When you live with an Ironman, it is pretty
hard not to get influenced at some point. Jinella Chua did a sprint triathlon
in her early 20s and thought that anyone who would do a full Ironman is crazy.
Then her husband asked her to sign up for
an Ironman 70.3 this year and on the spur of the moment, she did. They went for
the Ironman 70.3 Bangsaen in February and it was their first trip overseas in
over 10 years.
The 43-year-old sports and adventure manager at SMU ended up doing four Ironman 70.3 races this year (one was a relay) and the year isn’t even over yet.
I guess ‘crazy’ runs in the family as Jinella’s sister, Jeri, was the first Singaporean woman to qualify for the Ironman World Championship in Kona in 1997 and is now an ultra-marathoner.
“I regard the Bangsaen 70.3 as my first
triathlon, as the sprint tri was done another lifetime ago (pre-kids, pre-knee
operation, pre-ballooning to 78kg). So this will go down as my most memorable
race ever, because you never forget your first. We looked for our names on the
board, spent too much time at the expo, made so many friends, and I had my
sister there. It was also the start of many #racedate trips with my husband.
“You can say my sister is my biggest
inspiration and my kids inspire me to better myself. Each training session I do
shows them that prep is needed for every competition. Each race I finish is a
testament that you can do what you once thought was impossible; plus I wanted
some of my own trophies on the shelf alongside theirs,” she said.
Not surprising, it was Jinella’s husband who
introduced her to PURPOSE. He was already a customer and he bought her a
trisuit from PURPOSE when it was time for her to race.
“I wore the trisuit for the first time the
day before the race for the test swim and it saw me through my first 70.3
relatively unscathed. My first PURPOSE suit was a bright luminous yellow one
and it looked good in photos but the comfort especially from bike to run was
fantastic – that was what sold me on the suit.
“They got the bike padding right, the
pockets are amazing and it works well during the race. Material is soft, light
and breathable; colours are amazing.
“I used it a week later at Powerman and
later at the Metasprint races, and it ws super comfortable! I’ve since bought
several more (standing joke is I get a new one for every 70.3) and have no
“Also, even before I knew it was created by
a Singaporean, I thought the designs were cool – enough colour to stand out,
well thought through design, accurate sizing. Then the icing on the cake was
that it’s a local brand!”