Silkeborg, 52, a high flier even outside an airplane

Participants taking shelter under a tent, as they wait for the race to resume following yesterday morning’s heavy downpour, which halted the race for nearly three hours before it was restarted at 10.20am.
Participants taking shelter under a tent, as they wait for the race to resume following yesterday morning’s heavy downpour, which halted the race for nearly three hours before it was restarted at 10.20am.ST PHOTO: AZMI ATHNI
Overall TRI-Factor Series champion Jesper Silkeborg coming ashore after the 750m swim. The Scoot airline captain cites discipline and careful time management and planning as the reasons for his success.
Overall TRI-Factor Series champion Jesper Silkeborg coming ashore after the 750m swim. The Scoot airline captain cites discipline and careful time management and planning as the reasons for his success.PHOTO: ORANGE ROOM

Hours after competing in the TRI-Factor Triathlon at East Coast Park amid a heavy downpour yesterday, Jesper Silkeborg had to pack his bags and fly to Australia's Gold Coast.

The Scoot airline captain logs in 20 regional flights a month but still finds time to cram in 20 hours each week to train, giving no excuses.

The Dane's commitment and dedication to physical fitness paid off when he was crowned the overall TRI-Factor Series champion for the third year running after earning the most number of points over four races.

The 52-year-old competed in the men's veteran standard triathlon and came in second in 1hr 4min 38.4sec. That was enough for him to top the overall leader board with a total of 1,166 points.

Singaporean Erik Lai, 40, was second on 1,028 points.

Silkeborg, who has been working in the Republic since 2012, said: "There's no secret to success. It all comes down to the mindset and how much you want it. I set myself realistic targets and it's been working well for me.

"Winning this series for the third time is awesome. It takes a lot of commitment because it's four races every year. I do my best to give this priority and I'm glad my efforts came good."

Due to safety concerns owing to the morning downpour , the cycling portion of the race was removed and participants only had to swim 750m and run 10km.

Silkeborg, whose forte is cycling, said: "It's my favourite discipline and it gave me no advantage knowing that the bike part was out so I was a bit disappointed.

"But a triathlon is an outdoor sporting event and these things will happen. In the end, it all turned out well and I had fun still."

But Silkeborg will not rest on his laurels. As he heads Down Under, he has brought along his running gear, swimsuit and his dismantled bicycle which will be reassembled in Australia, to continue training.

"I bring my bike overseas, I run overseas, I search for swimming pools overseas," he said.

"I don't train in Singapore much because of my job. I've to resort to taking time during my layovers to train. It's been all right and because I know my work schedule beforehand, I'm able to better plan my training routine.

"I'll have four days of downtime in the Gold Coast and I can't wait to get going. I know I just raced but I still feel ready to push my body and motivate myself."

Another winner from yesterday was 19-year-old Zacharias Low. He clocked 55:11.1 to win the men's open standard triathlon.

The Republic Polytechnic student said: "I never expected myself to win this event at all - it's a total surprise.

"I was just hoping to practise on my standard distance racing and improve myself. This result just bodes well for me and gives me a good gauge of my abilities."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 22, 2016, with the headline 'Silkeborg, 52, a high flier even outside an airplane'. Print Edition | Subscribe