Monday, July 23, 2007

PD Olympic Distance - 22nd July 2007

The day started with Shilpa expressing her feelings about me doing this race. Not altogether a pleasant experience when a) she's passionate about something, b) she's tired, c) she's angry and worst of all d) you know she's right.

Anyway I assured her that my plan was to drop out after the bike if it was too much stress on my body (of course she didn't believe me).

There were 1,352 competitors at PD which was an awesome sight. It was part of the Asian Cup Series so many athletes had come from Hong Kong, Philippines, Macau etc in fact 33 countries were represented. The race was started in waves with the elite racers going off first. (Photos borrowed from

My wave was the penultimate wave with the women and relay racers going off 5 minutes behind. My strategy was clear, I must put everything into the swim and first half of the bike. The swim was the most important as I had to come out with the good relay swimmers who were starting 5 minutes behind. I could then ride with their cyclists and real in whatever I'd lost to the better swimmers in my age-group.

I was surprised and pleased to see that I came out with Don Khor. We started the bike together and soon got picked up by two strong relay cyclists (both national riders) they attempted several breakaways but we held with them until we hit a long hill at which point I powered up and managed to drop Don (but fortunately not the relay guys) - then we were off, our pack began to get bigger and bigger until there were about 30 riders including Iwata and Patrick. I sat at the back and tried to nurse my cardiovascular system which I'd been red-lining since the start of the bike.

I made a small break at the end as I didn't want to go around two roundabouts or into transition with 30 other riders (potential carnage - there had already been one crash in our pack). I was first out of transition from the pack with only one other guy ahead of me in my age-group. Sadly (an painfully) that's about all the good stuff I can report.

Iwata flashed past me and about 1.5k into the run Patrick (a great cyclist but not known for his running) also came by. The pain in my kidney's and lungs was excruciating and then my back and shoulder blades just got tighter and tighter. At 2k (8k to go) I fulfilled my promise to myself and Shilpa and pulled out of the race. Nothing more was to be gained from struggling to the end and I had Singapore on my mind for the following week.

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