A swim to remember: Oceanman Langkawi 2018

Oceanman Langkawi was my first International Swimming event. Few months back I registered for this event and I was so excited about it. I was  busy with work for the past few months and did not swim very often or practiced for Oceanman. This was an amateur thing.

How I started Open Water Swimming (OWS)?

I was learning how to swim about 2 years back at Putrajaya Effective Swimming Academy (PESA). I wont recommend this academy! Because they are just so good at teaching how to swim and the founders Raja and Aniza is very supportive and they’ll just let the magic happen. I joined the first OWS organised by PESA earlier this year at Kamunting Beach Melaka. It was 1.5 KM course and the route was a little challenging. Surprisingly I completed 1.5KM and was awarded with a medal (This was my first ever medal after many years I left Karate-DO during school time).

PESA OWS
First PESA OWS event on April 1, 2018.

Later I joined OWS organised by Amir and the team at Swimon. This was even larger event with a lot of people. I swam 1.5KM course and now added another medal to my collection.

PD OWS Event by SWIMON

Last October, Swimon organized another OWS event at the beautiful Perhentian Island. This time I took 4KM course. This was a big change from 1.5KM to 4KM. However it wasn’t that difficult to complete it. It took 2 hours 20 minutes to complete 4 KM course.

Beautiful Perhentian Island

Oceanman Langkawi 2018

oceanman-langkawi

Oceanman Langkawi 2018 event held at Tanjung Rhu beach on the 1st of December. This time I took 5KM course. This is the longest distance ever for me. I was confident to complete the course but definitely I need more time to finish.

This time a large group of PESA members participated. Simon, Azizi and Afiq was among the PESA friends who took 5KM course (and of course there is many others the kiddos, teenage super swimmers Adam and Rayyan and veteran swimmer Yuen – all this 3 people are among top 5 in their category). In fact we had a special private section with a banner and a lot  of foods.

(Photo credit: Farah Sapari)

Flag off – Yay 5KM started

Oceanman race was flagged of just like any other swimming race. The front liners stormed into the sea. I was in the 3rd sector merging slowly into the ocean…

First hour – Oh man! This is unexpected

First 60 minutes towards the first buoy was just a warm up. However the current closer to the buoy was stronger and it took longer than expected to reach the first buoy. At some point we were not moving and swimming at same place. At this point I was swimming with Simon and then Afiq joined us before the first buoy.

Second hour – What in the world im in the middle of the sea?

At this point the current was even stronger. Swimming become harder. We were swimming towards the second turning point. We took short stops for few minutes. At this point we supposed to reach the feeding point. But somehow we missed the feeding point. Thank god Amir and fellow organisers approached us  in a boat and gave us water and bananas. I were craving for Spicy McDeluxe at this point while Afiq asked me to get an Ice Cream for him!

Third hour- 3 lost doplhins!

This was the most difficult hour to swim. The current was extremely strong. We were super exhausted and very little energy left. Finally we were able to see the beach. I can hear PESA ladies screaming out aloud. But we took a longer stop about 10 minutes here. It felt like I were swimming all day long and never ending swim.

Finally at 3 hours 55 minutes of swimming we approached the beach. We can barely walk at this point. PESA mommies and coaches patiently waiting for us at the beach. It was such a relief to touch the sands again.

Apple Watch tracking results of my swim.
Route mapping of Apple Watch

The most difficult thing

This swim was the most difficult thing I ever done in my 31 year of lifetime and Im really glad I did it. The feeling of accomplishment is indescribable.

Thank you to all coaches, fellow PESA family members, fellow swimmers and Oceanman organisers. See you next year!