‘Try to Tri’ Community Triathlon

Triathlon, which consists of a swim, a bike ride and a run, is one of the world’s fastest growing sports. So it was great to see last weekend 43 people get to do the inaugural ‘Try to Tri’ event held at Ipoh’s Sports Stadium Complex. It was the first time for many of the participants to participate in such an event and for others who had done them before to do it in their hometown rather than travelling hundreds of kilometres.

The event even attracted a few participants from the other regions such as Sabah, Penang and KL. More importantly, it included children from as young as 7 years of age (some from the Tambun Boys Home run by the Salvation Army) and others who were approaching their 50th birthday, proving that it’s never too late to try something new. Irrespective of age, they were all keen to have fun and enjoy the fresh morning air as well as test themselves, their level of fitness and the new personal workouts/lifestyles they were now adopting.

The event was made possible due to the efforts of the Perak Triathlon Association and the assistance of the Majlis Bandaraya Ipoh (MBI) who, amongst other things, allowed participants exclusive access to the Stadium Pool for the event.

Ernest Balasingam, the Association’s founder and president said the intention was to run such events every month (the next is on November 27) and to help people experience the benefits and fun of doing multisport events like Triathlon and Duathlon (no swim). He also said that longer term, he hoped it would encourage more people from Perak to participate safely and successfully in the bigger triathlon events that take place both nationally and regionally.

Quentin Howell, the Association’s secretary and the event organiser, has created a format that means that it is not a race against others but an individual time trial against the clock, making the event a lot more relaxed and fun and also allows participants to see how their swim, bike and run, as well as their overall fitness programmes, are progressing.

This fact provides important personal motivation for participants to continue with their new training regimes and lifestyle changes and increases their confidence levels as their PB’s (personal best’s) improve.

To help inspire first timers Tony Woo a local businessman, who recently finished the Langkawi Ironman, and Chong Him Shoong, the President of Kelab Runners Ipoh (KRI) and multiple Triathlon finisher, both participated at the event too. This helped to show how the format appeals to not only young and old but also experienced triathletes as well as new entrants to the sport.

If you’d like to find out more about the “Try to Tri” event and how you and/or your children can participate in future editions of it, contact Quentin at the Perak Triathlon Association by writing to him at

Dave Spence

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