Ironman Langkawi 2010 : Why Luke McKenzie DNF ?

McKenzie by the road side after having to pull out due to stomach upset. foto taken from his Twitter


I wrote on a spectator’s observation of Luke McKenzie staring blankly at the bike course, after deciding to stop continuing the race in 1 of my previous posts. I am not sure wether he has made an official announcement of what happened like another female Pro who did not finish her run.

This morning on my way to the airport, I had the pleasure conversing with a Langkawi local car rental owner. According to him he was following Luke McKenzie on the bike course. Luke was climbing the hills like nobody’s business. He was super fast ,leading on the bike. Trivia numero uno: the guy climbed the killer hills of Langkawi; Malut,Hantu wuteva uve got, sitted ! Yeah, no standing required for a pair of strong legs. That’s Luke. And same goes to the other PROs and top finishers. Each with their own style. Anyways, the story goes that Luke refilled his bottle with water from a water filled drum tank. The water,is meant for athletes to cool down(n not to drink). But since they(the organizers) ran out of water (yes IRONMAN LANGKAWI actually RAN OUT of water). Luke actually drank the water from the drum. Stomach upset. And the rest is history.

Apart the organizer failing to supply any endurance drink at the feed station. No Gatorade ,no Powerbar endurance drink no nothing. Just plain water. I can’t even survive a ride to Frasers without endurance drink. Yet a 180km stroll in Langkawi.

No matter how strong , physically,mentally and technically prepared you are, these small things counts.. Let me randomly list a few of em real quick. You may be familiar or have experienced some of them urselves. This is for the benefit of u, me n everyone else doing their next Ironman.

1. Not attending race briefing

2. Failing to ask questions to the organizers no matter how crucial it is. E.g. : how many loops for the bike, how many loops for the band, do I collect a band for the 5th loop, how many bands should I have before heading to the finish line, how many big and small loops for the bike. A friend who did her 1st Ironman yesterday was DQed despite making it to the finish line. She was short of 1 loop on the bike. Another 1st timer wanted to quit because he thought he won’t make it to the cut off. He wasn’t sure how many bands he should haf collect before heading for home run. And I told him he should not quit. Not worth the amount of commitment and investment he had made to be here in Langkawi. The long face and sub zero motivation did not deter my own motivation to tell him to keep on going and don’t stop. I even advice he could do some fartlek but replied ‘Ah, takde kerja lah !’ (Meaning, ‘Ah, like there’s nothing else to do !’. I asked Rahman to double check d loop info but still can’t determine my friend. I told him, just keep on going and ASK the officials who are at the u-turn point, where the timing mat is. Found out later that my friend did make it to the cut off. A few seconds below 17hours.

3. Not asking the right person/not asking at all when u miscount/confused on the count of loops you have done on the bike/run

4. Overwhelmed with the new bike, new saddle or new set of wheels. Yes these are motivators for u. But does it subscribe to ur actual performance and conditioning (that u have actually trained sufficiently with these new gears). Go read up why its not right to get a new bike/saddle b4 a big momma race. Wheels should be ok. But if ur reason to go fast on the 1st loop just to ‘test’ em wheels, then ur spelling the recipe disaster.

5. Not wearing a watch. Wear 1 even if u don’t want to look at it. Its like preparing a tube change kit even you have ‘planned’ for a ‘ non-punctured’ race. A competitor mistaken the commentator’s announcement of another competitor’s race number with his swim time. ‘One five two'(152) announced the commentator . My friend thought it the commentator announced his swim time (1hr 52mins). Boy was he wrong! And because of that, he pushed it too early on the bike to ‘catch up’ only to find himself being ‘caught up’ on the bike course. Moral of the story, just wear that watch. It doesn have to be a fancy one. As long as its functioning,just wear it.

6. Being too confident.

7. Taking it too easy (whether in training, strategizing,racing and planning).

8. Not prepared for slack from the organizer’s side.. Yesterday, 1 water station ran out of water. I had my friend to drive to the nearest water station to buy 2 cartons of mineral water just to help out the competitors. Other technical slack yesterday, my friend Ong Siok Bee had to wait 3 hours for the bike mechanic to come and rescue her. Happen that the mechanic did not made their rounds well and missed the point where Siok Bee was waiting. She had 2 punctures within the 1st 9km of her bike. For your info, Siok Bee was a 12 hours finisher last year and have been training really2 hard and smart for this year’s Ironman

With Malaysia #1 Ironman athlete Razani. No local triathlete(that including Hafiz Wong Abdullah) has yet to beat his Ironman Langkawi course record of 9:55. I am indeed inspired by people like him. My passion in sports carries hope and aspiration for me and I will use it to push myself in the coming years + do my part in inspiring other people to challenge themselves. I won't leap when there's no obstacles. Achieving a better Ironman time is in my checklist. Always.

A note from Luke McKenzie (i just discovered his Twitter yo!)

McKenzie apologized to his friends and fans.

“sorry guys im out! pretty gutted! upset stomach on the bike. nothing staying down! #fb11:29 AM Feb 27th via mobile web – day ended at 100km on the bike. frustrating when things don’t go to plan! Looks like IM China for me in 2 weeks”

Scrolling down his Tweet page it was rather interesting the message he left of/for the Malaysian media (which I totally agree with him)

“heavy few hours w/ the malaysian media … their ruthless! glad to get outta there. lunch then some rest … finally!”

A note from missJeweLz :

While 90% of things are within our control, 10% (come on lets face) of thing are not. A simple case which I know, during the Powerman Malaysia last year. A Pro dropped his water bottle containing his endurance drink during the bike leg. The road surface was not smooth and he went over a hole. He had to pull out as he did could have not continued without his sports nutrition. If he had continued, he would pay for the damaging after effects of pushing beyond his body’s capability of top performance WITHOUT the crucial required sports nutrition.

To all my Ironman friends who finished, DNFed or DQed, we only learn when there’s a change in what we do. If  we have not changed, it basically means we have not learned. So learn to learn , and learn to change.

By the way, Kimiko Senzai and TBB’s  Hiroyuki Nishiuchi rock !! I’ve subscribed in my own terms as their fan !!!! 🙂 Now I FINALLY have 2 Pros in my idol list !

Hiroyuki Nishiuchi + me !!! 🙂 Bumped into him on my way from Dataran Lang back to the run course to support my friends who haven't finished. p.s. I must admit that he is 1 good looking Asian. Reminds me of Yul Brynner in 'King and I'. LOL. ok, another inspiration factor..!!!! hihihihih.. Hirouki's splits : 00:49:33(swim) 04:53:22(bike!!) 03:04:42(run. *OMG*) 08:50:52(Total.* Speechless*). Err, and he's got his hand behind my back *gosh-ness!!!* p.s. 13th Alp d'Huez Triathlon 2009 !!!! Salootz !

Yul Brynner

Ironman Langkawi 2009 : it would be very sweet + memorable if all of us can repeat this foto in 2011 (Adzim (13:37:31), Faisaal (13:05:07), myself(13:42:27) and Fong(13:34:18))

11 thoughts on “Ironman Langkawi 2010 : Why Luke McKenzie DNF ?

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  1. Jules, they ran out of bottles and water at two water station near kedawang and bukit malut. That is 20km worth of cycling before the next water station at kuah town before turn off to bukit antu.

    The water was supplied via JKR truck which i seriously doubt it the internal was even cleaned.

    Thr water source is from the fire hydrant pipe near the place abang razani setup his shop. I see it with my eyes on the run how the water was delivered.

  2. my husband was also miss a loop of bike. so sad about that mistaken. the organiser should improve the timing mat when d participant reach the d point of exit.

  3. haha.. very good lesson for this IM=)
    the running route was very very dusty too..
    i dislike the kids by the road side who slapped my arm when i bike pass them..

    1. Ian 🙂 my pleasure. tried my best to become an adhoc sports journalist/blogger..kuang kuang kuang. it was a whole new experience for me blogging this way since i usually take part in tris, not watch. watching an IM is different from the regular ODs. as you can see right here 🙂 i appreciate the feedback. julie

      I’m doing my bit to tackle Global Warming. Join other members who are making a difference

  4. Lots of guys have gut problem. It made us feel sick.

    They shouldn’t call IM in langkawi as Ironman…steelman, or diamondMan is more appropriate. Iron is pretty soft.

  5. It is unforgivable , the Organiser can make mistakes like that, not enough water stations. Well they are not novice ,despite so many years of organising the IM Langkawi. Well , what a let-down !!!!

  6. Does anyone know the details of the standoff between the WTC and Langkawi Ironman’s organizers? The website has been down quite a while, and I heard this week that there is some kind of disagreement between the two bodies. Will Langkawi Ironman happen next year, or not? I see it is not even on the Ironman calendar. I was hoping to participate in this race next year, and my whole training program over the next few months are set up for this race . . . however, if it is not going to happen, I need to find another Ironman fast . . . most of the ones in Asia Pacific are closed for registration already.

    1. Ben. I can’t really say even though there are a few rumors circulating around that they(not exactly sure who) will try to make it happen. Rumors about $$ issues with last year’s race suppliers as well as prize $$ issues with the Pros. I heard from a friend that Belinda Granger herself had said something about not receiving her prize money from the Ironman Langkawi organizers. How true the rumors are, I don’t know.

      It is a shame and a major frustration to dilly dally with this kind of decision whether to start training for an event which you look forward to but isn’t confirmed. I have contacted the organizer myself before this and they said they will make an announcement once they have resolved their ‘internal issues’. Mean time they are not keeping things transparent and I guess they will at the end of the day still lose by making last minute decisions and announcement.

      I have not registered for any Ironman for next year and im crossing my fingers and praying hard that Ironman Malaysia will happen, whether in Langkawi or Terengganu(again rumours). Or else I’ll have to keep tab for China.

  7. Dear Miss Jewelz,

    Do you think there is an opportunity for a new organizer to come in to ironman langkawi? I was a participant in ironman langkawi 2010. And i think there are many rooms for improvement. Me and my friends are very interested to make a memorable one for all triathletes. Do you know any person that i can start speaking to?

    Hope to hear from you and appreciate if you could send a copy of your reply to my email too.



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