Qing Hong and I signed up for this race since last year as my neighbour asked if I was interested to participate in this race. Newbie Triathlon is the group that is coordinating the accomodation and logistics for people who wants to participate in this event.
This is my first overseas race and luckily I have Qing Hong to accompany me. Otherwise, I may not have sign up for this race.
I have to admit that I did not have sufficient training on cycling. I only managed to complete my bike fit 1 month before the race, received by bike cleats and pedal 1.5 months before the race and practise with cleats 3 weeks before the race. So I am wearing normal shoes for my regular cycling on the road as I am not yet competent to cycle with cleats.
I have my regular running training on Tuesday and Thursday, so I feel quite confident about my run. Unfortunately, I suffer from a minor right knee injury about 1 month before the race. So I had to reduce the intensity of my run training.
4th March 2017
All the participants in the rest assembled at Safra Jurong to load our bikes on the bus at 6am. Everything went very smoothly, from clearing the customs to reaching our hotel at Putra Jaya at 2pm. The hotel that we stayed in is Dorsett Putra Jaya which is just 3 minutes walk from the race site. It is super convenient. Newbie tri organisers even went the extra mile to help all the participants to collect the race packs.
So we took our hotel room keys and went up to our rooms to settle down. Then we proceed to bring our bikes to the race event site to check in. Qing Hong sent his bike to the bike mechanic to adjust his bike brakes first before we check in our bikes. This is the first time I experience such a grand and large scale event. Furthermore, I saw many high end bikes which Qing Hong has kindly enlighten me with. Bikes that cost more than $20,000!! OMG! I would never spend that kind of money on bikes.
At the start line before bike check in
Putra Jaya is akin to a dead town on the weekends. Not much traffic on the road and most of the cafeterias were closed too. We had trouble finding food to eat.. We walked almost an hour to find a place to eat. The food was not good. But we can’t complain though since we thought that there isnt any other food eateries. We only discovered there was a restaurant at the ground level of the hotel. We didnt turn towards that direction when we exited the hotel lobby. Such a noob. The food served at that restaurant is much better than what we had today.
We went to the supermarket below the hotel and purchased apple, milk and isotonic drinks to load up. We turned in around 8pm as we need to wake up at 3.30am to have breakfast at 4.30am and be at the race site at 6am.
5th March 2017 – Race Day
We woke and had breakfast according to plan. Then we went back to our rooms to gear up and ensure we had all our gears with us before proceeding to the race site. We pumped my bike tyres and then did some easy run to warm up. Then we feel like “unloading” our breakfast. Initially, Qing Hong wanted to use the mobile toilets at the race site but I suggest going back to our hotel room to do it since it is cleaner and more comfortable. That is the benefit of having the hotel super near to the race site. Done with the “unloading”, we back to the race site for the final warm and prepare to start the race.
We ran the first 10km at our comfortable pace of 6min per km and increased the pace to 5min 30s in the middle of the run. We felt very comfortable after the first 10km and we took our time during the transition to have 1 banana, 1 packet of energy gel and water. Pushed off our bikes and off we go for the bike leg of the race. Time to experience the crazy slopes. I was able to maintain 30km/h on flat ground but i am very slow on up slopes (around 15km/h). I felt I did reasonably well for the first lap of 30km as I complete it in 1 hour and 15 mins. But my nightmare kicked in. I felt soreness on my lower back and quadriceps that I could not power my legs any more. So I slowed down in the second lap. The worse thing was I was over confident in bike handling that I tried to take the water from a volunteer with my right hand and I could not control my bike with my left hand. So I feel on my right because I didn’t want to oversteer to my left as I might knock into oncoming cyclists. As I was at the water point with medic, they came to my assistance very quickly. They were more worried than me as they frantically cleaned my wound and I wanted to get back on my bike to cycle as soon as possible.
Qing Hong must be very worried when he can’t see me for a long time. He waited for me at the U turn point and we started to cycle together again. The last 10km is super intense as there were still many slopes to overcome. Furthermore, the sun is at its peak at that time. I was exhausted beyond words. I am so happy to see the city again and inched towards the transition area.
It is now the final 10km to conquer and under the merciless scorching sun. My legs were wobbily after the cycle and they were so heavy to lift. I could not coordinate them properly too. But we went with our comfortable pace and surprising we were able to maintain 6min pace. But we drank water at every water point and we even sprayed cold water on our body to cool out bodies. There are many instances I wanted to give the excuse to stop and walk but I reminded myself that I am entitled to a better rest and food at the end point. So that kept me going. Qing Hong also kept running even though he was very tired too.
Finally, we persevered to the finishing line. Hand in Hand! We completed our first overseas race together.
We went for sports massage. My first time too.. haha
After we had some rest, we adjourned to our hotel room to wash up and took a quick rest before checking out. Then we had our lunch at the restaurant below the hotel and took the bus back to Singapore.
Enroute to Singapore, we stopped at a rest point for dinner. We had A&W fried chicken and Cola. It’s our after race treat!!!
My key takeaway from this race is: Powerman duathlon is more advantages for cyclist as the bike leg is longer. But then again, that is the same for Ironman events.
Therefore, I should dedicate more time to training my cycling. I also need a more structure cycling training.
All in all it was a great race experience.