IRONMAN Malaysia Langkawi, the Tropical IRONMAN Adventure, took place on Langkawi Island on Saturday, 14 November 2015 with a host of activities leading up to Race Day.
With a turnout of 1,500 volunteers this year, comprised of Langkawi residents, the IRONMAN Malaysia involved the local community for the event. Briefings were held to educate the volunteers about the most efficient ways to support athletes along the routes and to cheer on the athletes as they raced through the course.
The IRONMAN Malaysia Langkawi expo took place at the Mahsuri International Exhibition Centre (MIEC), located next to the Langkawi International Airport. Serving as a hub for the race, the exhibition hall also hosted the official professional athlete interviews, athlete briefing sessions, athlete race check-ins and the official welcome dinner, attended by representatives from Malaysia Major Events, Langkawi Development Authority (LADA), official sponsors and athletes.
With a backdrop of a stunning blue sky over Pantai Chenang, over 100 children aged between 5 to 12 took part in the inaugural 1km IRONKIDS Malaysia dash on Friday, 13 November 2015, finishing at the official IRONMAN finishers chute. Introduced with the aim to promote a balanced, active lifestyle to children, all participants received an IRONKIDS medal and finisher certificate, as well as refreshments and ice cream to cool off after the race.
As part of IRONMAN Malaysia’s efforts in giving back to the community, professional athletes made a surprise visit to the Pediatrics Ward at the Langkawi Hospital. The athletes showered the children, aged between 1 and 12 years old, with gifts and words of encouragement.
Staying true to the tagline Anything is Possible, the race also hosted the first IRONMAN Malaysia Langkawi Celebrity Relay, with IRONMAN Malaysia Ambassador and 11-time IRONMAN New Zealand champion Cameron Brown. Emphasizing the value of perseverance and striving for a healthy and active lifestyle, this relay brought together four individuals on personal journeys that transcend boundaries.
The team comprised IRONMAN Malaysia ambassador Cameron Brown, who started of the race with a 3.8km swim, former professional Malaysian cyclist and SEA Games champion Sayuti Zahit, who carried the baton through a 180km bike ride, actress, host, emcee and singer Irene Tan, who continued with a 24km run, and TV host, producer and Managing Director of the BON Zainal fashion label Raj Aria, who completed the balance 18km to finish the race with a time of 13:41:41.
IRONMAN Malaysia, in collaboration with ASTRO Wishlist, also granted the wish of Malaysian triathlete and father, Abdul Latiff Dollah, to participate in the race. He dedicated his efforts to his adorable daughter, Aincamelia Irdina Latiff, who was born autistic. He completed the race in 16:17:28, and had his wish granted when he was greeted at the finishers chute by his emotional wife and daughter.
This year, the event took place across three locations in the beautiful island of Langkawi and was blessed with clear skies and great tropical weather. With an updated race route that bypassed the popular Kuah town, the 2015 route took athletes from Pantai Kok through Datai and the outskirts of Kuah town. This year’s race also featured a unique indoor bike-to-run transition at the air-conditioned Mahsuri International, being the first indoor transition in an IRONMAN race in Asia Pacific.
2015 IRONMAN Malaysia attracted an amazing pool of professional athletes from all around the world, with a total of 59 professional athletes competing for the USD 40,000 prize money and points to qualify for the 2016 IRONMAN World Championship in Kona, Hawaii.
Swiss veteran Mike Aigroz took home the title of the Men’s Professional Champion of the 2015 IRONMAN Malaysia, Langkawi. The 37 year old conquered the race with an impressive time of 8:52:02 for his first ever IRONMAN victory.
In the Women’s Professional race, defending champion Diana Riesler from Germany maintained her lead of supremacy over 27 other female professional athletes. Her dominance of the race was impressive, with a time of 9:37:06 and a 12 minute lead over 2nd place.
Malaysian participants made up 17% of the total 885 competitors for this year’s race. Two local athletes were awarded the title of Best Malaysian Male and Best Malaysian Female, and both were awarded 2016 IRONMAN World Championship in Kona, Hawaii participation slots at the official IRONMAN World Championship Roll Down Ceremony on Sunday.
Barry Lee was named Best Malaysian Male, completing the race in 10:23:07 and placing third in his age division (18 – 24) to qualify for the 2016 IRONMAN World Championship in Kona, while Chin Mei See, 37 who will be participating in the 2016 World Championships in Kona, expressed surprise at being awarded the Best Malaysian Female title.
The 2016 edition of the IRONMAN Malaysia, Langkawi is yet to be confirmed. For more information, you can visit the IRONMAN official site.