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2013-02-27 11:41 AM


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Subject: Disappointed with Singapore's Triathlon Community - Help?

Hi Everyone,

I am planning on moving to Singapore for about a year or so this October and after spending literally hours, I am starting to become anxious/disappointed at how the community is laid out. Either I'm not looking at the resources or there just isn't the community of triathletes I was looking for.

The following information is what I found. If you have BETTER ideas where I can get quality resources in Singapore, please share.

First off, apparently there isn't an affordable triathlon club in Singapore at all. The "Triathlon Association of Singapore" is ridiculously expensive costing upwards of $250+ for any sort of coaching or mentoring. The same goes with the "Official Triathlon Family of Singapore." There prices are outrageous compared to normal clubs in the USA.

Secondly, I can't find any sort of social community of triathletes that meet, mingle, and train together. Once again, just to mingle it costs money. Why?

Riding: From what I understand, Singapore isn't hilly so it's hard to train on the hills. Also, there aren't many triathlete rides; just cyclists. Where are they? Do they even exist?

Swimming: Although there are many outdoor swimming pools, the cost for a swim coach is $150/hour. Who in God's name would pay would these services? The cost is once again: RIDICULOUS.

Food: Gels, bars, etc... are once again another costly endeavor in Singapore. Markup on gels and hammer products are three times the price.

So, to live an 'affordable' triathlon life in Singapore and find a social active community of triathletes, it's virtually impossible.

If you live in Singapore, where do you find affordable (if not free) resources at your disposal? I'm really getting frustrated.



2013-02-28 3:32 AM
in reply to: #4639082

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Melon Presser
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Subject: RE: Disappointed with Singapore's Triathlon Community - Help?

Contact these guys on FB and tell them you're a friend of Yanti's who owes her an Internet date (you don't think I've forgotten that, do you?! Heck if you're moving to these parts ... )

Andrew Spencer

Craig Toh

Chris Lim

Donald Piret

They are super guys who have the down diggity on the affordable S'pore tri scene.

2013-02-28 5:57 PM
in reply to: #4639082

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Master
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Eugene, Oregon
Subject: RE: Disappointed with Singapore's Triathlon Community - Help?

Wow. Are we talking about the same Singapore, or do we just have different standards for what constitutes a "community"?  Most of my races are in Singapore, as it's an easy flight and they tend to be much better organized than the few events here. There's a big organization, Metasport, that organizes many of the races and also has various training opportunities. Yes, it costs money, but you can pay by the session or for short-term periods, and my guess is attending a few sessions or events with any established tri group would allow you to meet others whom you could then meet socially (for free) for rides, runs, etc. There's a huge tri community and races are packed with people of all ages and abilities. Definitely check out Yanti's contacts--she's been on the SE Asia scene a lot longer than I have. There are also Singapore folks, mostly ex-pats and a few locals, who visit this forum. It just hasn't been very active lately.

If Singapore is not enough tri community for you, don't ever move to Saigon! There are (I think) two other women in town who semi-regularly train for tris. One lives on the other side of the city (more than an hour's drive away) and trains only with her boyfriend, the other is too fast on the bike and won't ride with me. The men have never invited me to train with them. The local bike clubs/events do not allow women. The ex-pat club rides so fast that only one woman (a semi-pro bike racer) can train with them. Since my bike buddy moved to Saudi last year, I have not done a training ride with anyone, ever.  Ditto for pool--there's one master's group but it's on the other side of the city. The one here was cancelled due to lack of interest. Often I have the pool to myself. Have never run with anyone either, or met socially with other triathletes (all six of us?). Tri for me in this country is pretty much an entirely solo undertaking.

As for the markups, they're just reality. Everything in Singapore is expensive; most countries in the region have high import taxes and VAT. Hate to say this, but "affordable", "triathlon", and "Singapore" are kinda contradictoryTongue out. However, I'm sure it's possible to save some money depending on your choices. Not sure where you are currently based but if it's the US, I suggest you stock up on any needed tri products before coming. I bring over gels and energy bars as luggage--plan in advance how many I need for long runs/rides/races and then ration them.  It's a reality for everyone living overseas--you have to make  a plan for how to live the life you want in a place that may not be perfectly set up for it.

2013-03-03 8:29 AM
in reply to: #4639082

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Subject: RE: Disappointed with Singapore's Triathlon Community - Help?

I have to echo the previous two posts sentiments: there are some really great tri-communities in Southeast Asia, but they are hard to find with a Google search ... I think a lot of groups are on Facebook though ... I became more part of the community as I started to attend local tri's and met locals. They invited me to the Facebook communities. Triathlon has enabled me to meet really great people!

As to the cost: unfortunately in Singapore you will pay more for most things. Triathlon is still an 'expensive' sport in Southeast Asia in general, but its popularity is growing really fast - so prices should slowly start to drop. I have gone without coaching because I simply cannot afford it, and I pray (seriously) that nothing breaks on my bike because parts are more expensive here. Everything about the sport is more expensive here. Come with a tri-wardrobe, and you may even want to bring two (or more) pairs of cycling and running shoes. My running shoe bill has been quite high ... Wink ... not uncommon for a triathlete ... but I believe running shoes are more expensive here than in North America (if that is where you are coming from).

Nutrition may a little bit of an issue (i.e. it is still really expensive here), especially if you use commercial products. Partly due to budget, partly due to research, and because I am not a pro, I am not using any of the 'traditional' tri fuel that is marketed in North America. It is possible to replace most of this with a balanced diet and local isotonic drinks (which I use a LOT of since water just streams from my pores whenever I do exercise here). This is just me ... and I have been able to maintain 7 - 9 hours a week of training without getting over-trained or injured - a blessing I am really thankful for. I usually buy some gels for races (because they work for me), but the rest of the time it is home-cooking and the isotonic drinks I buy by the caseful from the grocery store.

By the way, prepare yourself mentally for lowering the intensity of workouts here in the tropics ... you will race better in the end ... I trained way too hard in the beginning ... you have to change your training habits otherwise you will over-train.

You will have fun. I love the tri-community in Southeast Asia, and a lot of the triathlons are in absolutely beautiful surroundings. I am racing in the Lake Kenyir International Triathlon in Malaysia (my 'home' country the past 5 and a half years) this coming weekend, and it is one of the most beautiful places (in my opinion) in Malaysia. The beauty of the surroundings makes up for the pain on the course ...

It takes a while to get used to the heat, but after a few months your body adjusts ... when you go to a cooler climate your heart rate just doesn't want to go up ... Smile

All of the best with your move!

Barend

2013-03-04 8:00 AM
in reply to: #4639082

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Master
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Subject: RE: Disappointed with Singapore's Triathlon Community - Help?

At least count yourself fortunate that you can get things like gels and running shoes in Singapore if needed--I can't. In particular, there are no biking or running shoes in women's sizes, no tri clothing for either gender, and very few things one could actually run in. I couldn't even find a road bike in my size (52) here--all either tiny for locals or enormous for expat men. (Though this has improved in the past few years.) The closest place for my tri shopping is....Singapore!

I have to bring in electrolyte tabs as local regulations do not allow their sale at sporting goods stores--they're considered pharmaceuticals but pharmacies don't stock them since sick people don't buy them. I could do the caseload of drinks thing but feel the tabs are more portable and ecofriendly. You'll probably spy me buying out the stock at pre-race expos!

Due to the costs, definitely consider bringing bike, spare parts and tools, trainer, tri clothes, and nutrition products you want/need for races, running and cycling shoes, etc. esp. if you would get that covered by your employer as part of your moving shipment. (I assume others get that--expat teachers do.) At least for women, there also seems to be a limited choice with bigger sizes in many shops. Don't know if that's true for guys but if you're taller/have bigger feet than the average local, better safe than sorry.

2013-07-07 3:26 PM
in reply to: Hot Runner


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Subject: RE: Disappointed with Singapore's Triathlon Community - Help?
Hi Everyone -

I'm sorry that I have been missing in action for a few months. With triathlon season, my dating life, work, and a few other important lifestyle choices I've made, I haven't had time to get on this forum.

So, TriAya - thanks for the point of contacts. I literally just added them to my FB account and sent them messages regarding the triathlon scene in Singapore.

Hot Runner - All I can say is that I am sorry to hear about your experiences in Vietnam. Hopefully you get better experiences. Unfortunately though, as much as I can appreciate your persistence in finding the community, it doesn't help my case because I'm not going to live in Vietnam. And yes, to your first point, my definition of triathlon community likely has a stark difference. The USA, especially cities like DC and San Diego, has a very very affordable and popular triathlon community. I love it very much.

blominator - Thanks for your post and although the clarity in the costs does somewhat explain my frustrations - it doesn't alleviate them . When I completed IronMan Singapore 70.3, I learned a VERY tough lesson - make sure you wear socks otherwise blisters will be literally everywhere. It sucked.

In any case, I'm going to start another thread with the hopes of having a compendium of resources all listed in one page so it makes my and everyone else's life easier while sifting through the community.


2014-04-19 8:18 PM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: Disappointed with Singapore's Triathlon Community - Help?
Just saw this. It's been a while so I hope you made it to Singapore and have found the tri-community you were looking for!

As you might have found out already, there is a decent tri scene here in SE Asia. Professionally organised events include all the of the Meta races (in Singapore and nearby Bintan), the Tri-Factor series and if you travel a few hours away, there are major events in Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines. Many of these event attract top name pros as well as serious (and not so serious) age-groupers. In addition there is probably a running race just about every weekend if you look for them. I filled my 2014 race calendar last November, and I had to leave out some great events so that I would have time to train!

There are many tri-oriented groups to join. Some cost a lot of money to 'join'. Others, do not. My company has a free tri club with over 50 members. Its part of an even larger running club. There are many inexpensive cycling groups - and many allow tri bikes to ride at the rear of the group. I am also a member of a swimming group that costs very little per session (especially considering the high level of coaching).

Maybe some of these are hard to find on the web, but I assure you they are out there... hopefully you have found them already. If not, feel free to contact me directly.




Edited by Kmooreiii 2014-04-19 8:20 PM
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