Pushed off from KL at 4.30am in the morning and reached PD at 6am. Rested a bit with Azmar in his room and set out to the transition with Bandit by 7am.
The crowd reminds me of IronMan. The endless racks of transition stand and a total of 1335 people (inclusing sprint) registered for the race. Splitting it in the middle would still meant a cool 600 odd people per race.
That is a lot of people in one race.
My race number this time was 377, that just goes to show how many people joined since 3 years ago.
I went into the race hoping to do a new PB. It is always do-able in PD and PD is one of the course where the distance is certified to be of correct distance (other olympic distance tri in the country is circa that distance la, but not the correct 1.5k - 40k - 10k distance). Moreover, i kept my finger crossed that the blister won't get any worse than it is. I had both the heels patched and bandaged with those micropore plasters.
The swim this year was more or less more organised. The swimmers are placed in cage prior to the start and was let go in waves. I was testing the new swim goggle. THe Speedo Biofuse...it's as good as diving/snorkel mask minus the nose part. Shazly has been using it for the past 1 year and i thought i should had just get one myself since i always have problem of my goggle fogging up at all the wrong time. Plus the smaller swim goggle are hard to place back should it gets dislodged from the face, either by overly excited swimmer's legs, elbow or knee. Swim start in triathlon is like contact sports. I agree to that.
Speedo BioFUSE Rift Swim Goggles
I was breaststroking all the way. Lost some confident to freestyle and i don't seems to get my bearing right. Either i swim into some buoys, or i swim into someone's leg. I keep both Shazly and Mervyn in sight. It's easy because Shazly is wearing that huge goggles and Mervyn was doing breaststroke as well. Those all too familiar team tri top gave it away and make spotting easier. I had some problem getting used to the goggle initially as water keep seeping in, but that was me failing to adjust it properly before the race start. As i said above, the goggle was a charm to reposition, just tilt the head back, flip the bottom and push it back onto the face. Kautim!
The final 300 meters back to shore, i swam harder than i did, to try to close the gap with Mervyn and as i reach the shore, Arif exited just infront of me...bloody fast swimmer!
I came out of water in 32 minutes. Hardly my own personal best timing (best was 28 minutes 3 years ago).
Noticed the goggle mark on my face?
Running to T1 takes forever. Not to mention it was damn tiring doing those baywatch run on those soft sand. The plaster on my blister came out and the stinging sensation was already bad in the salt water and it seems to get worse as the sand starts to cover the wound.
I took a quick wash at the shower and ran to my bike. Took me sometime to kit up as i had to ensure that the wound is cleaned from sand. Wore socks. Wore helmet. Wore sunnies. Wore shoes. Wore race belt. And i'm off. Then the aero bottle dislodged from the bracket. Darn it! Took sometime to fiddle with the bottle and heard Hin Toong shouting to ask me to forget the bottle (it is as Shazly says, only 40km what).
I stride the bike immediately i passed the line and started cranking up the cadence.
Passing through the roundabout, i was hitting 35km/h and had some relay riders drafting me. I was hitting 42km/h 500m before the turning to Linggi. The bike is Evil. She just want to go, go and go. Entering the trunk road, i continue cranking and found myself going nothing less than 35km/h on the flat and decline. I approach the climb rahter technically and thank goodness i managed to ride over them within the 20-25km/h speed.
Right after the U-turn, a big train (peleton), led by Sam Pithcard and Azmar came through. I downed a pack of gel and happily jumped in. The peleton has almost 20 people in it. Arif, Edwin, Azmar was some of the familiar faces. The rest were literally gunning for glory. The train was moving in a comfortable 35 to 40km/h speed.
I caught up with Shazly and decided to break off from the peleton as the situation gets a bit dangerous. Riders are cutting in from left and right and riding on the opposite side of the road to get ahead. Staying put with shazly, we cycled our own race within the 30-35km/h range.
Azmar was doing great. He was having so much fun on the Stinger 90. I was having fun. I've never felt more in tune on the bike until now. It is like the Ordu was made for me and happily adhering to all my movement and pushing.
I enter T2 at a time i believe was faster than last year. I failed to notice the timing but i recall seeing something like 1:02 (or was it 1:20???).
I ran into T2 and missed my bike rack. I had to take one round around the wrong rack to my own rack.
By then, i don't see Azmar anymore. Shazly and Mervyn is just right there. I know i have to move faster.
I realised i've managed to ignore the pain on the heel. Which is good. THe wound must had gotten numb with the cadence movement on the bike. I slipped on the runnign shoes and i grimaces in pain. Because this blister was caused by this shoe, the location and position of the part that eats into the wound fitted like glove.
Nevermind then, the socks is already soaked with blood anyway.
I geared up and started running. I promised myself to bust my lung and decided not to wait for Shazly which was running with me out of T2. I was desperate for a PB, and right at that moment, i am almost there, if i can manage a 50 minutes run.
Yeah. 50minutes in these wounds.
Again, i managed to block it off after 2km of run. I saw Adzim on the opposite site of the road and i know i am not that far from him, maybe a good 15 minutes away, or 3km away. I pushed further, managing to stay on a 5:00 pace until the pain gets unbearable again. Found a comfy 5:30 pace and ran faster.
This year running route changed. All the previous years, we were running on the trunk road to PD town, U-turning at Avilion. This year, the run route takes us to the turning to Linggi, on the unshedded highway.
It was hot hot hot. But if there is something i've learnt, is to put ice into your tri top, let the ice jinggle around the tummy and lower back to keep the temperature down...and those ice could be used as lifesaver; push the ice out and munch of them. INSTANT gratification on a hot sunny windless late morning!
I very much survived that way and only 2 water station was with ICE, unfortunately.
I ran faster the last 1km and i know i am a bit far off for my own PB. I don't think i could dip below 2:40 (unofficial timing, official was 2:45) i did last year and i just hope the final push will help shave 30 seconds off the last year's official timing.
I pushed myself harder than i've ever did in this year's race. No more fooling around with the camera. Somehow thought that i should stop being so overly irritating in any races. I know people are looking and it is time to just do my best.
Between Expectation and Pain...i am clearly upset there is no PB
My PD 05 timing: 2:46:41
My PD 06 timing: 3:05
My PD 07 timing: 2:45
My PD 08 timing: 2:??
Anyone has my pic on the bike? I would love to see myself on the bike.
PDIT 08 results is out. Mine is here : Stupe