Somewhere in Singapore, a reclusive enclave (Orchid Country Club) adjunct to Lower Seletar Reservoir played host to the first ever local triathlon-based race. No, triathletes didn’t take to the calm waters of the catchment area – perhaps an idea to consider. Instead, they swam rectangular loops around an Olympic size pool, covering a distance of 250 metres before transiting to a 2.5-kilometre run around the club’s driveway. The turnout: 150 aquathlon starters.
There are some who might consider triathlons to be in the elite performance category – “unreachable” to the average athlete out to there. True yet not so true. Well, that’s why sprint races have been conceptualised and made a reality. They form a bridge, and a progressive one to add, for that crossover to happen. That said, the Super Sprint Series Sprint Aquathlon – in its inaugural showing this year – had three race categories: Youth Category (12 to 16 years), Open Category (above 16 years) and Showcase Race (invitational to seasoned triathletes).
“Basically I did this as an experience for the Singapore Biathlon because I’m actually doing the Navy Sprint Challenge – the 500-metre swim and 3K run. So I mean this is a fun race; first time in Singapore; first time anyone’s organised a sprint race outside of like those normal weekend get together races,” says Eden Kang (Open Category Men's winner), 22, Student. “I think everyone enjoyed it. At first we thought the course was kind of weird like swimming a square around the pool; pretty unorthodox. But I think everyone had fun over here, you could see.”
Indeed, the atmosphere was one filled with unfettered encouragement as families and friends were out in full force to lend their support. We’d probably have thought it to be a family day affair if we walked in without knowledge of the event; a far cry from the mounting tensions that are consistently omnipresent at such races. Really, it’s a good day for participants and definitely, the sport.
The Youth Category saw Charles Stouffer clinch top honours while Eden Kang (Men) and Winnie Selukov (Women) picked up Gold in the Open Category. Arnaud Selukov, nailed the Showcase Race, which had a slightly tweaked run-swim-run format to infuse an extra element of challenge to the hardcore lot.
”I think its very fun. It’s a brand new format ‘cos usually the aquathlons are held at the beach, so the pool and the run course is interesting. But it’s also a lot tougher because then you feel like a pool is easier to swim in and then a run on road as opposed to trail or whatever is easier but this is a very tough course actually. I kind of do this for fun but then I do have another mini aquathlon next week. That one’s at Sentosa.” shares Meryl Koh (Open Category Women's runner-up), 29, Lawyer.
And by that, she means the New Moon khcycle MetaSprint Series Aquathlon. We’ll be there too.
- Charles Stouffer
- Louis Stouffer
- Cyril Loh
OPEN CATEGORY (MEN)
- Eden Kang
- Oh Zhijie
- Lin Kien Mau
OPEN CATEGORY (WOMEN)
- Winnie Selukov
- Meryl Koh
- Chan Sek Ling
- Arnaud Selukov
- Melvin Wong
- Wille Loo