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Phuket Sports: IronKids by the kids

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PHUKET: In the build up to IronKids 2012 on December 1, the Phuket Gazette interviewed six participants who will be featured throughout November. The first IronKid is 13-year-old Malaysian, Zoe Bowden.

Phuket Gazette:Why are you competing in the IronKids competition?

Zoe Bowden: To meet new people, to learn from others and also to have some exposure.

Every time you go for a race, there is always something new you’ll learn or pick up.

Also… there are times you learn from your own mistakes as well as others’ [mistakes] in order to improve yourself and how far you’ve stretched your ability.

It’s not about winning all the time but improving my timing and studying what improvements I need to do or not do.

At the end of the day, the most important thing is to enjoy the race and have a positive attitude.

What’s your training schedule like?

I train seven days a week. Gym work for 1.5 hours and the other 2.5 hours swimming. I go running six times a week, where I do drills, core muscle exercises and stretching. This is followed by running on the track.

On other days, I do hill work and also run on a trail with my coach.

Cycling is the only sport, whereby, I only have two days of training – and that is during the weekends. This is done together as a group and we cycle out on the road.

Other than that, I will be on the training bike while watching television for about 30 minutes, doing my cadence (timing exercises).

Which is your favorite part of the IronKids race – swim, bike or run?

My background is in swimming and middle distance running, as they are my two major disciplines.

Why
?
I swim with the PRAKL (Kuala Lumpur Amateur Swimming Association) Elite Swim Team, and I swim for the state; that is the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur.

In the afternoon, after school, before my swimming lesson, I go for track training with the Kuala Lumpur Sports School Team. I am a swimmer and an athlete and I represent a state (KL) within Malaysia.

These are my specialties and I have trained for them from a very young age.

Which is your hardest part of the IronKids race, swim, bike, run?

Bike.

Why
?
It was a matter of training hard on the bike and getting used to the idea that this is a continuous sport starting with swimming and then moving onto cycling and running.

Cycling is not my specialty and the thought of falling off the bike at a fast speed was a little scary.

What do you hope to achieve at this year’s IronKids?

To improve my timing and hopefully win my age category again. I’m not sure about being the overall winner for all age categories, as this year I’m not here by myself, but as a team from Malaysia.

One of my fellow triathletes is an elite athlete and he is definitely faster than me no doubt, so watch out for him.

What other sports do you play?

I used to play football and basketball but stopped when I took up triathlon.

Now I don’t really do any contact sports as it could affect my performance in triathlon if I pick up an injury.

Other than that, the only sports I allow myself to do are cross-country; athletics that involve running on track and road, and kayaking when I am on holidays.

When did you start competing in sporting events?

I started competing at the age of 8, in swimming and running competitions for the school and inter-school. From this, I slowly entered bigger competitions out of the country.

Why do you like them (sporting events)?

I like them as I enjoy doing sports and this is also a form of physical fitness for me.

The other benefit is I get to meet different people all the time, which gives me the opportunity to learn from others and share their knowledge and experience.

Who’s your favorite athlete?

I do not have one but a few I like are: Missy Franklin (swimming), Mo Farah (athletics) and Mark Cavendish (cycling) plus Ironman Legends like Jurgen Zack and Chrissie Wellington (Ironman Kona Champion), Javier Gomez (top three world ranking ITU triathlete)and Bradley Wiggins (Tour de France, cycling champion).

What does being an IronKid mean to you?

Ironkid means the beginning of my dream to be able to make it to the most prestigious race – the Ironmen/Ironwomen race in Kona, Hawaii and the Olympics!

Next week, the Phuket Gazette will feature another competitor taking part in this year’s IronKids, to be held at Thanyapura Sports and Leisure Club on December 1.

— Andrew Scott

 

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