Monday, July 08, 2013

Port Dickson International Triathlon 2013 Race Report Part 1

The "must do" race of the year, done. I have been doing this edition since 2005. My timing has never been impressive with the best outing to be in 2007 at 2:35. I must admit that I've been clocking in constructive running mileage as the core and base of my fitness and this race was really to "test" my running after the Swim and Bike, and to work on my transition.
First of all, me and my family would like to thank a certain kind individual and his wife for letting us have the room. I could not manage to book a place to stay which is near and affordable enough. I must start learning to book the room the same time I sign up for the race next year. So, THANK YOU buddy. You know who you are.
Onwards To The Report
I am writing this now at 12am as I would not be free for the next few days. This entry will be up for a few days so do come back in a day or two time for new entry. As usual, I will try to capture as much as I could.
Me and the troops arrived at PD Triathlon official hotel at 9.30pm on Saturday. The race briefing just ended as I parked the car at the hotel basement. This is the n-th year I've missed Uncle Chan's animated race briefing. Considering myself an "old-timer" I already know what has been shared by the gentleman and how the race would work - this is despite knowing that the 2013 edition will have a "beach run" after the swim, before entering Transition 1 (T1).
Checking into the hotel, my friend has helped taken the race kit and left it in the hotel room. The first thing I did was to take the swimming cap out and wash the powder preserving the latex cap. I have bad allergy to these powder and it often make my eyes watery.
Triathlon Tip : If you have allergy to rubber, wash.
With that done, I went on to prep the items. Ensuring and playing it mentally what I need. Almost a no brainer as over the years, I've learnt to KISS : Keep It Simple, Silly. I used to have everything short of the kitchen sink at Transition and realised that It really hinders concentration as the mind would be too busy trying to figure out "what's next should I take". Most of the time, you either miss out the most important items (like your race fuel or even your race belt) and take along things you don't need, like another pair of socks.
Swim (goggle), Bike (Helmet, Clips, Sunnies), Run (GoBionicRide). Hammer Nutrition as fuel (in Camelbak Podium and bike bottle), Garmin 910XT (on all time) and race belt (on at Bike and run)
If you race for the first few times, it is completely understandable to bring everything. Over time, you will learn to trust the gears you have. 
I call it a night earlier than (my usual) normal. With no blogs to write and a race to do, it was lights off at 11pm for me. Alarm has been set to ring at 5.30am. Breakfast too, has been sorted out.
Race Day 
I woke up in high spirit looking forward to the race. Triathlon races has been rare for me, more so if it is in Malaysia. First thing after brushing my teeth were to open up a bar of Hammer Nutrition bar (chocolate chip). At 220kcal/bar, it was sufficient for race morning without overloading the tummy. I pop in 4 Endurolytes tablets expecting a hot day in the office.
Sharp at 6.15am, i woke wifey up and tell her I am heading to race site. A quick kiss and I was on my way. Transition was abuzz and alive by 6.30am. It was good to see this many participants.
Record Breaking Participation again!
I set up my transition area quick and laid out the items by order of logic. Always play it in your mind what you want/see what you will do in Transition.
Good To Go!
Then it was to head to the numbering station - a ritualistic practice that marks your body and makes you feel race-ready. This time around, to save time, the organiser has decided only to mark on one arm. I got mine/instructed mine to be done like how it was done during Xterra Malaysia with the number facing infront and not the side.
Most placed it on the side.
As the break of dawn, everyone was ushered to the swim start area. To my pleasant surprised, the troops were already up and joined me at the beach. Nothing beats having the family next to you in races like these.
Race Ready!
As usual, races like these are opportunities to catch up with friends. That morning was no exception.

The Swim
Race started at 7:25 and participants were released in waves. With the 18-29 in the first batch (Orange cap), followed by the 30-39 (Blue), 40+ (White) and then the Ladies (Pink) and the relays (Yellow). My race started at 7:28am and it was me starting at the back of the pack after a short prayer for the dear friends that has departed. 
Swim Start. Spot me! Thanks Ann!
The water was super calm that morning and I managed to get into rhythm for the first 500m and then I found myself right in the middle of the average swimmer in my wave. Situation that usually only happen at race start (the kicking and slapping) happens again mid-swim as some of the less experienced swimmer/triathlete started to swim defensively with one or two switching to breast-stroke the moment your fingers touched their body. 
Passing the first buoy and heading into the Marina was alright until i noticed a few swimmer cutting across infront of me...yeap, no guesses what they were doing. 
I continue swimming and try not to be disheartened by those that U-turn earlier than expected. The remaining swim was again physical with me bumping into the back-marker of the first wave. The swim back to shore was pretty much drama-less as many chose to swim in the inner right lane and I stayed on the leftmost portion. Exiting the swim at 35mins, I know any attempt for personal best is already down the drain and I would just need to maintain an easy race to finish it strongly.
Sticking the tongue out at Ann. Thanks for the pic!
The organiser has made the race a bit more interesting by making everyone run an extra 1km on the beach before entering transition. It worked well to level the playing field a bit and spread everyone out. That too, you can see the shower at T1 was jam-packed that I had to dodge others at the front.
Photo from Velocipede. Thank you!
Total time taken for Swim+run (total 2.5km) was 44mins. It was to T1 from there.
Captured by the family!
T1 was completed in 2mins 20seconds, which was pretty decent considering I am known to spend ages in transition. Racing without a camera and putting priority certainly helped speed things up. The bike section is not alien to me. PD has always been "pancake" flat on the bike route and it is a good place to score a cycling PB. It is also draft legal though I avoid drafting as triathlon for me is an individual sports. 
Am always happy to see the supporters
I have to stop now as the laptop battery is running low. I forgot to bring back the laptop charger, which meant I would need to make a detour to the office tomorrow to pick that up before heading up north for an audit. Such is life of a wannabe triathlete that hold a fixed job as a consultant. I hope you enjoy reading Part 1 for now. Part 2, will come soon, hopefully tomorrow if I can squeeze in an hour for this.
Planting a kiss for wifey


  1. What?! I didn't notice swimmers doing that illegal u-turns. Then again, I was 3-4 minutes behind you, so perhaps the cheating had stop by then. Not nice to know that this still happens!

    1. Maybe you were too fast and those that wanted to do this already either passed at the front or at the back. ;-)

  2. Why does every race people want to cheat, but anyway forget those cheaters and work on our own timing. Looks like PD tri is gaining popularity.. hope the price dont increase. Awesome Race Report Bro

    1. Because it's easier to post a PB that way than to train and race for it.

      Sad isn't it?

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