Monday, July 30, 2007
Despite my wave start not being due until 11am I rose at 6.30am so I could watch the Elite race. My first job of the day was self-body-numbering – a new experience! The organisers gave out pens with the race kit for DIY numbering. I decided not to wake anyone to do it for me even though Lucas’ had been quite keen to draw smiley faces on his Daddy’s skin! (He’ll have other chances)
Using my left hand, I got a 3 the wrong way round, and even after that I managed to get a 5 the wrong way round too! Well at least I noticed my mistake and corrected it – at the start of my race I was amused to see someone who’d not noticed his wrong-way-round numerals.
I cycled the 9km to the start and was faced with a muddy cyclo-cross style walk through transition. The ground was soaked and coated with thick runny mud which rushed into the front of my cycling shoes like a jet with each step. This was to play havoc with my transition routine of changing shoes, putting socks on whilst seated, trying to keep cleats free from mud etc…
I spent the rest of the morning barefoot and watching the Elite’s. Malaysian men Shahrom Abdullah, Wong Ah Thiam, Eugene Chan and Wei Kuo Hau were well behind the lead group after the swim, but in the womens race Kimbeley Yap was first out of the water with a big gap, which she maintained well into the bike ride before falling back to join a chasing group. After that I’m not sure what happened but the guys finished well down from the 1h50m+ winning time and Kimbeley was outside the top 3 - 5th or 6th I believe.
Having resigned myself to running 100m through mud in my cycling shoes in T1 and then trying to put lovely new brilliant white Pearl Izumi socks onto mud-covered feet in T2 (whilst sitting in the mud of course), I went to the start to warm-up and people-watch.
As my 11am start approached, so did dark clouds from the West. With only a few minutes to go the wind whipped up some strong waves and the starts were postponed for 30mins. Many swimmers were “rescued”. Shortly thereafter they even stopped cyclists due to lightning on the course. As the day before’s rain had lasted for hours I held little hope for a start early enough for me to still catch my bus back to KL so I packed up and headed for home. I even took the numbers of my helmet.
To my surprise I could then see the sky brightening up and soon they announced that racing would start again at 12.30, albeit with no swim: just a beach start, 400m run to transition, bike ride then a 5km run. I heard the MC say “2 x 20km” bike laps, which I simply took to mean the expected 40km (2 x 20 = 40!) as the laps are actually 10km.
My mud-strategy was: run from beach with socks and running shoes on. Shoes will get muddy in T1, but they’d get muddy in T2 anyway so no difference. With socks on, I’ll save time in T2…
GO!...as one of only a few with shoes on I battered my way through several barefoot runners on the sand and headed for T1 after about 1m30s! I've never overtaken so many runners ever! HR 172bpm – easy boy!
Onto the bike…struggled a bit to clip in due to mud, but was soon underway with mud sprayed up to my knees. I settled into a pleasingly-fast 34kph pace and my HR settled to below 165bpm.
It goes without saying I enjoyed the ride. On my favoured 53x19 all the way except at sharp turns, I managed to average well over 32kph with my HR at 165bpm as planned. I was overtaking continuously and was passed by about 1 for every 10 people I passed.
At the end of my third lap I noticed most people turning off course into T2. I presumed they’d all started in waves before me. But on my 4th lap there were hardly any riders and they were all relay riders who’d started after me – no 35-39 age-groupers to be seen. I began to suspect that the MC (see earlier) had meant to say 2 x 10km, not 2 x 20km, but my mind was set on 40km.
Anyway, my pleasure comes from taking-part and doing my best, and riding 20km is nothing to shout about, so I’m glad I did 4 laps. The actual distance was 38.07km and it took me 1:09:55. At that pace it’d take me 1:13:28 to do a full 40km which would be a new PB by over 3 minutes – WOW! STOP PRESS - as confirmed by other blogs, I was only supposed to do 20km!
Into the run with 1h15m+ on my watch – target finish = 1h 45m. I was not too interested in the short run but plugged away and reached 2.5km in about 14mins. Feeling quite relaxed on the way back, my HR was lower than on the bike, at under 160bpm, which was a pleasant surprise. A final step-up in gear in the last 400m brought me home in 2h43m+ with a 28min run, to get my “Triathlon” medal. A nice medal but not as treasured as others due to the shortened race with no swim.
The reigning Ford Ironman 70.3 World Champion, Craig Alexander, will headline a star studded field entered for the inaugural Aviva Ironman 70.3 the exciting debut event for Ironman 70.3 racing in Asia set for September 2nd 2007.
Number one seed for the race, Alexander joins three other athletes to have won world titles in triathlon. Bella Comerford of the United Kingdom was the 2006 World Long Distance Champion and a four time winner of Ironman Florida while Dutchwoman, Yvonne van Vlerken is the reigning world long distance Duathlon Champion and winner of the 2006 Ironman 70.3 Antwerp, Belgium. The international duo are joined by Australian Olympian, Rina Hill, the 1998 World Long Distance champ and the first woman ever to win an Ironman swim (3.8km) outright enroute to a fifth place in Ironman Switzerland 2000.
Alexander, a US based Australian athlete, remains unbeaten over the Ironman 70.3 distance, but his entry in Singapore sets up a 'battle royal' between himself and one of the sport's fastest stars, Australian Luke Bell, already a winner of Ironman 70.3 races in Lake Stevens, Buffalo Springs and California and second placed in Ironman New Zealand this year and Ironman Brazil last year!
The Aussie duo will be also put under pressure from Swiss number one, Ronnie Schildknecht, the remarkable triathlete who has just completed an impressive double in winning both the 2007 Ironman Switzerland, and the 2007 Ironman 70.3 Switzerland!
The Aviva Ironman 70.3 Singapore elite field features a total of 34 of the world's top triathletes - all heading to Singapore for what will be arguably be the best international field at an Ironman 70.3 race this year!
Attracted by the first ever Ironman 70.3 in Asia, the largest purse outside of the USA, and the excitement of preparing in Singapore for both the Ironman and Ironman 70.3 world champs in Hawaii and Florida (Singapore conditions closely emulate those of Florida and Hawaii), elite athletes have been drawn from the four corners of the world.
There's also the added attraction of the Aviva Excellence Awards that have boosted the prize money for the pro racers by $12,000 SGD to close to $38,000USD!
From Europe, the entries are led by Schildknecht and the Swiss No# 2, Mathias Hecht, joined by Germany's Uwe Vidmann, a consistent performer in European Ironman and Ironman 70.3 races, and Denmark's national Champion, Oyvind Johannessen. Stephen Bayliss from Great Britain was fifth in Ironman Brazil and two time British Olympian, Andrew Johns, second in the 2007 Ironman Malaysia event join the Euro based athletes.
In the women's field the Netherlands's van Vlerken is joined by two UK stars in Comerford and rising star, Chrissie Wellington, fifth at her first Ironman 70.3 start in the UK just weeks ago.
From the Americas there's Canada's Michael Simpson, 5th in the Ironman 70.3 World Champs last November, and Brazilian superstar in the making, Reinaldo Colucci, second in this year's Ironman Brazil, plus a team of US based Australian athletes in Alexander, Bell, Mirinda Carfrae (third in the 2006 Ironman 70.3 World Champs), and New Zealand's Bryan Rhodes who has twice won Ironman Malaysia and the Ironman UK once...
Add in an Anzac invasion of New Zealand and Australian based stars from the global Ironman 70.3 series, such as Australian Ironman 70.3 winner and four times Ironman Korea winner, Belinda Granger, reigning Ironman Australia champion Rebekah Keat and Ironman West Australia winner, Jason Shortis, plus Olympian, Maxine Seaar, top five finisher in Ironman Switzerland, Ali Fitch, and top Aussie internationals, all regulars on the Ironman 70.3 or Half Ironman podiums in Peter Jacobs, Cameron Watt, Tim Berkel, and young guns, Tom Jepson, Josh Rix and Aaron Farlow.
New Zealand will also have some rising stars present in Hamish Johnson and Scott Larsen!
The remarkable race through the CBD of Singapore has also attracted the biggest challenged athlete field of 2007, with five individuals and a trio of PC athlete teams taking on the awesome Ironman 70.3 challenge and the organisers and field taking on an an assistance program for the SDSC.
And behind the flying pro athletes will be over 1200 age group triathletes and team swimmers, cyclists and runners - the individuals competing for 75 qualifying slots to the Ford Ironman 70.3 World Championship and all competing for the unique Ironman Aviva Ironman 70.3 Singapore finisher's medal.
Entries for this ground breaking event have grown to represent 44 countries from around the world, meaning Singapore on September 2nd will the global sporting focus of the Ironman 70.3 world!
Entries remain open for the spectacular Singapore event; but with the field nearing capacity, it's time to act. Enter now.Further event information is available through the official website at www.ironman703singpore.com.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Page 1 here
Page 2 here
Accommodation sorted, might do the Sunday a.m. Sprint also. Will need another 1.5days off work, my boss will wonder what on earth I do with my weekends.
I plan to unveil my new weapon of mass destruction in this race!
I kid you not, once the Disco boys had tired I thought to myself that the icing on the cake would be for the Chicken to drop them in the final km and put 30s into them. An indeedly-doodly-doo that's exactly what he did. A great race!
So...you can imagine my surprise this morning when I find out that the winged-Chicken has been fried by his team for lying about his whereabouts in June!
Day-by-day my fantasy team is being devastated by injuries and drug-related incidents.
Vino & Kloden - team withdrawn due to Vino positive test.
O'Grady, Rogers & McEwen - The Aussie crocks all abandoned due to injury.
Zabriskie - time-barred after working hard for yellow-jersey Cancellara
Rasmussen - sacked by team for lying!
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Posh bus trip to S'pore on Friday afternoon. Lucas is SO excited about being able to play computer games on the bus!
Sat 9am I have an appointment at the Bike Boutique to be fitted for my new bike frame. Its a Planet X Stealth Pro Carbon and a big lanky streak like me needs a 57cm XL. I'll have to make do with black as that's all they have in my size. I'll probably also pick up a stem, spare tubs, a hydro-tail and maybe even a new tri-suit.
Sunday 11am-ish is triathlon time and my target will be...
Swim - 31:00
T1 - 2:00
Bike - 1:18:00
T2 - 2:00
Run - 1:00:00
TOTAL - 2:53:00
Its Rasmussen vs Contador on TV for 2 hours tonight. No doubt whichever one took the most drugs or blood transfusions yesterday will be the winner! Oops - that could be libelous!
Due to being supplied with copious amounts of fine Japanese food and sake by my colleagues from the Land Of The Rising Son on Monday night I was to "ill" to ride on Tuesday night and am still pretty tired today so my training is not exactly high-intensity...and there's only 3 weeks until Desaru! That has crept up quietly!!
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
I woke-up at 0330 but managed to get back to sleep for an hour. I met Gunter at the Sungai Besi toll and off we went to PD, where we added to organiser Samantha's stress levels by pestering her for our numbers.
I forgot my camera and tape to attached powergels to my bike - must remember next time!
After meticulously setting-up in transition (one of many exciting aspects of triathlon!) I went for a swim warm-up. I was not looking forward to the swim due to my tiredness, but this feeling was masked by the usual pre-race excitement, which for this one was greater than usual as there were hundred's of participants including overseas Elite's - and almost everyone I knew was there, including a few Olympic-distance first timers.
The Elite's started first followed a few mins later by the under 29's. The wave start meant that we'd be spread out on the course according to age/category rather than ability. The swim was quite chaotic, with lots of swimmers and I was clashing with people until at least halfway! I actually really enjoy battling with others in the water! However I didn't suffer any damage nor dish any out really. My 750m time was about 16mins. Shortly thereafter someone kicked my HRM and stopped it - lucky I checked and restarted it. I reached the shore in under 32mins (PB), at the same time as Simon Cross and Don Khor. I managed crawl all the way except a few seconds of breaststroke for navigating or when obstructed.
All OK except the exit that I had been told was "Bike Out" was clearly not in use yet and it took me a few secs to work out where the bike exit actually was. Time for my favourite bit - the bike ride...
I wasn't feeling my illness at all and felt quite good all the way. I overtook a fair few folk and seemed to be passed only by the leaders of the waves behind me. I was pleased to overtake and drop a guy with an unusual 'V' shaped aero frame and a rear disc! I 'cheated' a bit by drafting but only for a few minutes and was chuffed to reach the u-turn in well under 40mins. I'd seen Gunter and Bernard pass me just before I got to the 20km point, but at this point I didn't know where Arif or May Senn were. I was expecting Karen to catch me at some point but so far so good.
On the return leg Arif whizzed by me in a big pack. My objective then was to not give Arif too much of an advantage before the run (I am pleased to announce that Arif is my official triathlon target-man as he's a very similar standard as me!!). I managed to spot Adeline, May Senn, Karen and Kate in my last 20km. Arif & co. slowly gained 500m or so on me but similarly to the May tri clinic, I managed a late burst of speed in the last few km and thought that my target couldn't be too far ahead! As I approached T2 I saw Shazly on the start of his run. He was having a good race as I overtook him on the bike in Kenyir, but this one was a different story.
Mmmmmm...wet shoes and socks! (It had rained) but no probs and into the run.
I didn't feel great for the first 10minutes and I was hampered slightly by the threat of a stitch. I also needed a "natural break" but really didn't want to stop! As always my running legs came around after 10mins or so and I caught sight of Arif after a few km! Still no sign of Karen - either I was fast or she started waaaaaaaaay behind me.
The run was good fun as it was an out-n-back course all on the same side of the road so it was one-handed high-5's with all my Tri buddies! At the u-turn I'd just poured a cup of water into my lungs (not a good idea) and as my body vigorously attempted to eject the water, the u-tun marshall must have thought I was going to vomit all over him. Fortunately I got over it and plodded on. Shortly after the u-turn the inevitable happened and Karen cruised past me.
The u-turn was further away than at the Tri clinic so I suspected it was a full 10k run, but my time of 53mins+ is a bit too fast for that , so maybe it was 9km+.
A very enjoyable event. The rain in the first half of the run cooled things down nicely, and I'm well pleased with my 2:45+ time. For once I remembered to eat and drink soon after the finish to feed my muscles so come Monday my legs felt fine.
Swim - 31:27
T1 - 2:18
Bike - 1:16:05 (40km PB! - out 38:00, in 38:05) - mr consistent!
T2 - 1:52
Run - 53:33 (out 26:28, in 27:05)
TOTAL - 2:45:15
Here's a few snaps (thanks to Tey and Gunter)...
Finally, a big shout-out to this man...
...who put in an incredible effort to finish the Olympic Tri. He put in so much effort in his finally sprint to the line that he almost collapsed and needed some help for a while to stay upright. Well done to you!
Monday, July 23, 2007
I was shocked and saddened to hear yesterday that fellow PCC cyclist Zubir died during the PD Triathlon swim.
Although I'd only seen him a couple of times (Broga PCC ride in April '07, and the first PD Tri clinic in May) and not actually spoken to him, I was conscious that he was a very cheerful guy - he seemed to laugh a lot - and that's how I'll remember him.
A minute of silence for him before the next Tri in Desaru would be nice.
Friday, July 20, 2007
I found this photo on the internet and it helped to lift my mood. If anyone can tell me who this is (I know) I'll buy them a roti canai and Milo Ais and try to get her phone number...
I finally got my hands on part of my new toy! -
I am pi**ed off. I am ill again - 3rd time in about 5 weeks.
Last week I was fine and got back into training. I was fine last weekend and did the Seremban 21k. Monday/Tuesday I started to feel lethargic again and didn't feel that great on the Tuesday night ride. Since Wednesday I've felt sleepy all the time and I have a swollen throat and a dry cough despite sleeping for 10-11 hours 2 nights running.
I've got 44 hours until the PD Triathlon, but at the moment I'm looking like a sure-fire DNS. Best-case scenario at the moment is that I take part and just amble around the course.
I've got the OSIM Tri a week later and would rather miss PD to make sure I'm ok for OSIM.
Even the arrival of my new wheels isn't perking me up that much.
And...more bad fantasy team news - now Zabriskie is out. He was supposed to grab me some points in the upcoming TT's!
Monday, July 16, 2007
Stuart O'Grady - hospitalised with 8 broken ribs and a punctured lung after wrapping himself around a hard immovable object on a descent.
Michael Rogers - could have got the yellow jersey but fell, dislocated his shoulder and abandoned the race.
Robbie McEwen - finished outside the time limit?
All 3 of them are Aussies!!
Oh well at least Rasmussen won the stage and is in yellow, and Vino, Kloden, Karpets, Menchov, Pereiro and Kirchen are still in with a shout.
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Armed with a new pair of skintight shorts to prevent myself from skinning the inside of my thighs, and with a left knee support tube thingy, we were underway at 6.42am. The first 5-10minutes were ok but once onto the open road my legs and arms, particularly the latter, felt like lead, possibly due to tiredness. Lucky it was a dead flat route. I soldiered on, confident that after 20-30 mins I'd feel better.
The heaviness disappeared as predicted after 30mins or so but my left knee was threatening to cause me problems, and I was being overtaken regularly, which I didn't like much. Usually after 30 mins I'm the one doing the overtaking. The possibility of a DNF entered my mind. Some Pacemakers, and Raymond, all passed me.
After 45mins I was really starting to feel good and my knee wasn't getting any worse. My perceived effort dropped and I began to catch those in front. I even caught one of the Africans who was walking/running at about the 9km mark. At 11km I was just over a minute behind my target time.
km11 to 15 was pretty hilly, but I kept running and was cruising past a good few runners and walkers up the hills. After 16km I had caught back a few seconds and was only 52s behind target. But then it got tough - I was tiring and it was hilly. At 17km or so we joined thousands of school kids and lots of traffic. Some of the kids had their handbags with them, and one was reading a newspaper as he walked! From 16km to 20km I dropped over 90s and was 2m26 behind schedule with 1km to go!
A push to the line brought me home in 2:07:55, a mere 10s faster than the Ipoh run 2 weeks ago. I was glad to finish with little effect on my dodgy left knee. I'll cut down on running this week as I need to be good for 10km efforts in 2 consecutive weekends of Triathlons.
My season is hotting up now! I've got 2 Olympic and 2 long-distance Tri's and possibly 2 Half-Marathons in the next 6-7 weeks!
Saturday, July 14, 2007
15 stitches in each knee and a lot less skin on his right elbow. His mate Kloden has fractured his coccyx. Both are in my fantasy team. The day before Friday 13th was bad luck for them, and me!
I fully back into training mode now.
Wed - turbo sesh
Thu - 5km run in gym
Fri - 5km run in gym
Sat - 26km ride to work
Sun - Seremban Half Marathon
My target for tomorrow is to beat 2:06:00. I'd better sleep early tonight. I've been up until 12am every night keeping an eye on Le Tour live on the internet. I am gutted that Eurosport showed the Giro and Dauphine live every day but not the Tour De France. They had Beach Soccer on last night instead - ?!?!?!?
In other news, the S'pore Tri schedule has been announced and my race doesn't start until 11.15am!!!!!! It'll be super hot - I'll be racing until about 2.45pm! Although it means I don't have to get up so early and can watch the Elite race, it totally messes up my plans to leave S'pore by bus at 4.30pm. I thought I'd start racing at 7-8am, and I've already paid for the bus tickets (non-refundable, and not cheap!).
Friday, July 13, 2007
Another vehicle had done the same and came to a halt next to us.
The driver of the other car was a uniformed policeman. He was holding a handphone to his ear, apparently having a conversation. He didn't have time to wait for the light to change to green, so he drove through the red light, still using his handphone.
We caught him up a few minutes later and noticed that he wasn't wearing his seat belt either.
What an outstanding example!
Thursday, July 12, 2007
In the evening, I came back from the training wilderness last night when I managed a 43min turbo sesh while watching the Stage 3 Tour highlights. Before that I had been crossing over to the "dark side" - beginning to enjoy the almost unheard of 9-day period of inactivity!
The PCC newsletter announces that there'll be just a short ride on Sunday so looks like I'll be heading to Seremban for another 21km fun run.
In my fantasy Tour, I'm currently 1965th out of 3742, which I reckon is pretty good as most of the high scorers at the moment don't have teams that will maintain those scores through the mountains. I have a number of currently low-scoring GC contenders in my team and when things get shaken up by the Alps this weekend I hope to start my rise into the prize-winning zone!
According to the TNT online tracking, my wheels have been in a warehouse for 24hrs - hopefully I'll get them by tomorrow and will sleep with them by my bed for weeks to come!!
I'm beginning to plan ahead for my trip to England in Sept/Oct. I've got my eye on 2 footy matches, and my mate Paul's Dad is looking at getting Chelsea tickets...
Tottenham v Aston Villa - Mon 1/10/07
Arsenal v Sunderland - Sun 7/10/07 (will need to avoid post-wedding hangover for this one!)
Monday, July 09, 2007
An unusual day. No training (doc's orders). Still feeling a bit spaced out from the sulbutiamine I took yesterday.
I drove to PD with Lucas early in the a.m. , bumped into a few triathlete buddies and played on the beach with the little fella while the swim was on.
A while after they'd left for the bike ride Lucas & I waited at the roadside to snap a few photos. He was keen to go home then so we drove off and managed to get there in good time. This was lucky as from what I've read from Adzim & Simon there was an accident shortly afterwards that caused a massive jam.
I really do wonder how so many people manage to have accidents. On the way to PD we saw a crane setting up at the side of the highway where the barrier had been mowed down. On the way back it was lifting what looked like coffee-beans from the point where the truck (i assume) had come to rest in a deep cutting next to the road. Shortly after this it began to rain and almost immediately, on the southbound side - 4 cars shunted each other. I have seen this (shunting accidents within minutes of rain starting) many times now.
Having done my fatherly bit in the morning I became a couch potato for the rest of the day. I watched the wonderful The Usual Suspects, most of the mediocre Next, then the F1 and the Tour De France. My hero (and fantasy team member) of the day Robbie McEwen somehow managing to easily win the stage despite being out of the main bunch with only 5km to go.
Still feeling more "alive" today so I decided to give the sulbutiamine (with the "this may become habit forming if used excessively" warning on the packet!!) a miss. Evening = super couch potato due to Tour highlights on TV from 6 until 8.30pm - but then no Stage 2 live coverage?!?!?
I slept at 9am last night so I feel a bit better today. Glands still swollen though. Still not taking any pills though (they're not for the glands anyway).
My wheels have arrived at KLIA!! I've also managed to pick up a yellow Selle Italia Flite Titanium saddle and a pair of Look Keo Carbon pedals on eBay a bit cheaper than I've been quoted here - trying to shave some cost of my new ride.
The excitement of the PD and OSIM Tri's is building! Today the OSIM guys finally confirmed the route.
I'm fairly happy with my Tour fantasy team's performance so far - apart from this plonker...
Daniele Bennati is supposed to be a sprinting green jersey contender but has finished the last 2 flat stages well back with all the GC and mountains boys! What is he doing!?!?!?!?
Saturday, July 07, 2007
I have felt lethargic every day and my cheek glands are swollen. I resorted to antibiotics on Wednesday in hope of being fit for tomorrow's PD Tri Clinic, but to no avail. Another trip to a proper doctor this morning - I was advised to rest. Apparently my mid-illness 21k run last week was not a clever idea!
Anyway I'll head to PD in the morning and play on the beach with Lucas. I might also take some photos of the triathletes and be a support car for the bike ride.
I will definitely take the docs advice to rest as I have 2 consecutive weekend triathlons coming up in 2 weeks so I must be fully recovered by then!
TdF prologue on TV tonight - hooray!
Friday, July 06, 2007
If I was Michael Jackson, it wouldn't matter, but in this case I must admit I do quite fancy this little white number. I wonder if the Bike Boutique will have them.
Any comments to help me decide the colour will be appreciated.
Thursday, July 05, 2007
I've also entered cyclingnews.com's Fantasy Tour competiton and have been racking my brains recently to come up with the most "fantastic" team, with the limited points allowed. This is my team...
- BENNATI Daniele LAM
- HUSHOVD Thor C.A
- KARPETS Vladimir GCE
- KIRCHEN Kim TMO
- KLÖDEN Andreas AST
- MCEWEN Robbie PRL
- MENCHOV Denis RAB
- O'GRADY Stuart CSC
- PEREIRO Oscar GCE
- RASMUSSEN Michael RAB
- ROGERS Michael TMO
- VINOKOUROV Alexandre AST
- WEGMANN Fabian GST
- ZABEL Erik MRM
- ZABRISKIE David CSC
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
Monday, July 02, 2007
Let's hope it doesn't end up flattened in the middle of the road outside. Unfortunately that's what happened to the last one I saw!
Sat a.m. I was feeling better so I drove up to Ipoh. By the afternoon I was feeling quite good but somehow became worse in the evening. I felt fine except the feeling that someone had taken a blowtorch to my windpipe.
I look forward to these races SO much it takes a hell of a lot to force me out, and even at 4am the next morning, after a poor nights sleep and with the blowtorch feeling still there, I still held out hope.
I woke at 5.45am but didn't rise until 6.10am, only 35mins before flag-off! I decided that I would get to the point of no return before decided to run or not. I arrived with 10mins to spare. As I made my way to the reporting point, still 8 mins to go, a swarm of runners came past - I'd missed the start - they started early! (or so I thought). I reported and got my black wrist tag and started running - then I realised the swarm was just running to the start from a holding area. Phew!
By now I was caught up in the event and was all set to go. Somehow I managed to spot Ah Fook in the crowd and met up with him. "See you in 2 1/2 hrs" I said, giving myself an extra 30mins for this run.
This was a BIG run so the first 4km was a bit congested. At one point I punched a rather petite girl in the back of her shoulder (sorry 'bout that). After 4km or so the 10k route split from ours and it was a bit more calm. At 5km the 1km markers started which gave me a good idea of pace.
I was doing 6:00 per km and tried to stick to that.
It was a flat route and after 7km I started to become rather familiar with the runners in front and behind as we all ran a similar pace. Its funny how in long races like this these people become a big part of one's life for 1-2 hours as all one thinks about is the race, and the only people around are those who overtake or the ones you catch up.
As usual I slowly began to reel people in as the race progressed, and even managed to overtake a few who'd passed me earlier. I don't like being overtaken at the end but today there was one Vet. in a saggy yellow top who got me right at the end. He'd passed me at km5 but I caught and passed him at about km19 only to lose it in the end.
As in PD, my left knee (outside ligament?) gave me a bit of trouble in this race but not as bad as before.
To my great surprise and delight I got a medal for finishing in 100th place, in 2:08:05, a couple of minutes outside my mid-race target of 2:06:00. Due to the seemingly accurate km markers I'm also awarding myself a PB for 15km - 1:30:43.
More run photos of me here.
There's another 3 Half-marathons before the Desaru & S'pore long-distance triathlons but I'm beginning to think I should give at least one a miss as I'm missing out on bike time - these days I'm cycling only 30-60km a week and will need to get some 100km+ rides in before August.