Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Powerman Asian Duathlon Championship 2012 Race Report

Alarm was set at 4:00, 4:15, 4:20...and my phone was on silence. I jolted up at 5:45am and straight went to the shower cursing myself for letting this happen. Not a good start. 
Believe me, this was the alarm that was set the night before. It just vibrated because I did not increase the alarm volume, which apparently on a jailbroken phone, controlled independently.
Because of that, I missed my breakfast but i managed to grab two home made muesli along to be eaten in the car. Due to good planning, all items has been loaded into the car and I only need to stay calm and remember to take the sports drink in the freezer and don't forget the bike!
Keep your gears simple, Less hassle and less drama
Thanks to some training i got from RMC back in the 90's, it took me 15minutes in total to leave the home and on my way to Putrajaya. The temptation to speed was there. I decided to stick to the limit and drive safe - the road was still wet from the rain the night before. Not worth the risk! As expected, it took me about 45minutes to reach Putrajaya, unload and move to transition and thanks to another participant leading a convoy, I did not get lost as I know the roads would already be closed to traffic. It was a frantic rush to Transition area and I managed to set up everything in 5minutes.
The hazy look was because the camera was still cold from the car aircond!
Breathing a short sigh of relief, i called wifey to let her know I safely made it. She did not answer but I guess she knows the intention. That's what you get for being married that long (cue: Ronan Keating's When You Say Nothing At All, please). By then, the MC for the day, dear friends Adele and Kannan has already asked all participants to move to the starting line or risk being asked to perform push ups as punishment.
Hurry! Hurry! Chop! Chop!
My hands were still cold and my heartrate were hovering around 80bpm due to all the rushing and excitement. From Car to Start line in 12minutes. Another record of some sort.
OK, now, do i remember how to activate the ""Auto-Multisports" function?
I started to loosen up as I bump into more and more friends. My Powerman Adventure officially started (after an hour of drama rushing to race start).
T-8 to Gun Off
Races like these for me is a social gathering with groups of friends. While we may often or very often bump into each other outside of races for training, nothing beats seeing each other all decked out in their racing suit and gears. It is like going to a wedding - minus the bride and groom (speaking of which, I am yet to see anyone using races as their wedding reception, that would be awesome - drinks is on the organisers!)
First i bumped into - Abu and another friend. Sorry bro, i did not catch your name though you have seen me at Section 14 foodcourt!
I must first and foremost apologise as i could had missed out some of your names. You see, one of the evil of social media is that we all don't use our real name (opps, myself included), or photos, or photos someone can recognise. Perhaps many of us are separated by at least one-degree of separation like being friend-of-friend. Like this gentleman above in BikePro racing top and this gentleman below
You know you are in trouble when he knows your name and you don't.
*point to self : Remember!!! It's rude not to know people that know you by your (nick)name!
At the starting line, i started to bump into more familiar faces as the MCs introduced all the Professional Duathletes that will be racing. As usual, it is a mini-gathering of some sort.
With Buddy Khairul, which was excited to introduce me to another friend, Mimi.
With Supermum Lizi (right) and friend. Both will be Sprinting!
With Abang Hadi all ready to roll
With Khoo and Yim. See how small i became with two Ultramarathoners towering over me? 
With Fairul. Sorry I surprised you!
TriPaku team. Super happy to see Fellow Ironman Chew, Esmann and Fadhli again!
With Zairin and Nik Raiha
With TPRC Heroes. :)
One last one before gun off!
As you can see, i managed to squeeze in 8minutes of fun before the gun went off at 7am sharp. What is there to do when the gun went off? We Race!
Run 1 : 11.4km
I wore the new Brooks Pure Drift shoes that was given to me a day before. It is only due to be launched worldwide on Jan 1, 2013. Was lucky to be part of the seeding exercise and I have to try and write an honest opinion about the shoe.
Bright Yellow with Fat Legs. Win!
I promise a review soon and I intend to put the shoe (and myself) to the full test - provided i can justify the hype about the shoe. I ran the first league without the sock liner and this shoe effectively became a ZERO drop or minimalist shoe. It was a risk I was willing to take - and the trust i have in the brand.
BANG! (actually, the gun sounded more like PIAK!)..and off we went!
I started my Garmin a brief moment after the gun went off. I was not sure what was my plan having only started with one muesli bar and a bottle of Accelerade. I am trying to see the best compromise for my race nutrition and currently see if Accelerade will help. It did in Desaru Long Distance. As i set myself into the running pace, i realised that i am doing close to a 4:00 pace. Fast by my own standard. My heart rate climb steadily from sub 100bpm to 150bpm within the first KM. From my own experience racing lately, I could hold a Zone 4 comfortably for 21km. This time around for 11.4km, I should, technically be able to do so. I maintained the pace and hovers about 4:30 pace and find it very comfortable. The new Pure Drift, lets just say that I did not feel it was there! It's damn light!
Those that know me well will know i race with my camera in hand. It is like an extension to my body. You will find a camera on me whenever i go. Racing days is of no exceptions - perhaps only less photos that will be taken. Otherwise, on my first league of the race, I've managed to stop and snap photos of unsuspecting friends. Have you see Kannan the MC looking confused?
Why is he NOT racing and taking photos? Thanks for announcing my (nick) name and also the wishes of recovery for my wifey. Appreciate it bro! When you say I will cross in 4:34...i was like...wah, you look me damn UP!
Of course, it was a good place to catch up with friends too. Old timer like Yusran, which never fail to be in major races like this often reminds me to take care of my health so i can continue to do this when i am 50.
Lean Mean Good Looking Machine (Yusran i meant, I am naturally good looking. :P)
Then of course, you get many others as you run the 11.4km loop. It is a small community and everyone knows almost everyone.
Esmann, which was involved in a hit&run about 2 years ago. Great to see you again bro! Chew, which has bulked up and muscular!
"Ada bagus?" Doc Yap said
Mission For Missing Children. Read all about it here.
Super Fast and running in a...CROCS?
Sorry Blur! You took me by surprise Adzim!
Ooo..another brother from a different parents! Hello Mac!
And there is nothing shy to run like a lady. In this case, run like Patsy. She is inspirational? She is what? 18?
Bumped into Lizi towards the end of my 11.4km. Steady lah this mummy!
Bumped into OP Shahrizal F85-89. I was to race in this racing top...but i was too lazy to go get it from my other brother from different parents aka Bandit
With D - all decked out in Pink! Nice!
I ran into Transition 1 and glanced over the watch to see myself completing the first 11.4km in 52:25. I was surprised!
A good (almost) 45seconds to run past 353 bicycles in Transition1!
Here is the first 11.4km run data from my Garmin Connect (for you data whores, like me)
My Transition 1 was extremely slow. It took almost 5minutes. But with the Biking league to be crucial and i actually rushed through the morning preparation, i realised i did not fill up my aero-drink bottle or un-velcro-ed my shoes...plus, what is another minute of sitting down counting your own hair on the legs. OK, i am just joking on that last action. I prepared the shoe for the return run. Since i ran the first league without sockliner, i ensured that the sockliner are placed in now, than later.
I now transform thee to a 4mm drop running shoes! *Poof*
By the way, this shoe, superb. Again, a full review on it, soon.
Thank You Tey Gor! The shoe and your photo made me look fast!
Bike 64KM
I push off from transition and mounted the bike, clipped on and started cycling. Then, i realised i was holding my camera...took a bit of time to stash it on the side pocket and secured the cable to ensure it doesn't fall off. I had my helmet blinkers on as well for safety (and some say, it make you look "fast")
Thank You Cycling Malaysia. Photo taken from their Facebook here. See me fiddle with my camera's cable!
For safety reason, i decided NOT to take any photos while riding. My decision was a good one as the road/lane closure was on one part of the road and with almost a thousand (Full, Sprint and Relay) cyclists on the road, it became scary. I've observed that many cycle next to each other blocking the road and making it dangerous for the faster riders to pass. I saw more than just a handful of near-misses. When you are behind another cyclist, you will not be able to see what is infront, more so when you are tired and in a daze. Most faster cyclists took the decision to get out of the lane and cycle out of the lane to overtake. Marshalls, all over the route, enforcing the NO DRAFTING rule ensured that the cyclists too, adhere to the safety precaution set by the traffic management.
No drafting rules apply...Thanks Imagines for the photo!
I believe my training on the trainer on high gears, high power output, the correct cadence and proper heart rate training in the past three weeks paid off handsomely. I felt there were so much power on the pedal stroke it was scary. It is as though i gained some extra ability on the bike. I could not help but smile to myself like a silly boy. I set the bike to the big chainring (53) and played with the gears which was 9 speed ranging from 12-20, considered to be a "racing gearing" due to the close ratio. The first loop of 32km was completed in less than an hour. Which was unheard off for me.
Thanks again Cycling Malaysia! Luckily i sucked in my tummy!
As i started the second loop and was crossing the Warisan Bridge, i had two bees hitting my left shoulder. I looked to my shoulder and horror of horror, one of them actually got confused and stung me! I literally saw how the stinger comes off from the bee's abdomen and it flew off. I then felt the sting. I was worried of any reaction and started to pay attention to any constriction to my airway. If it does, i would need to seek help and Putrajaya Hospital is JUST after the Wawasan Bridge. But i reasoned out that the adrenalin and the blood flow, plus the lactic acid and the excretion of waste from my body, the toxin will not be an issue - and it did not. It was a close call indeed!
I bought the Pearl Izumi tritop about a year ago. It was fitting. See how loose it is now? These gears are expensive! No wonder I've been chaffing! Thanks Tey Gor for the photo!
About 15km left on the bike loop, i suddenly realised that I've been hammering throughout the race. Half of me wondered if I should slow down since it is certain I will be doing a sub-5 (initially planned) and even what Kannan predicted, even if i walk the second loop of the second run. As corny as I may sound - this race was for wifey. She would had been racing next to me if not because of the accident that almost paralyse her.
Home Run from Biking. Thanks Vivien for the photo!
I suprised myself (by now you know, i am always full of suprises, I am a suprise-fool?) as I noticed I clocked a fast 1:58 for my 64km bike! No way it ever happened!

Again, the endless run past 353 bicycles space begin. I ran for 20meters and realised it will be silly to do that. So, i went and take out my cycling shoes and ran to my transition. Good timing so far. Could I have done a Sub 4:00 race? I wondered. For the first time, i noticed that no bike 
Run 2 : 11.4KM
I finished another serving of Accelerade and had a piece of homemade muesli for energy. Can't afford to risk going rock bottom when I needed the last push on the run.
Please take a guess what this is made off. With me this predictable, it won't be tough. But, recipe coming soon for this perfect muesli made by Wifey.
As i exited the Transition 2, fellow Ironman, Ho, was right infront of me. What better way to spring another surprise pic?
Brader! Don't scare me can or not?
I continued to run and the Pure Drift with the sockliner were more plush. Otherwise, it felt the same with real feel to the road. A little over 3km, it started to rain.
And less people on the road too. 
From a distance, i saw a few trisuits and top that i know looked familiar. Sometimes, when you were racing long enough, you can recognise people from their gaits and also their favorite tri-top or favourite running vest. Yes, we are that predictable - and i am glad it wasn't just me.
With Abang Alauddin - always with his red petak petak jersey
The unmistaken Chris.
Along the way, we make new friends too, like this super strong girl that eventually end up on the podium. Super strong if not because of her cramps, she would had bettered her performance!
Zairin surprised me by shouting for my name. Next to him is the eventual ladies 30-39 3rd Placing. Azlinawati!
I ran the first loop in about 30minutes and I know i won't be able to match the time of Run 1. however, I am guranteed a sub-5 already and that is considered "mission accomplished". I somehow stopped at the water station near transition and had a familiar person shouting out for me. It was somene i knew (first) from tweeter. Izwah!
Hello Hello! Sorry photo blur! It was my sweat covering the lens!
Before i snapped her pic, i posed for her. Afterall, life ain't need to be so serious ;-)
Hurry Hurry Before Cramp! Photo from Izwah's tweet.
Thank you Izwah and volunteers!

Not one to be "just happy" because I already got what i wanted, i decided to push for it. The legs felt it could still take some punishment. All it takes it the head to coax the legs and the rest of the body to stay focused and keep running. And Ran I did.
Thank You Mr. Chan WK!!! Photo from Run 1. But you get the drift lah, i ran as if my life depends on it in the Second Run, Second loop!
I stopped at the third and second last water station and poured ice cold water on myself.
Two on the head. Splashed...COLD!
Two on the chest. Splashed...damn it, now my nipples will show.
Two on the thigh. Soaked...and it woke my legs up.
I told myself to imagine the last 6.4km to be similar to how I would run with the two dogs - that include how the dogs will sprint, slow down, pee and sprint again (don't worry, i did not stop to pee).
Very constipated face. Reason why I don't look good if push too hard. Thank you Tey Gor!
 I had some reserves left and with whatever I had left, i pushed forward.
OK. I should at least try to smile. Haha! Thanks Tey gor!
One.Last.Twenty.Strides.Fast. I think the Race official got confused why I am still taking photos.
I have big head when looked from the back.
It worked pretty well as I managed a decent 5:36/km on my last run and wrapped up the 11.4km in 1:04:24. In fact, my heart worked the hardest with it pounding close to my 95% limit.
I crossed the line and saw my watch to register a 4:02:30 based on Gun Time. The official timing could be anything nearer to 4:05. What is there to complain? I did better than i expected myself to do, and this finishing is all for wifey. Some of you might not know, I raced this wearing (no, not my wife's underwear. I race commando. Yes, that's TMI) my wife's sunglasses. The very same one she wore when she was hit by the motorbike weeks ago. I brought along a bit of her and that, could had given me the extra push.
Somehow, the color of the medal, the Finisher T and the sunnies...they all matches.
I think for this race, I outdid myself. I came with expectation to finish and qualify for it. I set 5hours as my benchmark. Kannan in the earlier part predicted a 4:34 finish, likely based on my 11.4km timing. I then went on for a timing I couldn't believe myself.
Post Race
The organiser this year has prepared ice cream cones for us to celebrate finishing the race. Been a while since i indulged in this and I allowed it based on "good performance". :)
But somehow, due to tiredness, the ice cream did not taste as good. But nothing was wasted anyway. I slowly made my way across the road and found Nurina siting there snapping photos for Tadonamo Triathlete group - which apparently, I am an indirect member due to association in Facebook.
With Rupert, that finished 5minutes ahead of me. Nurina seen wearing the Tadonamo dryfit T. I want one too. Haha!
I then called wifey to break the news to her. After all, i am sure she is waiting for news from me.
Halo? Halo! Ya. I finished. No, I finished, not I am finished. :P
The joy of wifey's voice and the unbelieavable good timing was worth all the constipated facial expression that happened at the last 100m of finishing. With all "official" business done, it was time to have real fun - and that meant taking photos of friends running past!
Pat in her groove
Nik strutting down the road

Karen having a flying day

Esfah Lili The Duathlete.

Yusran My Bro.
Lovely couple Lizi and Hin Toong
Doc Pui San doing her thing
Azlinawati giving me the thumbs up

My Ironman buddy Fadhli giving TWO thumbs up.

Lovely Adeline Jiggy With It
Terence Gangham Styling it.
Delectable Chris. A pleasure to follow her pace

Cynthia powering through
Ramzul came back from Vietnam, for this and he finished and qualified the race. Well done!
Abe Yim. :)
Superfast Siok Bee.

One and Only Ultraman Kannan. Inspiring bro.
The ever fun to have around Ezan and D.

Phui Tin found a new pain-sport

Kok Aik. Ironman. Father. Husband. Buddy Triathlete.
Kok Wai The Aircraft Engineer.
Doc Yap Training hard for IMWA. Good Luck!
Camwhore maximum
My dearest Colleague.
With Lynn waiting for Phui Tin
With Khoo and friend.
With Dicky. He usually races, but not that day.
You know those Boardman Bike? If you want, better start being friends with Eugene.

Never tasted that good!
Friends from Mission for Missing Children.
If you wondered what happened to the bee sting, lets just say that the stinger stayed on my shoulder until i removed it much later.
A bee died for this. As for me, I am now itchy.
Looked like something that started badly (woke up late) ended wonderfully with catching up session with friends and buddies and a good race timing as bonus. I managed to take a video of me doing a video review of the Pure Drift while doing my second run second loop. Wait up for that review soon. All i can say was the shoe, awesome.
1. Quick Release has been doing this for years. With years of experience and running of races like these, they never once claimed to be "professionals".
2a. Water station on the run was approximately 1.25km apart. If you have nothing to do on Sunday and want to make your entry fee worth it, come over and drink until you get your money's worth.
2b. I initially thought there were only ONE water station on the bike. There were TWO. Which makes carrying TWO bottles obsolete.
3. Traffic control was great. Apart from one instances near one interchange, Marshall and authorities kept everyone safe.
4. No Drafting rules fully enforced.
5. The route planned were superb.
6. Ice cream at the end of the race. What is there to complain?
1. The biking route could had taken 1.5lanes, with 2 lanes closed. That way, slower cyclists can stick to the left without worrying anyone blocking.
Seriously, there was nothing to complain about other than the suggestion for a larger/wider bike lane. Due to inexperience, some cyclist tend to take up the whole lane, making the faster riders getting out of the designated lane to overtake - which then expose them to traffic. Yes, that was me politely asking (and telling) "Bike On Right" and "Thank You".
See You All in 2013!
Update Nov 7, 2012 : Official Results
Run 1 Loop 1: 5.7km - 24:55
Run 1 Loop 2: 11.4km - 52:37
Transition 1: 4:03
Bike : 64K - 1:58:31
Transition 2: 3:20
Run 2 Loop 1: 5.7km - 31:28
Run 2 Loop 2: 11.4km - 1:05:45
Total time (Gun): 4:04:45
Total time (Nett): 4:04:15
Position : 32/259 qualifier. 32/297 age group finisher.


  1. Well done Stupe! Awesome timing.
    2013?? Maybe, if I feel like to cycle again.

  2. Steady lah, you're getting faster and faster! I'm sure your wife would have been very proud. Well done!

    1. Thanks Bro. Lets hope it keeps improving (the fitness). It is superb to see how the hardwork paying off.

  3. Congrats bro! That is an excellent write up.

  4. First of all, congratulations on your Powerman!!! Awesome review. Next year I'll join Powerman! It's so nice that you race for your wife :)

    1. Good stuff bro. With your fitness level, this will come natural to you! Thanks fr the compliment!