Monday, September 11, 2006
Desaru Pengerang International Long Distance Triathlon 2006
"Dude, how much weight do you think we lost from the race yesterday?", Azmar asked me yesterday morning.
"Well, with the huge dinner we have after the race, we gained back what we lost", I said, smiling.
The race was as usual, GREAT. TriSportz headed by Mr. Chan did a great job and there were more than enough water for me to take showers on my last 10km of run, as compared to last year where i had to drink murky sponging water...
Two days before yesterday
Me and wifey reached Desaru late on Friday. We checked in at about 4.45pm at Pulai Desaru.
Yes, it's this beautiful!!!
The front counter staffs recognised me from Explorace Johor and it was almost celebrity like when the housekeeping team actually remembers my name!
I was assigned Room 444. A Garden View Room which was a duplex!
Downstairs of Room 444
Upstairs of Room 444, wifey in picture not included...
The room looked like it could fit 10 easily. With 1 bathroom on each floor, one pantry, 2 super single bed upstairs and plenty of balcony space...all for a very very affordable rate (of an undisclosed amount as only a privy few could enjoy), Me and my friends would like to thank you for your geneorsity Dato' Chua!!!
Azam and Zabil had one room each as well and they truly enjoyed staying in Pulai, especially when there is 2 expecting mother in the 3 rooms! If you can please the mum-to-be, you could please anyone!
I then drove to the official hotel to register for the race.
Cow 237...that's me..there were more Singaporean Cows compared to Malaysian Cows...i felt as if i'm racing in Singapore instead with the name list...
And the briefing took place at 5.15pm, with Mr. Chan in his element and wits...
With fellow triatheletes, Reita K and Wifey...
The Race - The 2km Swim
Triathletes and Wannabes abound...
My ride, a full suspension bike on 1.4 slicks...hardly tri material...
With Wifey, Reita and Azmar...
Missing was a lot of other friends that came last year... :(
We were lucky as this year, the sea was choppier and the cycling route was more hilly. What more could any racer ask for? More suffering for the same amount paid!!!
Don't be fooled by the red lines, the swim is actually further than the run to transition...
Mr. Chan allowed everyone 5 minutes to warm up in the sea. That 5 minutes was a struggle for me. Last year's sea condition was like swimming pool. This year, it looked like they put in a Whale Shark and it causes all the waves and current. The race was officially on the way by 10am and the sun was burning down. The swim out to the first buoy was tiring as my usually efficient breastroke was almost crippled by the waves. I could see swimmers being tossed up and down by the waves infront. The parallel swim from bouy 1 to 2 was relatively much easier, but the return to the beach was a bitch.
Current was so strong that i find myself drifting all the way to the left, no matter how much to the right i forced myself to go. I almost had a motion sickness from the whole bumping up and down those big waves...if only there was a surf board with me!
I got out from the water in 25minutes and i couldn't even run that 30meters (which by now has been increased to 100meters as the current pushed me off course) and enters the water again. Reita was just ahead of me as i exited.
The second round of the swim wasn't any better and it was a really tiring by the time i exited the water, my stopwatch says i've just spent 47 minutes inside the water...it took me just 45 last year. I know i'm gonna pay for it this time around...
Got to stop for the Camera!!!!!!
I ran into transition and took almost 10minutes there to prep up. This year around, i brought along a towel, 2 changes of top, 2 orange flavoured Glucolin (no maney to buy Powerbar Endurance Drink) in 500ml PET bottle, 3 liters of water in my Camelbak, 2 changes of socks, extra Vaseline(not for what you think it is!), sunnies, muscle rub ointments and my heart rate monitor straps which i forgot to use last year.
I came in before 301...and the P3C on my right...
The Race - The 90km Bike
Totally revamped cycling route(in blue) with less turns...
Drying my feet...
Wifey taking my pic coming out of T1...love ya babe!
My first lap averaged out a fast 30km/h which i completed within one hour. The hill was rolling till no end. It was like you see waves on the road. The worse is on the final 10km where there is a big hill to climb and you could see people whizzing down the hill on your left side at breakneck speed of at least 50km/h(i touched 48km/h) and people cranking up the hill at 13km/h...or slower.
My second lap was slowed to an average of 25km/h which by then, the heat was searing through my skin. I make it a point to drink sips of water every 1km travelled. Got to stay hydrated and not risk cramps like i did in Duathlon Putrajaya.
And of course, i was lapped by the Pro Triathletes....twice...as usual.
I even got lapped once by a few Powerbar Elite Team atheletes.
Some girl was talking and asking each other : "is that a mountain bike???"
So i tell them: "Yes, it is!!!"
On my 3rd lap, i got overtaken by Azmar..i was cranking a slow 23km/h average by then...The heat was beating down on me. But i still make it a point to shout out to friends i know in races. Not gonna win any races, so, mght as well enjoy the scenery...it is afterall, a race for myself, against myself. I made friend with this Singaporean Triathelete number 390, which actually stopped and helped anohter relay racer that had cramps in both his legs. Kudos for sportsmanship!!! You certainly recited the Sportsman Prayer!!!
I finish my cycle in 3H55mins, which was much better to last year's 4h7mins that i did. Then i took my time again in the transition..spending a good 10 minutes which was later added to my overall timing...
The Race - The 21km Run
Race route for 21km run was the same as per last year. Nothing changes. The trees still looked the same but the sun wasn't. It was much cooler last year and it was super duper hot this year.
My first 3km and i'm already all wet!!!
i rubbed myself with muscle rub to give life to the legs, there is still a long way to go. Saw Azmar at the 2km mark and he was looking really good to finish in his first long distance/half ironman race.
The knees got to support those extra 7kg i've put on...
I ran a very slow 21km. Walking at times not to risk muscle cramps. My heart could take it, but my legs says otherwise. Along the way to finish my first 10.5km, i saw fellow friends. Steve, Azmar, Zabil, Azam, Hin Toong, Azwar...but i did not see Reita anymore. Maybe she was somewhere behind me in the run.
I finished my 10.5km loop in 1h20mins. Something i could easily do below an hour on normal days. I tried maintaining the pace and it was great that there were so many supporters, mostly unknown strangers, which lined the street to clap, cheer and give you all the encouragements you ever need...to you all, THANK YOU!!! A host of Singaporean Supporters even brought their own PA system to cheer us on. Anohter group of Foreigners even offered Ice and sponging to us that ran past...
At that point, i told myself i could still, perhaps, do a 7H30min race...bettering my record of 7H41min last year...perhaps.
So, i did the inevitable, i jumped in the air as i past wifey and she caught it on camera...
If all else fail, just have fun!!!
The final 6km was still bearable, i felt better compared to last year as i could still afford a slow run or two. Using the HRM as a guide, i start running when it goes below 145bpm and run until it touches 158bpm before i start to walk and let it recover to 145bpm again.
Reita, which i found out as i was running, bailed out after 60km of cycling as it was too hot for her. Jamira, one of the race director for TV3 Explorace was there too, giving me support and running with me and Reita for my last 1km.
The finishing line is finally there, i missed my 7H41Min mark i did last year...and i crossed the line in a slow 7H47:27.
Is that food? Where is my medal???
That's better...Medal AND Finisher's Shirt!
Frankly, i was a lil disappointed with myself this time around, but with 1 nightmare of puntures and DNF-ing and minimal cardio training, i guessed i shouldn't complain.
Heck, I even beat a PRO! He Did Not Finish the race, but i DID!!! (Lucky for the hot hot weather which he can't handle or i can't claim this in my blog!)
Gift from Mother Nature!!! The Tan lines i meant!
The official results are already out and it's not being posted at the site yet. But well done to Azmar, for completing his longest race ever in a very very respectable 7H25Min!
Also to Zabil for improving by a heaps for this race that fell on his Birthday!
To Steve, for being such fun bugger to race with, thanks!
And too all the winner in their category and sprint winners. Well Done!
Swim time to T1: 48.28
Biking time incl T2: 4:09:12
Run time: 2:49.47
Average HR: 149bpm
Kcal burned: 8990kcal (That's 125 medium sized apple or 12.7 Big Mac)
Pros Beaten: ONE!
Zabil's Report in SwimBikeRun