I didnt sign up for this Long Distance course as an A race. It was more of a replacement of the Desaru Long Distance Triathlon – which I have done for the past 2 years. But because I was keeping up with my training, I thought I might as well give it my best shot with proper taper for the week before.
1st loop on the swim
2 loops of 1 km. My wave was the largest group that started. Even then, it was still considered small by comparing with other races. Actually, this even should be considered a very small once because the number of male participants totaled 128 finishers with a few DNFs or DQs (perhaps?). And because of the small wave start, didnt feel much of the washing machine effect. Partly also because I was standing very near to the front.
The diving technique learnt during Monday swim came in handy. For a good 10-15m I had to do the dophin dive to get out into the deeper water. Water was really shallow. I was also using the new swim technique that Wilson had corrected for me. It was less energy draining for sure and I was gliding more. 1st loop, 18:48. Nearing the shore at the end of both loops, had to do the same dolphin dives again. 2nd loop, 19:12.
Had nobody’s legs to sit on for the swim. And looking at the official results, the fast blokes had all zoomed off far far away. I just couldnt find those who are of the same speed around me some how. Oh well, this happens most of the time. To make things worse, this was a small group of swimmers. Average swim speed has its woes.
T1 – 1:15.
Uturn point at the start - back to the loop a loop again!
6 loops. Used my watch as a lap counter, and not as a split check coz I kept forgetting to press the watch at the u turn point. Flat course but exposed to the typical strong wind in one direction. Again, very few cyclists spanned the route. I didnt want to hammer in on the ride too much against the element because I wanted to save some for the run. 1st loop, I had a tinge of stomach seizure. Had to sit up for a good 10-12km before the seizures went off and allowed me to take advantage of the tail wind to go on my aerobars thereafter. This silly problem has been a persistant problem. Only IMWA2010 didnt have problems. Tried to read up on this but cant seem to find a satisfactory answer on the internet. Coach said it was because of the sudden switch from horizontal swim to vertical and cramped up posture on the bike. But why only me? Havent heard of anybody with this issue, yet.
Tried a new technique from the 2nd loop onwards. As my speed slowed down to 35 kph and below against the headwind, I stood up and hammered it up back to 35 kph again to cruise at that speed, hoping that the disc would get the momentum going against the wind. And it worked! Until the last loop, that is. The wind just picked up strongest then. No matter how I worked on it, the speedo just died at 30-31kph. It was then that I decided that I should just spin it out and cruise at the speed for that direction.
Bike splits, 29:55, 27:56, 28:18, 28:56, 29:19, 31:36.
T2 – 1:51.
Home bound run - Look! No sponge boobies and all zipped up!
Flat and wide for most of the course. It was also a cool, cloudy day. Except for the Changi Village portion, where we had to run up and down 2 narrow windy boardwalk bridges – one way. This meant doing the boardwalk twice in a loop. And we have 3! So with few athletes it was a blessing because there were less people to knock into along the 4 feet wide path.
I did try to run a sub 6 pace. As it turned out, if the distance marker was right, then I managed about 5:30 pace for the 9 km loops. Cant be happier with the splits of 48:19, 49:36 and 50:20. Am satisfied with the consistent running speed although I was getting slower under a min for every lap. Thats pretty acceptable by my standard.
Total time taken – 6:05:15.5. Ranked 11th in my age group of 30-39, consisting of 61 finishers with recorded times. Ranked 21 over 128 male long course athletes. And 1 girl beat me – Choo Ling Er – and the same one who was faster than me at AVIVA 70.3 as well. Oh well, she is a Kona 2011 qualifyer anyway.
Picture of Enrico and myself at the end of the whole race, getting ready to go home. This one is for you Coach!
*Photo credits: Richard Leong, Le Giang, Phoon Tuck Seng, Vijch, Runevent Shots and Key Power International.