Continuing our series profiling each one of our age group team members racing in this year's Ironman World Championships, we are thrilled to introduce Megan's Training partner Elaine Young. Team SFQ'er Elaine earned her first Hawaii Ironman qualification by winning the 30-34 age group at Ironman Korea last fall.
Tell us about your journey to your first Kona qualification!
Qualifying for Kona was not even something I considered when I started triathlon 6 years ago, In fact I had no idea what that even was! I did not do sports growing up and my boyfriend at the time signed me up for a triathlon on a whim when I moved to SG and at that point I didn’t even own a bike or know how to swim. After getting over the trauma of a few short distance tris, did I learn about the “big island” and the world championships and even then it was something you watch on tv every year with your friends, not something you consider racing yourself!
It took me 4.5 years and some personal and work changes to find the time to focus on training and build the confidence in my ability in the sport. Then I started podiuming in some local races and thought, hey, I ain’t too shabby at this if I put my mind to it!
two years ago, I was about to turn 30 and thought you know what, yolo! I might as well try and see what i can do if I put my mind on a crazy goal! I had only done one Ironman at that point but I always felt that Long distances were for me. I picked Ironman Korea as my qualifying race, put together a 8 month training plan, (decided to coach myself because heck, Why not?) and just focused completely on training and pushing myself to limits. I had just changed my job at that pt too and thankfully had the most supportive boss and company, Anglo American behind me (who are also sponsoring me for the race!).
Surprisingly when I toed the line at Ironman Korea last year, I was the calmest I had ever been before any race. I knew I had done the work and there was nothing, nothing more I could have done. If I executed what I wanted and still didn’t get the slot, I was ok !
Thankfully, first time was the charm and no experience since then has been able to beat that feeling of crossing the line of Ironman Korea in first place in AG knowing that I had done something that I hadn’t once thought was seemingly impossible!! A smash fest! Needless to say, I have a lot of pics of me being totally emotional and crying at the finish line!
You are part of TeamSFQ’s international contingent...if we remember correctly you are originally from Canada and now reside in Singapore. What brought you there?
Yes that’s right! I was born and brought up in Vancouver Canada but moved to Singapore 6 years ago for work and to be with my then Boyfriend, now Husband. We had done 5 years of Long distance and I suppose someone had to move to make things work !
Can you tell us what training is like in Singapore? Did you have to supplement with off-island training trips to prepare for big races?
Training in Singapore is fun! It’s Like you see it in Crazy Rich Asians! (Just joking!)
There is a huge triathlon community here and there are so many nice Ironman races in Asia to do and only a couple hours away. It’s hot and humid to train in SG (the avg temp is always above 30 degrees celcius as it is smack dab on the equator). As a result, I always have to start very early (at 4-5am) before it gets too hot! It’s great for getting ready for the heat in Kona but it can be a bit boring In Singapore as it is a very small island with flat roads, little variation in terrain, limited trails to run on. For that reason, I will usually go to neighbouring countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia to train!
What are your goals for race day?
As competitive as I had to be to get to Kona, I just really want to enjoy the race - it’s my husband and I’s dream come true to be able to go to Kona and race and so the priority is to have fun, and cherish each moment on the course and off the course! I want to race well and have been training hard for it, but one thing I don’t want to do is beat myself up if things don’t go well! Being there is already the prize!
Who will be in Kona as your support crew/ cheering section?
My most loyal supporter will be my Husband Arthur tong who got me in this sport in the first place, who has been there to support me in all my races, helps me with my strength training and holds down the fort when training becomes the priority and sorts outs the bike mechanics always!
Also joining the cheer squad will be my Best Friend Sallie and her bf, my mom and two sisters Michelle and Wendy, my cousins Amie, Matt and Mia and my aunt and uncle! And the team SFQ team on and off the course I hope!