Monday, July 31, 2006

Malakoff Putrajaya Dutathlon 30th July 2006

My boys were not happy chappies the night before the race so ended up getting to bed somewhat later than I'd hoped. Woke up at 5:30 as some idiot had set the alarms (Oh yes that was me - time to get up! Have you ever been so tired that you felt physically sick - that was me).

I'd thought about packing the night before but was too tired so now it was a case of running around like a headless chicken to get everything organised. Did it in the end but got lost getting to the race (only 5k from home) and after parking illegally and promising the policeman I'd move the 4WD once I'd checked my bike in there were just a handful of minutes left to the race start. As it happened I didn't forget anything and had quite a reasonable warm up by running back to the car, parking it and then running back to the start line with still about 3 minutes to go.

The gun went and off we went, 10k run to start with and having done a similar race the year before over the same run course (Powerman Duathlon) I was hoping to better my 38:37 10k personal best, as it happened I managed 39:23 but was happy that it was under 40 minutes and I felt in control going into transition.

Don Khor (one of my arch rivals in this race) was about 30 seconds ahead of me but we left the transition area together.

I'm supposed to be a stronger rider than Don but he kept overtaking me and really putting the hammer down, it was only after the race that he admitted he was playing games with me - you can never tell with Don though, he is a very gifted athlete and doesn't run, he floats!

The ride went well and as it is a non drafting race this suits me as I'm stronger on the bike. At the end of lap one I caught up with Wei (one of my swimming squad - an amazing triathlete/Duathlete if only he'd get over his fear of riding long and hard with me he'd be on the national team.). Half way through the second lap of the bike I caught up Cecil (another training partner and buddy of mine - an awesome runner, and very strong cyclist & swimmer) a few metres on was Iwata San, an interesting battle was just about to unfold as I'd calculated that the distance left on the bike compared to the time he'd taken out on me during the 10k run would equate to about the same on the final 5k run - meaning that it was going to be close and there was no time for problems or slacking off.

I put the hammer down hard as I went past and a few kilometres later came to the last turnaround for the transition area. This time however, there was a marshal that almost knocked me off my bike indicating that we had to complete an additional 4k. Apparently this had been added to the course FOR BOTH LAPS of the bike that morning but no one had been told. The only people that got it right were those that didn't know the course and followed the tiny arrows on the road (only about 6 people). Sadly the leading guy got disqualified which marred the day a little because he really deserved better.

Anyway, back to my pain. T2 got off the bike and headed for the run, felt pretty good although it was getting very hot and humid (as Malaysia tends to do). The final 5k starts off with a 1k run to a round about and then back past the transition area so you can see who is coming after you. There were Wei, Cecil and Iwata all within 500 metres of me and 3 of the most accomplished runners in on the circuit. Dig deep, I thought and if they beat you they're going to have to earn it.

Came round the final turnaround to head back to the finish (about 1 1/2k left) with Wei picking up water about 100 metres behind. I was at full stretch but found some more speed and managed to hang on to the finish.

Very satisfying indeed.

Wei scored his first age-group victory in the 30-39 age-group, Cecil also won his age-group 20-29 and I was very satisfied with 2nd in the 40-49 category. I was second to Razani who now competes with the age-groupers but is probably still Malaysia's best triathlete - needless to say I didn't even see him on the course all day).

Huge fun once again especially as I taught the youngsters (Wei and Cecil a thing or two - Guys I thought you were running specialists? Perhaps I should reintroduce that running clinic I promised you once before.)

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