Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Powerman 2010 Du-ing Relay Race Report

What a good race. To begin with, courtesy of Honda Malaysia, i had the Jazz for the whole weekend. It was a coincidence that it was also my birthday weekend. Driving to Lumut is like a yearly affair. Sometimes, it is more than just once a year if work brings me here.

Me and wifey first thought about joining Relay together when i asked her permission if i can race Powerman in November. Back then, the condition of my health wasn't very sure, not helping was that i struggle during PD Tri. She suggested that we tag-team and join the race. After all, what is running 11km and 10km on a Sunday?
We called ourselves E.A.R.N. It is the initial of each family member. Those that know us would know what each stand for.

As the day grew nearer, wifey had the usual panic attack about not able to run, or will make us to be the last team that finish the race. I kept assuring her that it doesn't matter, as we are there to exercise and to be with friends, not to forget to get away for a mini break (she is slowly buying the idea of "racing during holiday" concept).
The best part of a "racing holiday". License to eat before race. This one extra because also birthday dinner.
Unlike last year and the year before and three years ago, I sort of decided not to be a big hero and drive down at 3am in the morning for the race at 7.30am. I drove down alone through Road 5(Kuala Selangor - Teluk Intan-Lumut) three years ago, then with Mervyn two years ago (reached early enough to even help Mel and Adele to set up the counters!) and with wifey last year. I am getting old and my reflexes are also getting slower and no point risking a drive down just to save a couple of hundred on room stay.

Bonus was that we were guest at CK's staffs' quarter and we could not appreciate it more! After all, we just need somewhere safe to put up a night. So, Thank you Chief Kutu!

We pushed off from KL late Saturday afternoon to reach Lumut by 7.30pm. Then myself and wifey went to Kampung Cina in Sitiawan for some seafood. I last eaten at this area about 3 years ago when i was out on fieldwork with my colleague from Manila, Albert Payapaya. The owner of the site we did some work brought us to Kampung Cina and had some seafood. It was very reasonably priced back then i recalled and the food was good. Instead of going to the place i went the last time (Coconut Villa), we settled for a simpler setup Villa Restaurant about 300meters further. The place looked promising with almost all tables taken up.

Must be good. Go to where everyone go and you won't go wrong.

As we sat down on the table, i saw the whole bunch of friends happily and concentrating on eating. Kannan the Ultraman saw us and we walked over to say hi. I only know him and Alex Hay. We then sat down and ordered our food.

Mantis prawn kam heong style.
Choy tam stirred fried with garlic.
Oo-Chien (fried oyster on flour/egg mix)
Butter crab.
The portion that was served was huge for two person and cost us RM63 including two large pandan coconut. It was cheap and definitely better than those places in town (Klang Valley that is). The Oo-Chien was the most refreshing i've tasted as instead of soggy oily flour/egg mix, it was just egg white fried until crispy with thumb sized oyster thrown on top.
Half way while waiting for the food to come, Raymond Tomato, Mitch Looi and Tony Quay spotted me across the next table and came over to wish me happy birthday!

Boy was i embarrassed! But HAPPY!
Alex and Kannan offered to get me a Guiness...but i had to decline as i don't drink. Thanks both and thanks Tony, Ray and Mitch!

Our food reached as everyone started to leave. We ate and returned back to the CK's place and call it a night. I had my bike setup from home and for this race, i brought my Ordu - my least ridden bike. I am still unable to tame her. Not helping with weak legs and all.
I was pretty charged up though i did not had a good rest due to some pulled muscle from my right arms to my right lower back - those "restless" feeling like you had a phantom arm type? Those that the more you try to rest them, the more they will twitch and felt even more tired? I had wifey massaging me and giving me deep tissue massage using her elbow to try to ease the pain. Worked for a while and i think i went back to sleep at 4am.

It actually started raining at 1.30am(i can't sleep though i thought i heard Shazly snoring from upstairs) and was still raining when i finally woke up at 5.30am. It was still drizzling as we reach the race venue. For once i thought to myself that Lumut will not be HOT this year. Phew!
By 7.15am, the organiser has requested that everyone move to the starting point. As usual, racing weekend meant congregation of many of us that know each other. I love this.
The Kalams
The Inspirator Emma and Mac
The Mum and the Tryathlete's Triple-S
The extended family
The Good Looking
The Racing Babes
The better lookings
And the item that make you, even when you are not moving.
The race for the full distance individual started off at 7.30am sharp. Relay gun off 10 minutes later and the this will be followed by the Sprint 10minutes after Relay and finally the Sprint Relay meant for Malakoff Staffs wanting to try to DU(as in Duathlon).

Hats off to Malakoff under AJ's command as he has ensured that his men and women stays healthy and engaged in sporting activities at least four times a year via major races. Kudos to Quick Release too for always organising world class top-notch races. They never disappoint.

The plan was that wifey run the first 11km, then i will cycle the next 64km and wifey finished it off with a 10km run. Somehow, i know she is not feeling too good and no point pushing her to do more and i gladly volunteered to do the last 10km run. I then realised that i am just 11km short to complete the whole Powerman distance and decided that i will just run with her the first 11km.

After all, if i don't, what am i gonna do for an hour while waiting for her?
We took a slow run to warm up as the gun went off and i know it is just a matter of 15minutes before the fast Sprint category racers come charging through. As the weather in the morning was super duper nice, the first 5.5km was completed in pretty decent timing of 40minutes. Key to long distance endurance race is to pace oneself. It is often very easy to get sucked into other people's tempo and then you bonk out and get left behind only to feel ultra-shitty after that.

I was not wrong to calculate that the faster individual racers (the Pros and the Strong ones) will overtake us and complete their 11km within 45 minutes. As calculated, at least 10 of them ran past us as we were running into the third km of our race.
I then realised that wifey could do her PB for 11km run. Her 10km has always been hovering at 1:20 and i know she can be pushed to do better. I picked up the pace and hurried her on, keeping the pressure and baiting her to go faster. It paid off as she finished our run in 1:16 for 11km - and that was her not feeling fully alright. Proud of you baby!

As soon as we enter Transition, i kissed wifey goodbye and geared up for the bike league. The last i actually cycled in a race was during PD Tri. The last i cycled after PD tri was two weeks ago. I so know i will be in for a surprise.

As i pushed my bike out and took some Powerbar Endurance drink, i knew it will be a long hot day and i knew i will be sweeping behind the race.

Being in a relay race put you in a spot where you are at least 10minutes slower than the last person doing the full distance, and 32km more than the person doing Sprint. That would meant the full distance racers will finish the race before you and 10minutes running could spell a good 2km distance away. This also meant the Sprint racers will be having their yearly taufoofar and cendol treats by the organiser while you are still hot on your bike seat.

But i was there just to complete the distance. It doesn't matter. I was happy my heart rate and i had zero fatigue feeling. I felt healthy and definitely much better than 1 year, or 6 months ago!
The 64km on the Powerman route could easily be completed within two hours or below. The route is pancake plate with a big banana bridge at the end. 
Don't let it bother you or you will end up like this dead monkey that rushed through the road to pick up a energy bar/gel dropped by some athlete.
Horrid, i know. I almost became part of the race statistic too if i am not too careful.

My first lap was done within an hour and by the time i touched the 60km mark, i decided to take things a bit easier and just spin. I could felt onset cramps on the calves. I caught up with a foreign worker on bicycle and cycled with him for a while before pulling away slowly. Guessed he was worried that this colorful chap wearing a sperm helmet was checking his rear.
My last 2km i saw a girl struggling to continue to cycle. But i can tell that she was very determined though. A bit of encouragement to pull her along earned me an unofficial friend.

I clocked in from biking in 2:20. Not too bad considering i now have a fresh pair of leg that won't go all jello when i start running the last 10km.
I heard Kannan announcing Juliana, Azmar and Yusran's name as i started my run. They have already finished their race in sub 4:10.
Needless to say, i spent almost 10minutes in each transition - taking things a bit too easy i supposed. You can even see racer pushing their bike home when i starting my run! Wakakakaak!

As i move out for the run, a quick compulsory peck on wifey's lips for luck and i was off. I then saw a familiar face waiting under the shade.
Hello Hot Mama Lizi!
I begin to make small run when the unofficial friend caught up and offered me a drink. She then told me that she will follow me (or rather my pace). Now i am under pressure to continue running! Hahahaha!

As i slowly made my way in constant 7:00 pace under the hot heat of 40degC, i noticed less and less people on the running route and more and more traffic plying the area. I know for certain that most people would finished the race within 4:30-4:45.

The unofficial friend walked and ran like doing interval training to catch up with me. I assured her i won't be running any faster than what i am already doing. 
Unofficial friend following closely behind
I found out she was doing this the first time, i did not ask her where she came from but judging from her speaking Cantonese, i don't think it is from Singapore! Towards the end of the first 4km, i checked my timing and it was almost 35minutes already. Having started the race 10minutes later, i knew whoever that wants to attempt to be known as a Powerman finisher (within cut off) will have to push it more.
It is such joy to see human pushing their limits. I constantly push myself and the people around me. In fact, if i have my ways, people that wants to work in my office should at least be able to run a 10km race; anything more than that is a bonus and sure hire!

The unofficial friend's friend came looking for her and accompanied her the rest of the way. I wished her luck and ask her to keep moving forward. 

On my second loop, Chief Kutu caught up with me. I have high admiration for this man. I have the same admiration for man like AJ. What we three have in common is that we are all trained for at least 2 years in Royal Military College. Age gap is not an issue as we are bonded by the sports that we do. I then decided to take things another notch easier by walking and running with CK to the finish! 
My last 10km took me 1:20. But it was all worth it. With the sweeper bus creeping slowly behind us while we chatted away and while CK's wifey, Jaja stopped every 50meters to provide coconut water and Coke for CK, we certainly felt like superstar!

Even the St. John Ambulance are sweeping their staffs away. LOL!
With whatever energy we had (actually, we had plenty still ;-)), we crossed the line in 5:51(CK) and 5:41(me).
We are both finisher in our own way, never mind that we did not earn the Finisher's shirt as we both got our medal and Team E.A.R.N and CK are Powerman in our own way.
We were the last. The organiser has packed up most items. The MC, UltraKannan concluded the race with the safe arrival of the two young men that held everyone up for 6 hours. :)

Thanks for reading and see all of you in the next race. Don't forget to say "HI!!!" to Team E.A.R.N!


  1. Yeah, i was at the stadium they announced your arrival at the finishing line. I was expecting a group singing of Happy Birthday.

    Always enjoy reading your race report and the pictures.

    Will come to say hi next time. I was in transition waiting for my cyclist to come back when you transition to cycling.

  2. Bro, thanks for reading. I was just hoping the finish banner was still there when i come in. Else, it will feel like the usual sunday bukit aman run. :)

    I did not expect friends to be still around as it was already lunch time and i know most ppl are already in the hall.

    The best thing of coming in last? No obe to fight with for shower stall! The cold shower was God-sent bro!

    While we know each other by name and reputation, lets say hi the next time. We all belong to one big tri/du/cycling/running community.

  3. me> 7minit away me from Baju. DEM!!

  4. Love reading post race reports, including yours. Was also a first for me but I did catch you and CK coming through the finishing line. Well done!

  5. I'm also one of the last to finish the race.timing almost similiar to yours 5:40-5:45. Hopefully i'll do better next year.


  6. Mjufri- next year u run faster by 7 minutes and i will run faster by 41mins ok?

    Yim- :) well done for finishimg and thanks for waiting!

    Kecy - :) you might had came in right before me and ck lah! See, last place not easy!