September/October 2011

Sonic newsletter: October
Faster than a speeding bullet, here is a roundup of what Sonic athletes have been getting up to over the past month.
Sonic athletes were found competing across the world on 11 September, starting with the Las Vegas Ironman 70.3 World Championship
For the first time, the event was held in Las Vegas near Sunset Strip and more than 1800 athletes competed including Sonic’s Andrew Patrick and Michal Bucek.
Congratulations to Michal who finished in 4.39.14, with an impressive 29.40 for the swim, 2.33.57 for the bike and 1.30.50 for the run. He was ranked 137 overall with a division position of 23. 
Incredibly disappointingly after all his hard training, Andrew was forced to drop out of the event after a 35.17 swim because of illness. Here below he describes the experience:
“I started suffering from flu symptoms on the flight over. I tried to shrug them off, as I often feel like that on long-haul flights, probably due to the low humidity and lack of quality sleep. Unfortunately, upon arrival in Las Vegas, despite feeling exhausted I could not fall asleep. Jetlag would haunt me for the next few days, which was not a recipe for recovery. Over the next couple of days, I dosed up on various medications and forced myself to start the race. I would never have done so in that condition in Hong Kong but I had travelled a long way and spent a lot of money on the trip, so had to give it a go. I took the swim easily and did not feel too bad until I exited the water, when my non-stop hacking cough got going. I forced myself through T1 and on to the bike, but the cough did not abate. Moreover, I was going so slowly up the long hill out of transition that everyone was passing me, including one of the physically challenged athletes with just one leg. I kid you not! After 10 minutes I reached the turn to head off into the desert. I had a choice to make and it was not a difficult one. I plugged the plug, headed back to my hotel, crawled into bed - and still could not sleep. It has since taken me four weeks to recover. On top of the viral respiratory infection, I got a stomach bug and followed that up with bacterial bronchitis. Clearly, I had run my immunity pretty low. So I have had to learn some lessons again.
1. Don't push yourself too hard, training or partying, before a big race.
2. Try, try, try to get plenty of sleep.
3. Take precautions to avoid getting sick or injured.

“Fortunately, I back to training again and am looking forward to racing in Taiwan 70.3. Stay healthy!”

Andy took part in the Clean Half 15km swim on 8th October and finished in four hours, 35 minutes. Congratulations.      
Beijing ITU World Championship Final
Inspired by watching the world’s top 50 elite men and women, seven Sonic athletes competed under Kent Wong’s leadership including Edwin Wong, Gabriel Lau, Ren Ho, Philip Penaloza, Sacha Cheong and Ian Brownlee.

Vietnam Triathlon

Congratulations to newly engaged couple Shaun Mullen and Louise Wheeler who competed in Hoi An and both won their age groups. Special mention must go to Louise who was racing in only her second triathlon. Shaun gives his account of the race: “Louise and I had a fantastic time in our second olympic distance triathlon together. The conditions were great apart form the sea, which was a little on the rough side. The bike and run were both fairly flat, so it was a great course. We both won our respective age categories with Louise smashing through the finishing line with a time of 3:04:09 and my time of 2:28:15 was enough to get me second place overall (that will give you an insight as to how relaxed the competition was!). All in all a fantastic day, well-organised given the locale and circumstances and definitely worth a Sonic trip next year.”
Back in Hong Kong… 18 September: Sonic Time Trial 3

A strong monsoon wind in Shek O meant the swim leg of the trial was cancelled and times were recorded instead for a 4k run followed by a 27k bike finishing with a 4k run. Ten good souls completed it and Dr Jones was the man of the day, kicking off the run with a big lead and coming in home first overall with 13 points and a time of 1.31.19. Brian Lee caught up to complete the course 50 seconds later and Janice Lee was the first girl back in 1.39.31. Thanks again coach Kenneth for keeping note of the times.

Watch out for the waves! Here’s why the swim leg of the time trial didn’t go ahead.

8 October: The big one: Ironman World Championship Kona
Michal Bucek competed for the second time, coming in placed 109th overall in a time of 10.23.26. He completed the swim in 1.03.40, the bike in 5.20.16 and the final marathon run leg in 3.52.13. Singapore’s Joey-lynn Musselman qualified for the first time this year and came 44th in the women’s 45-49 age group. Her swim time was 1.14.06, the bike was 6.41.42 and her marathon 4.48.09. Many, many congratulations to these two inspiring athletes for racing in the world’s most prestigious Ironman event.

9 October: Hong Kong’s biggest triathlon: TriHK HK Triathlon Championship.

Thirty-seven Sonic members competed in the national triathlon, which this year moved from Sunny Bay and Disneyland to Plover Cove in Sai Kung.
Sonic women were frequently found on the podium with the best result amongst the girls from Janice Lee who won came home ahead in each of the three disciplines in the olympic distance 25-29 years category to finish clear leader overall in 2.43.20. Her team-mate Evangeline Quek took bronze place on the podium: both girls are pictured below.

Congratulations to Kim Lai who finished in second place in the sprint distance for women aged 25-29 in a time of 1.43.00. Stephanie Yeung who took bronze in the olympic distance 30-34 age group, coming home in 2.42.24. In the fun distance veteran category, Winnie Chi came second.
Highlights for Sonic’s male team included young Michael Lam who cruised home to win the male youth open category in a time of 32.22. On the other end of the scale, Ivan Lo won bronze in the olympic distance Male Elite Open category, finishing in 2.01.33. In the sprint distance, Simon Jones took bronze in the 30-34 age group in 1.23.55.
Ivan Yeung came seventh in the 70-strong male 30-34 year olympic distance category, in a time of 2.25.23. Christopher Tong was also seventh in the 40-44 years olympic distance race, coming home in 2.28.36. Several team-mates were chasing each other behind him: less than a minute separated team-mates Yam Ho Yeung and Billy Chow who came in at 2.35.05 and 2.35.52 respectively. Close behind were cat-and-mouse pair Yvan Corno and Sacha Cheong who finished in 2.36.18 and 2.36.27 respectively.
23 October: China ShanShui ITU Asian Cup
Julius kicked off this interesting triathlon trip by opening a few bottles of wine – which had to be drunk before clearing Hong Kong customs authorities…
Ten Sonic members entered this race and brought home good results – as well as good prize money.
Michal Bucek came second, Andy Patrick was third and Kent Wong came tenth - with the Sonic relay team taking first place on the podium. Andy took the first leg and led the pace to finish in the top three, in the second leg Gigi Wong held on to maintain the position and close the gap on the leaders with Kent and Michal making up the third and final leg to cross the line ahead as champions. “The new team relay is really good to boost the team sprit, helped of course by the 3000 RMB in their pockets after the race,” says Charles Hui. “The team won so much local respect, it was like they were stars,” says Charles – who unfortunately had to leave the event early because his China visa expired.
Credit must go to the organisers for the excellent venue, accommodation and logistics support. But bad luck to Gabriel Lau and Edwin Wong who didn’t board the bus to China due to injury and illness.
Travel in style
Goodbye coach Rockson
Coach Rockson will take a break from training the Sonic team to focus on his career and his own training. The club has been impressed by his knowledge on stretching and circuit training and Rockson also helped the team a great deal during the training camps of this year and in 2010.  The team is sad to see him leave as coach: we will miss him and we wish him the very best for his career development and sports training. We look forward to seeing him at future races.
Training will be maintained by coach Kenneth and coach Alan Tam.
Updated training arrangements:
Regular session on Monday and Wednesday

Monday and Wednesday: program handled by coach Kenneth.
8pm-9pm: Run training at Wan Chai Sport Ground (main set to cover 5k-8k)
9pm-10pm: Swim training at Wan Chai Training Pool (main set to cover 2k-2.5k)

70.3 session on Monday and Wednesday (until after Taiwan 70.3)
Monday: no coach will attend this session but Janice will coordinate.
8pm-10pm: Run training at Happy Valley running track (main set to cover 14k-16k)
Wednesday: program handled by coach Alan Tam/Kenneth
8pm-10pm: Swim training at Wan Chai Training Pool (main set to cover 5k)

Morning swim on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7am
The new sessions will continue until 27 October and resume from January 2012 (unfortunately it wasn’t possible for the club to secure a lane during November and December). Coach Alan Tam will lead the morning sessions for the next two weeks.

Upcoming races
The team is training hard for a busy season.

5 November: Ironman 70.3 Taiwan. 2 weeks to go! A key race for Sonic this year, the club is sending a large team: check out the start list at
6 November: The pleasant TriHK Aquathon 5 in South Bay – a relaxing race in cooler conditions than the earlier aquathons of the season.
20 November: Put a date in your diary for the Sonic Time Trial 4 including a 40k bike. Please come along to the time trial – it’s important for training and for coaches to see how you’re progressing.
27 November: Laguna Phuket Triathlon. One of Sonic’s favourite races – the paradise location (almost) makes up for the humid conditions…
4 December: Back to Thailand for the Ironman Phuket 70.3 AsiaPacific Championship: representing Sonic are Shaun Mullen, Andrew Patrick, Sacha Cheong, Joey-lynn Musselman and Jeanette Wang