Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Port Dickson International Triathlon 2007 : Report

*In memory of the late Mohd Zubir aka Zoob*

I know that if Zoob is still around, he would had surf right in here and hope to find a race report. So, here it is, for you, Sir.

PD International Triathlon this year was a wet wet wet affair. The sprint was done in heavy rain the day before and the Asian Cup was called off on Saturday as the rain showed no sign of stopping. It was rescheduled to the next day morning.

Reporting back home

That night, there were the customary carbo loading dinner which everyone enjoyed. I brought along all the power-bread i made to be shared amongst the people that asked for it.

I baked 3 breads. One with Powerbar Peanut Butter Chocolate. One with Powerbar Protien Plus double chocolate and one more with 2 bananas!

The ingredients

Bread 27, 28 and 29...

I offered the bread to Rahimi and his Powerbar crews as well. Maybe i should apply to get into the Elite team by virtue of bribing them with bread made from Powerbars???

That night, i've also spoken to Hin Tong and Lizzie and got a few good advice from him since i'm attempting my first IronMan in less than 213 days from now.

Later, we went back and i prepped my bike, went to look for Heckler (the guy that sold me the current bike i'm using) and went back to sleep. It will be race day in less than 8 hours!

Race Day

The elites, as they are known, were to be flagged off at 8am and then followed by the age group's participants.

With the monkeys

Going for any triathlon race is like having a mini reunion of some sort. Friends get together, laugh and share a note or two on their current race training.

I wasn't spared, because as of now, Shazly labelled me as a mutant, but he is just saying that as he is also one. Sort of like "welcoming" me into his club.

The Swim

The race morning was threatened with possible rain fall, having rained the whole afternoon on Saturday. With low tide, we expect to run the first 50meters before the water is deep enough to swim. The Elites were gunned off earlier and all were looking at how they attacked the water by doing semi dive ala butterfly stroke. Everyone was awe strucked, so this is how it's done.

The Light and Easy Monkeys

Then, came the age category turn. Comparatively, the age group aka non-elite were more sentimental in their approach, everyone took it slow and easy on the first 50meters...some were caught trying to run like Baywatch into the water.

The day before, Bacin helped me with some stroke correction for my freestyle. Steve too, gave some insight to what i could had improved, stroke wise. For the very first time in my whole life swimming, i suddenly felt like i'm actually enjoying freestyle. I learnt how to swim when i was drowning when i was small, it was more of a survival thing that made me able to coordinate my hands and legs to stay afloat.

"make sure tangan lurus", Bacin says.

"Kangkang tangan tuh stupe!", he spoke like his coach, Cai Lin.

I felt like someone that walk with their legs spread open.

I did the first 750m freestyle all the way, taking my time and relaxing with the stroke, only shifting between freestyle and breast stroke when the crowd around me gets too packed.

The final 750m was done in a mix of breast stroke and freestyle. I was dead tired by then. I know i wasn't progressing with freestyle when i notice with every 6 stroke, the person that was next to me is well almost 5 meters ahead!

I got out of the water and looked at my HRM. Horror of horror, i forgot to make sure it was switched on!!! I took it for granted that i did press it without checking! So, now, there is no way for me to know what was my swim time. I only know i came out between Shazly and Bacin.

The swim was good. I just realised why people does freestyle and not breaststroke; it's the energy used when doing breaststroke. I felt my legs still as fresh as before the race! I vowed that i will practice more freestyle!

As i enters the transition area, i saw Azhar JB. Got one pics taken by him there!

Runing into transition, the bikes on my left and right are still there, so was the bikes infront and back, visibly missing was Steve, Zabil and Shazly and even Heckler! Time to crank it up!

The Bike

I quickly wore my shoes, put on the helmet and clipped the race belt and raced towards the end of the bike's transition area. Adrenalin pumping as everyone seems to be faster than me in the transition. It's almost like i'm moving in ultra slow motion and everyone was in a frenzied rush.

I jumped on the bike, clipped on and pedalled away. I got into aero position almost immediately after the right turn out of the Marina's road. Tucking in and cranking away, 33km/h seems to be slow when everyone else seems to be going way faster than you are.

As i entered the highway, i noticed one relay cyclist with camelbak overtook me. He should be in his early 50's but he was strong on the bike. No. 952, if i'm not mistaken. I tried to follow him the first 5km but was sorely left out. As we entered the backroad towards Linggi, the road turned from a flat to rolling hills.

I was determined not to let my speed fall below 28km/h if i can.

There was one or two that was drafting behind me, then they drop away, maybe because they couldn't catch up.

And By the time i cycled almost 10km, the first placed Elite athlete was visible right infront of me, coming from the opposite direction.

Not too bad, i told myself. I'm actually just about 20km away from them! Usually, by the time i reached that area, i would had seen other racers, but this time, i get to see the police escort and the trains of elites on bikes going back to T2! What a feeling.

That would had meant i'm also about 20-30 minutes behind them only!

I had my hope high and pedalled faster, never changed the crank from 52 and never exceed the rear cog to more than 19. Essentially, i was charged up.

Right before the U turn, i saw Steve, Zabil, then Shazly. Then i saw Hin Tong. Oh my god, i'm that close to them!

The No.952 that was really fast by then was just right behind me, somehow, i managed to overtook him and he is now offering to draft with me.

"Count to 100 and we change place", he shouted.

I was more than happy.

And so, for the remaining 20km, both of us just keep to our words and keep changing position. I was gunning down at 45km/h by then and still be able to conserve energy for the final 10km run.


Then, along came this army dude. Not sure his name, but he sort of don't understand the whole drafting thingy, erractically he keep switching sides and going back and forth between me and 952. 952 was visibly irritated as he keep asking him to stay the line.

Along the way, i saw Bacin, Azmar, Abu, Mejar Kalam, Faie, Jaja, May Senn, Kam, Fadzil.

I finished the 40km bike in 1:06. And proudly, that was my best 40km time ever! I also completed the bike ahead of some guys which i thought would be blazing down the road.

As i entered the Transition area, i saw Shazly.

The Run

"Right behind you bro!", i shouted to 430 Shazly.

Somehow, i took longer in the T2 this time, it was about to rain and i've no idea why i even took the trouble to STOP and pack my cycling shoes into the plastic bag! I only started running 4 minutes later.

By then, my watch says it's 1:10. I lost a good 4mins in T2.

I pushed ahead of the run. Then, i was overtaken by Hin Tong right before the exit of the Marina.

"bugger, you bike damn fast", he said as he pat my rear end

"Bugger, you are running freaking fast!", i shouted back.

Rain then started to fall after the first water station at KM2.

By then, the first elite athlete is gunning down his final 2km of run. That means i'm not very very far away from them. With almost 6km to go, i'm at a maximum of 30 minutes from them, provided if i maintain my pace.

Then the rain got heavier.

Then the wind got heavier and it starts to get cold. I skipped the water station at KM2 and only took a drink at the U turn.

Before the U turn, i high-five Zabil and Steve. They obviously have a great race.

At the U turn, i saw Shazly.

"push stupe, push", I told myself.

The final 5km i literally let my heart shot passed my 90% capacity. I pushed really hard. But i make it a point to say hi to all i know, hiding the tired face in the process.

With 1km to go, i pressed my NOS button. All the training i ever put in must be put to good use NOW. I ran faster and sprinted to the finish.

I cross the finish line in 2:00:26, Bike+T2+Run. It was a good 50 minutes of run over 10km distance. I crossed the line, punching my hand in the sky like i've beaten the pros.

Steve and Zabil and Dicky was there already.

I guess i cross the line in sub 2:40. My best time ever with zero swim training.

And it could only get better.

The monkeys

Some race stats:

Swim time: unknown -perhaps circa 35-40 minutes.
Bike+T2+Run : 2:00:26
Ave Hr: 155bpm
Max Hr: 176bpm
Kcal: 2494kcal

Total time : Circa 2:35-2:40

It rained really heavily at 11pm and everyone was drenched. It was cold and wet to say the least, and i do not have any finishing photo. No proof to say that i've crossed the line. I don't think i would need one, since i've managed to beat myself, and that was satisfaction enough.

I looked fat.

Next race to look forward to, and the last one for the year before Ironman 2008 will be Desaru Long Distance Triathlon.

All rooms are fully booked at the official hotel. I managed to secure some rooms and all the rooms were taken up on the first breath when i announced it to the monkeys. Expect anohter great race in store.

Pm 22 Tey suggested that as a sign of respect for the Late OP Zoob, that whoever that wants to pay a tribute to him, to observe a minute silence after the race horn goes off. The mechanic of the tribute is as follow:

1. gather at the back of swimmers at race start
2. when the gun goes off remain on shore in a minute silence while others start the race
3. we start our race in tribute to Zubir after 1 min
4. (optional) when we cross the line we can say in our hearts/own way.. "this one's for you Zubir"

Well Zoob sir, This BLOG ENTRY is for YOU, the way you would want it to be! Rest In Peace!

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