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November « 2009 « Mathieu O'Halloran's Blog


Archive for November, 2009

Brighton Beach International.

Monday, November 30th, 2009


Yesterday I started the end of my 2009 racing season.

Me and Joyette had to fly through over night in beautiful Kota Kinabalu to get to the race site in the city Miri, also on the Malaysian part of Borneo Island.

This was my second time on Borneo but my first time in Miri. Seeing new places and meeting new people is my second most favorite part of racing, right after performance ;)


We landed in Miri 18 hours before race start so we did not have any time to waste.

Race day came quickly and when the gun went off in a deep water start it caught me by surprise! It took my about 200m to get to my usual spot at front of the swim and begun to gradually increased the pressure from there. My upper body was feeling tight, but the strength was definitely there! I zig zaged a bit because I haven’t swam in open water in some time now, but never the less had a gap going onto the bike!

The bike was draft legal, but most of all the top guys had aero setups because the rules a bit lax around here…Maybe 15km into it I was swallowed by the main group. There was a few Europeans, an Aussie, a Jap, a relay guy and the eventual female champion.

I did my share at the front until maybe about 10k to go, where I just decided to sit, drink and feed.

A few weak attacks later we were on the run.

From the start, I had some serious stitches on my left side; I have had these very often in draft legal races as a junior, but rarely in training. I know they are cause when I do 80/20 breathing, which means when you only use the top 20% of your lung capacity to breath, which then holds the same oxygen at the lower part of the lungs, thus putting pressure on the side of my diaphragm causing pain.

Anyway, after some slow running and deep breaths, the lead guys had a significant gap on me and I started to build her up. I ran through a few guys, which is a novelty to me! Especially in all the draft legal races!

With maybe a kilometer to go, I was running down Elmar Shurbert, who is an Austrian athlete that I have raced twice at Ironman Malaysia, and thats beaten me both times by little margins!

And this time was no different…He heard me coming and pick up the pace and before I knew it I had crossed the line and was cooling myself off with cold water!

3rd across the line gave me a decent payday behind two good  athletes who I will be facing once again in 6 days at the Laguna Phuket, which is not drafting and a little longer ;)


And as usual, Joyette had a good race and placed 5th overall and pick up the most prize money she has ever won! 


Oh and thanx again to Mister Chan, his familly and crew for putting up another awsome event!

Paddling 101.

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

Hey recently I realized that a simple and natural thing that I do while swimming with paddles that helps me move though the water well enuff, is not all that simple for some, and can easily be fixed with pictures over a blog!


Many slow and neo triathletes tend to tense up their hands, thus clustering their fingers all together while swimming with paddles.


This is how I always spread my fingers while paddling. It spreads the pressure around, giving me more grip on the water!

The most important is the thumb, because its the strongest finger, yea obviously but its shoking how many dont apply their hand properly in the paddles.

Accually, monkeys are so very agile because they have thumbs on their feet ;) okay who cares.

So be aware of it, and im sure you’ll see a difference on the numbers on the clock, especially since we take so many damn strokes in races!

Speech @ Brent International School in Subic.

Saturday, November 21st, 2009

Hey a few days ago I did a short talk for the National Honor Society here at the Brent Subic School.


Mister Winckle, the head master of Brent Subic who happens to be a fellow Canadian had asked me a couple weeks ago so that I had time to prepare!


The speech was pretty simple to me,  I prepare a presentation on a power point document to explain how the sport of triathlon has helped me in my developpement as a young man and the places I’ve seen to the challenges I have confronted along the way! With some vivid pictures of my coolest trips!

Knowing that I would be surrounded by some bright and sharp people, I made sure that I had a G.I. Joe hair cut and a clean safe prior to the evening! I “pimped” my Cervelo P3 with race wheels and other gadgets to add substance to my talk ;)

I was able to”mooch” some freebies from National coach and TBB Subic manager Melvin to hand out to the honored students!


Some of the freebies included a pair of Avia Bolts, TBB water bottles, TBB t-shirt, a Timex watch, some TBB stickers and TBB tattoos! There was not enuff gear for the entire honor students so I had to ask   some random questions like who was the first man to run sub 4 min mile and how many rounds did it take for Manny Pacquio to TKO Miguel Cotto! I gave the Timex watch to the boy how said that I was the first one who broke the 4 min mile! AH! Not in this lifetime, but I thought it was hilarious so I just had to give it to him J clearly these kids are into their academics more than athletics ;)

And of course the evening finished off with some free food :)


Asian Duathlon Championships!

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

Hey last Friday I got the impulse to race the Asian Duathlon Championships here in Subic. With the approval of my coach and the help of my kuya from a different mama Melvin I got a free entry J

So Saturday was a legs off double swim  with the morning being lots of fast with lots of rest hands only, and then the evening was lots of lactic with a little rest paddles only.

Race morning came and because I my handle bars where not draft legal, I had to do the age group race, but the incentive was that the elite men started 2 min ahead of us, and the elite woman started 1 min ahead.

Ready go I start the run nose breathing pace (thanx Rob Higley) and then I started to real in some who had started to fast. Out of the swim/bike/run running is the most natural to humans so it’s so easy to start to fast!

I was on my bike and leading the women’s race and had some of the elite men in sight; unlike in triathlons there’s was actually blood in my legs at the start of the bike so I got rolling well in my bars.

For some reason, the ITU officials felt insecure about athletes ridding in the forest, I think because of the monkeys? So they change the bike course from an out ad back to a 2 loop circuit where some of the roughest roads are in the whole of Subic L

At half way I was starting to hurt but had the draw of small groups of elite men in front so I pushed on and had to make sure some of them did not go on my wheel, I don’t make the rules, I just play by them! Near the end, I was starting to hurt so I got her in a big gear and hydrated!

Off my bike and onto the run, woah I felt like crap at first, but I keep my stride short and quick and got my lungs under control, stayed away from the aid stations because I was close to the finish, my body was heating up and I remembered what my Kenya friend Joseph once told me, “you must not cool the engine to fast when at its hottest” kinda like a car radiator right?

I crossed the line in a world of pain and was greeted by vitwater, the same drink as Manny Pacquio!

So now some of that long easy stuff with quick pickups here and there for a few days and then onto more training before I head off to Borneo Island for a mister Chan race and then the next weekend the Laguna Phuket!

Le Tour Of Hope

Monday, November 9th, 2009

Last week my girl friend was in Thailand for The Tour of Hope. Which is an athletically, personal and enjoyable method of spreading the awareness of Cervical Cancer.


Cervical cancer is the 2nd highest killer in the female cancer tree, only to be outdone by breast cancer…BUT there is a vaccine http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cervarix  that makes women increasingly safer from developing this often imminent disease.

So the sum of this tour is to in part solicit funds to be given for the screening and treatment underprivileged women in Thailand and the Philippines. And of course, to spread awareness of the vaccine to woman who can afford it and/or have realistic access.


The advocacy is not just to promote the vaccine, but providing a cheap alternative which is training midwives to screen the virus using acetic acid more commonly known as vinegar and treating them on the spot with cryotherapy.

The tour started in Nongkai, in the northeastern part of Thailand and is a 12 day, 1160km ride that ends in the Office of the Ministry of Health in Bangkok.   



Her trip was sponsored by http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GlaxoSmithKline aka GSK which is a UK based company who is one of the largest producers of the vaccine! GSK has branches in many countries, including the Philippines!

Anyways, to women who have access and can afford this vaccine should have and get it done!!!