Amirizal Ishak Hosts Great Perhentian Island Marathon Swim
Amirizal Ishak Hosts Great Perhentian Island Marathon SwimCourtesy of Shubham Vanmali, Pulau, Perhentian Besar, Malaysia.
Shubham Vanmali traveled from his native India to visit Malaysia and participate in the 16 km Perhentian Island Marathon Swim, a circumnavigation swim held around Pulau, Perhentian Besar, Malaysia organised by Swimon and Amirizal Ishak.
In addition to the signature 16 km race around the Perhentian Island where swimmers can enter the solo, duo (2-person relay), and quad team (4-person relay) categories, there is also a shorter 4 km swim.
In 2019, there were 26 soloists, 8 duo teams, and 10 quads in the 16 km race, in addition to 126 swimmers in the 4 km race. Sweden’s Fredric Liljestrom set a new overall course record of 3 hours 35 minutes and Sheryl Lyn Slater also set a new women’s course record of 4 hours 1 minute.
Vanmali reported, “Amirizal is an amazing race director; his team exactly knew what they needed to do. The pre-race briefing and pre-race book was very well put together and perfectly explained everything. These things made a major difference in my swim.
Each swimmer was assigned an escort boat. My boat had two people. One was giving me feeds and the other was my pilot. They were extremely polite locals. I explained them how to make my feeds and timing when to feed me. They were locals who barely spoke English, but they seemed confident and felt like they knew what they are doing.
The fastest swimmers were there to compete; they were quite fast and went for it from the start. We passed through two boats after one km which consisted of officials who were noting the number on swimmers’ shoulder and informing their respective boats/crew. The boats joined the respective swimmers further ahead with their flags and bib number on the boat. The boat pilot and crew were very good at their jobs. They identified me with no problems.
At the pre-race briefing, I understood that we have to focus on the swim and find our own route while we swim around the Island while we cut the corners. The swim was one of the most beautiful swims I have ever experienced. There were amazing weather conditions, crystal clear water, and beautiful marine life. It led me to rediscover my love for open water swimming.
I took my first feed at 1 hour that hardly took 20 seconds to feed. I started swimming again. I knew the other swimmers were faster than I was. But the only way I could secure a top position would be to use my open water swimming experience. As we were swimming counter-clockwise around the island, I made sure that I stay on the left side of the swimmers and gained an advantage when we cut the corners which worked out perfectly. My other strategy was to feed every 45 minutes post the first hour while others were feeding every 30 minutes. I made sure my feeds were extremely quick. Every feed I chug electrolytes, popped half a cold pressed energy bar in my mouth, and started swimming and chewed the bar while I swam. My crew was very quick with my feeds. They had everything in place as I had described to them before the race and they made my feeds exactly as I asked them to. They wasted no time.
After the first feed, I was fairly behind the lead group. But my goal was to pace the first half the race and then shift gears and make a move.
At my third feed around 2 hours 30 minutes, my crew gave me food and yelled “SHUBHAM! No matter what, I am always there with you.” I was in awe.
After the fourth feed at 3 hours 15 minutes, my pilots told me that I was in 6th place and closing in on the finish and the other lead swimmers. They thought it was possible to close the gap and overcover them. So I pushed it to max and went all out to the finish.
I took my last feed at 4 hours and sprinted my way to the finish, ending up 4th in men’s solo division.
Overall, it was an amazing swim. I have never seen so much marine life while swimming an event before. I highly recommend this swim to every open water swimmer. It is not too long and not too short. From a newcomer to an experienced open water swimmer, everyone will enjoy this swim. The most amazing thing was that I got to experience a different part of the open water community from South Asia. Everyone was extremely humble and extremely welcoming.”
16 km Results:
1. Fredric Lilgestroem 3:35:05.13
2. Irish Italians 3:40:07.14 [duo relay]
3. Jose Luis Larrosa Chorro 3:42:22.66
4. Sheryl Lynn Slater 4:01:41.89 [first female]
5. Choo Chin Keong 4:14:44.33
6. Shubham Vanmali 4:17:17.04
7. Junior Dolphins 4:19:41.87 [relay]
8. Francesco Lanzone 4:21:50.86
9. Bubbles 4:24:19.58 [duo mixed]
10. Stijn Paul A Gaytant 4:29:14.46
11. Christopher Ian Alexander 4:31:37.81
12. Angelia Ong Su Lin 4:37:36.89 [second female]
13. KTJ 2 4:40:38.42 [relay]
14. Claire Parsons 4:41:15.11 [third female]
15. The Garden Eels 4:42:21.77 [relay mixed]
16. Charin Cheungsirakulvit 4:51:21.73
17. Tomaso Ceccarelli 5:00:11.70
18. Pretty In Pink 5:00:12.66 [female duo]
19. Steven John Sammut 5:05:36.52
20. Ms Global Korea 5:11:57.44 [male duo]
21. Simon Gardiner 5:13:00.18
22. Mohammed Sofia Ismail 5:13:09.24
23. La Singa Casera 5:14:19.31 [relay male]
24. Newave Sealion 5:16:15.70
25. Emily Huelsermann 5:18:33.87 [fourth female]
26. Team No Plastics 5:19:36.99 [relay female]
27. Are We There Yet? 5:20:18.76 [duo mixed]
28. Stuffed Beavers 5:22:22.95 (duo mixed]
29. KTJ 1 5:23:58.96 (relay mixed]
30. V3J Team 5:25:04.54 [relay mixed]
31. Ammjb 5:30:51.79 [relay male]
32. Sukontanut Kieiparadorn 5:31:27.04
33. Tang Siew Kwan 5:35:39.66
34. Leonard Ng Sze Lung 5:39:45.35
35. Team Duyung 5:40:36.91 [duo mixed]
36. Tushar Sinha 5:40:54.65
37. Ply Vanapruk 5:52:15.49
38. Chooi Yue Seng 5:54:52.74
39. Team Dugong 6:02:51.85 [relay mixed]
40. Thong Chin Mun 6:15:55.96
41. Sabai Sabai 6:16:54.79
42. Norman Seah Yen Kang 6:36:01.88
43. Calum Hudson 6:53:52.84
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