When Malaysia’s Minister of Tourism and Culture Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz called a press conference in 2015 to announce plans for four new hotels by 2018, his intention was clear: Fill the nation’s tourism coffers until they reach RM168 billion in receipts by 2020.

Organisations devoted to the nation’s marathon scene must have rejoiced at the news. More hotel rooms. More people. More running events during the calendar year, for sure! With the St. Regis, W Hotel, Four Seasons and Harrods on track—finding places to stay while competing in Malaysia has become a non-issue, so you’ve no excuse to pass on the 2017 Oceanman Malaysia—unless you don’t like to swim, of course.

Scheduled to be held along the coastline at Jalan Tanjung Rhu on 25th November, this event has it all. Prestige. Medals. Opportunities to set records. Chances to meet top international competitors. And you can do it all from the comfort of a hotel room guaranteed to make you feel comfortable and welcome—whether you win or lose.

This is an equal opportunity aquatic competition

It’s incumbent upon us to mention this fact before we reveal Oceanman details and consider jumping into this exciting event: Just because it’s called Oceanman, that doesn’t mean Oceanwomen aren’t invited to this late-November competition. In fact, plenty of women have been known to kick some feminine butt by setting records and winning big when the Oceanman first debuted in Malaysia last year.

With roots in Italy and Spain (this event debuted in both nations in 2015), the Oceanman seemed an ideal fit with Malaysia’s coastal topography, bringing the total number of international Oceanman locations to seven. At least 10 more nations are expected to introduce Oceanman events down the road, but you get to show your stuff at one that’s close to home.

As the only International World Championships staged in open waters, registration is already underway. Kids, seasoned competitors and neophyte swimmers can register now at Spacebib if your idea of a great time is getting the early bird rate than vanishes on Halloween.

Category choices? Better sit down: There are 17. From the Popular 1.5km for kids ages 10+ to the 14km Oceanman Elite for top competitors, things will get lively at this Langkawi beach.

Dive into the details

Athletes gain an advantage if they arrive at least one day early because 24 November activities give you an extra edge. A swim workshop designed to orient participants to the waters in the race area begins at 7:30 a.m., followed by an 8-hour race pack collection window (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) and the important one-hour race briefing planned for between 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. that evening.

Your entitlement includes a signature Oceanman t-shirt and logo-embellished swim cap in one of four colours that identify the general category in which you’ll compete. You will be expected to follow specific rules for this aquatic event.

For example, the wearing of wet suits will be contingent upon water temperature on 25 November. If it’s less than 20ºC, you can wear a wet suit unless you can prove to officials that you are accustomed to swimming in low temperature conditions.

Conversely, if waters are relatively warm on competition day, wet suits aren’t permitted. To be on the safe side, spend time on the event website to get the skinny on all wet suit and equipment regulations so your ambitions aren’t drowned before you have a chance to jump into the water.

Organisers won’t be reluctant to disqualify participants at any point if they spot rule infractions that compromise safety and they won’t be hesitant to remove swimmers exhibiting signs of dehydration, hypothermia, exhaustion and other signs of physical stress either. And make sure you’re on your best behaviour; unsportsmanlike conduct won’t be tolerated by officials either.

Swim Caps

How to prepare your mind and body for Oceanman 2017

  1. Train and condition like a champion so your performance reflects your hard work.
  2. Learn “refocusing strategies” that can take your mind off difficulties should they arise when you compete.
  3. Prepare yourself for distractions—fellow competitors and crowd noises may divert your focus.
  4. Use the “less is more” principle as the big day nears: prioritize rest and proper nutrition.
  5. Get a good night’s sleep on 24 November so your mind and body are both ready for your event.
  6. Take advantage of that 6 p.m. pre-event briefing on the night before to acclimate yourself to the waters.
  7. Be prepared to call on your sense of humor to keep you balanced should unexpected circumstances arise.
  8. Don’t allow self-judgments to ruin your experience if you don’t achieve your aim. Instead, pledge to make participating in Oceanman 2018 a priority.

What’s your secret for managing your event budget so you’ve got enough cash left in reserve to compete at year-end events like Oceanman?

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Alica Syafiqah

Alica is a millennial and is currently working towards an MBA with an emphasis in running if there is even one. A coffee-drinker and world explorer who is always making fun of herself.

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