was last to called upon. As expected, this guy is a full time triathelete. He does nothing but run, swim and cycle.

Then there was the lucky prize presentation.

OP Adventure team member managed to get one return air ticket from KL-Kota Baru(Asry got that) and anohter one, which is one night stay at Bubu Resort (Azman got it).

The rest of the lucky prizes, i could say almost 80% of it, went back to the staff at Bubu Island Resort. heck, even the MC had the prize of the lucky draw, not forgetting their GM!

OK, I don't need to be sore, but, isn't it proper that the STAFFS are not allowed to be included in the lucky draw. Did they pay for the food in the first place? This leave much to be desired, if you ask me.

Also, not to mean to be overly paranoid as well, but i just found out that the Race Director's son was the winner! Now, isn't there should be a clause that says members of the immediate/close family are NOT allowed to take part?

No wonder why he said that any formal complain should be done only after the race, which by then, will be too late, isn't it?

I just hope what i think it is, is not true. I respect them in many sense. I give them that much that they commit their lives to all these activities. about the other clauses that say that ONLY AMATEUR atheletes are allowed to take part? then, why is a few NATIONAL athelete allowed to take part?

But of course, even without them, i do not personally think that I can be in the winner's standing. But i just a bit unfair that these things should happen.

Whatever happened to being Righteous?

The Dinner After
Grouses aside.

We left the prize giving feeling pretty disgusted at whatever happening. We joined the rest of our spouses and divers OP for a chit chat under the moonlight at Lily Resort. OP Nordin and gang brought their Divemaster with them. OP Andrew97B. His family owns a diving business, and by a stroke of coincidence, the OPs dived with him! He was in RMC for only a year. Which he later pulled himself out after Form 2 for reasons only known to him.

But once an OP, he will always be an OP. He enjoyed our company of course. He stayed until just before he predicted that rain will fall. By then, it was already 1am in the morning.

OP Amerul and OP Azly had a word with him, and they are now looking into the possibility of planning to organise a mass diving certification exercise for OPs. More reasons for being an OPA member now, isn't it?

As usual, whenever OPs get together, cock will fly(pardon the pun). We had an enjoyable outing. In fact, OP Amir even asked if OP Hisyam wants to JOIN HIS team next year.

Bacin was estatic that he overtook me and doc in this race. Asry was more than joyful to be able to complete the race.

Blanka and Bean was as usual, their ownselves, exceeeding where they are with their great fitness level (both are Pilots, and MAS should be given a pat for emplying only FIT pilot)

Upak and Chipok will come back with better results in the next race, having encountered loads of problem from body injuries to bike problem.

Bandit and Mat Gan apparently signing up for the Eco XTreme challenge.

Amir and Azman said to "let statistic speaks for itself"

And Doc and me, as usual, just continue with our wall climbing, weekend biking and those runs to make sure we get some top 5 finishing next time.

Whatever the so called pledges were, everyone knows deep inside, that the biggest single hurdle is to exceed one's limit, both physically and mentally. Like i always cornyly tell them, it is mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter!

The Return Journey
OP Nordin and family left earliest at 8am the next morning.

The rest was still dragging their aching body out of bed, with the exceptions of the Pilots that decided to spend one more day in this beautiful island.

We packed and checked out by 11.30am. Some of us forgoing the supposed snorkelling trip that was cut short due to some freak storm in the evening (call me jakun, but it was my first time facing some 6 foot waves and being thrashed around in the sea, the divers were caught in it as well, and only came back after 6pm, and saw a double rainbow!!!).

The journey back to mainland took longer than expected. Upon reaching the jetty and unloading. Everyone convoyed to Bandit's house in KT for a stumptous lunch prepared by his parents and an aunt. Nasi minyak complete with everything that will be too mouth watering to put it in words(i do not want to drool over the keyboard). It was like some homecoming kenduri in a smaller scale!

Doc's wife and Amerul stayed on in Bandit's house as they are catching the evening flight back.

Lunch is Served!

Thanks to Bandit's parents, we cleaned up the whole mini kenduri!!!

Oh ya, did i tell you that we made a new friend and took her back with us to KL (I mean, she Tumpang-ed our cars la...) Her name is Kate, a Briton that could speak Indonesian Malay.

After lunch, Mat Gan, Bandit and Doc's car convoyed back home. OP Alan stopped over in Kuantan to visit a friend and stay overnight. It is like he is doing a round Peninsular trip!

The 3 cars stopped over at Kuantan for dinner. Hoping to catch OP JI Ostrich or even OP Chef KZ there, but i guess our last minute timing didn't materialised.

Mat Gan and wife also stopped over in Kuantan, as she will be working in Kuantan on Monday, so Doc and Bandit's car left back for KL.

As usual, being Boys, we refused to top up our tank when there wasn pump station. We got lost in the trunk road, that was supposed to lead us into the East Coast highway. The signage was just bad, as usual. but we did managed to find our way into the highway, or risk driving 4 hours in the trunk road.

Doc's car was on low fuel warning for at least 80km before we managed to find one petrol station near Temerloh. Bandit was literally holding his breath as we were climbing the Karak-Bentong stretch before refueling at Genting Sempah.

We only got home at circa 1am.

And of course, to keep each other awake, the two cars driver actually sang to each other!!! hahahahahaha...

Looking Back
Sometimes, i felt as if i am writing like Martha Steward in her those corny talk shows. LOL. OK, anyway, that aside, it was just me thinking outloud.

After the race, everyone gathered around the OP camp and had a chat. Everyone was estatic, despite not being placed in a more favourable finishing position over their own personal feat. Immediately, there were news about joining the Eco-Xtreme race on November 27th, 2 weeks after raya.

Like i've told all of you in the AXN report, these races are addictive. It pushes the norm human ability. You do the things that other average people around you can't. And you will have the bragging rights after all that ends.

We are constantly looking for sponsors. We envisoned ourselves to be racing for OPA for the longest possible time our body allow us to. We give the spirit, YOU give the commitment to us. What say you?

Totally irrelevent picture:

An Eagle on the beach, unable to fly as it has a wing broken. Someone please play Flying without Wings!

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