Sunday, August 01, 2010

Port Dickson Sprint Distance and Olympic Distance Triathlons

(Photos courtesy of many kind people and Tey as usual of course)

These were my first races since I tore my calf six weeks ago at the Bintan Tri. Since then I’ve been receiving intense physio, platelet injections, shockwave treatment (OUCH) and ultrasound treatment on both my calves and on the more damaged right foot. The calves had responded well, although as I increased my training the foot got worse!!!

I have the ITU Long Course World Championships next week in Germany where I’ll be representing my two countries (official representative of Great Britain and unofficial representative of Malaysia). People said I was bonkers to do a Sprint Distance followed by an Olympic Distance race just one week before. My philosophy was that these were going to be intense races but short and if I came through them relatively unscathed then I’d recover in time for the ITU Champs. I needed the confidence that I hoped they would bring and if I failed to finish them then I would never have been able to complete the ITU race anyway.

Port Dickson Sprint Triathlon 24th July 2010

Swim 750m, Bike 20km, Run 5km

Shilpa wanted to come and support one of the races with the boys and as they had a party on Sunday they decided to come down for the Sprint. We are only about 45 minutes drive from PD so we decided to commute rather than staying over. It was an early start though, getting the boys up at 5am was a tad harsh on them – poor little angels.

The race was scheduled for an 8am start and I was remarkably well organized and got set up quickly. However I then faffed around and didn’t get much of a swim warm up in – rooky mistake, silly boy! Soon enough the race was hooted off and the washing machine swim began. Actually it wasn’t too bad and I was in transition tearing off my speedsuit in what seemed like a good time.

I was very disappointed with the start of my bike, my shoes are mounted on the bike and I slip my feet into them only once I’ve started riding to save time. Today I made a real mess of it which annoyed me no end. Having said that, one of the reasons I usually do the sprint is as race prep for the next day’s OD race. So, mental note to myself - “Don’t make a hash of it again tomorrow”.

I was into my rhythm straight after that and I knew I was riding well. I was going past groups of riders some didn’t even bother trying to get on my back wheel others tried but dropped off straightaway. Oh well I thought, looks like I’ll be doing this one all by myself.

On the other side of the road I saw the leaders coming towards me, a group of 3 young guys from Hong Kong followed by a group of 2. In the distance there were another 2 who hadn’t turned yet. I was in 8th overall and gaining fast. I took the 2 ahead of me before the turnaround and then the next 2 a few km later. I don’t ever recall moving through the field this fast before. I hit transition having averaged the 20km in 41.4kph which has to be a new PB for me I’d imagine.

So onto the run and it was across very lumpy grass for about the first km. Not what my poorly foot wanted – every time it twisted a little the pain was excruciating – I was trying to be as careful as possible to ensure I didn’t do too much damage. On to the tarmac and I was trucking along at a nice clip. I caught one of the leading trio soon after the turnaround, he tried to stay with me but I knew by his breathing that he wouldn’t be company for very long. The 2 out in front were awesome though, they were long gone. I ended up 3rd overall and won the 40+ category (and the 20-39 category as it happened). I received a nice trophy and RM300 (about USD95) for my troubles which was nice but I was totally stoked about how the race had come together for me and how well my body had stood up to the test of it. Good omens for tomorrow’s race.

Total time (no splits) 59mins 17secs

Port Dickson Olympic Distance Triathlon 25th July 2010

Swim 1,500m, Bike 40km, Run 10km.

Another early start and again another efficient and quick set up in transition. This time I made a point of warming up properly in the swim. There were getting on towards 1,000 competitors racing and the waves were going off every 5 minutes. We (40-49yos) were the 3rd wave but just before we were hooted off the big inflatable arch collapse across the start line. Quite amusing but also a bit stressful too waiting for them to clear it. We eventually started a minute or two late which meant that we’d have less trouble getting past the slower swimmers in the wave in front but catching up with the faster packs was going to be infinitely harder on the bike.

The swim was pretty good for me and I even managed to do quite a bit of drafting (a skill I’m not good at in the water). At the end of the swim there is a 200m run across soft sand which is always a tester but everyone has to do it. Pretty happy with a swim time of 27mins 03secs.

I stormed through transition, onto the bike and having learned my lesson from yesterday slipping my shoes on quickly. Now I was in my element. I was passing people faster than I could count and wondered whether I could go sub 1hr on the bike today.

People tried to hang on to my back wheel but as with the sprint race they didn’t last long. Eventually an Aussie guy hung in there but profusely apologized for not helping out as he was at his limit. Respect to him he did do some token efforts and for that he deserved the tow. By the turnaround though I’d picked up a huge train who would neither be dropped nor help out. I shared a few choice words with them that my Mum wouldn’t have liked but it wasn’t until I came across Shahrom that they were eventually dispatched.

I didn’t even recognize Shahrom, he was in a different trisuit from normal and I was so focused/on-the-limit that I didn’t notice who it was but rather just pleased that he was helping out, especially up the hills. One other guy hung with us but every time it was his turn at the front he surged so fast that by the time we’d caught up with him his turn was over. Oh well we’ll put it down to over-exuberance but we could have squeezed that little extra time off the ride if he’d been a little more “in-tune”!

Into transition and my time was 59mins 42sec for 40.3km, that was a first for me so I was stoked going onto the run. Shahrom and the other guy ran away from my but I was pretty sure I was in second place in my category but well ahead of anyone behind. As it turned out I’d long been in first place but there was another Aussie guy chasing me down so it was lucky I thought I had to work to catch up the “leader”.

Soon enough the run was over with a 38mins 50secs 10K run and an overall time of 2hrs 06mins 30secs.

For the first time I’d completed the double winning the Sprint and the Olympic Distance in my Age-Group. I was pleased as punch and received RM1200 (USD375) and a Timex Ironman watch. I drove home a very happy camper and turned my mind towards next week’s little adventure – The ITU Worlds in Germany, after all, these races were tests to see if my dodgy calves and foot could even make it to the start line. Now I have no excuses.

Finally, two points that I’d like to make: -
1. Well done on the race organization Mr Chan, BRAVO! – It was excellent. Every year this race gets a little better and with a bigger turnout. It’ll be filling up online soon after it opens in the not too distant future, you mark my words.

2. Thank you Tey on behalf of the entire field and race community of Malaysia. You come to our races and tirelessly and unselfishly take amazing photos of us and then post them soon afterwards for our viewing and blogging pleasure. It’s about time your picture got included.


Brybrarobry said...

Awesome race reports. Man are you doing amazing. Well done. I thought you were good on the bike, but a 38:50??? That's off the chain. WOW!! I'd love to do that period, but to do it in a triathlon is unbelievable.

Question: If you accept the $ does that mean you're now a pro? That you're getting paid for racing. Either way, put the money to go use and get a proper haircut. haha.

Great job my friend and good luck tomorrow.


DRog said...

Great Racing!!
You won two age groups in the Sprint?
You just smashed thay Oly...killed the bike and especially that run.
My dad is froom Glasgow when you wrote the "race was hooted off" totally reminded me of him. He has lived in Canada and the U.S since 1968 but still says things like "cheerio" and "daft" and "wee ones." LOL

Training Payne blog has you listed as a confirmed IMLP entrant for 2011?!?!


plee said...

Awesome performance on both counts Simon! Congrats!
I wud like to share the SHOUT OUT to Mr Chan and his crew for impeccable race organisation.He may hv retired from racing but his passion for multisport still burns brightly .. much to our benefit.

And Tq Tey again!

Anonymous said...

wah..tq..good luck Germany..cheers.

Last minute got friend drive me to PD.if not will eat orange at the curve.


Denis Oakley said...

Thanks for the great race report - we've linked in from -

yipwt said...

congrats Simon,...didn't know you had an injury during the race. Despite that, you still won :)

Simon said...

Hey B, thanks mate but I trust you realise that 38:50 is the run not the bike. Olympic Distance Tris are my forte - I only do Ironman because of the romance and the fact that they are so hard to get right.

Don'think a few $$ make me a Pro - haha.

As for getting a decent haircut - that's the beauty of still having hair I can do with it as I like. You can always get a rug though hahahahahaha.

Hey D,
Thanks buddy and I really like the sound of your Dad. And yes I'll be there for IMLP 2011.

Hey P, Thanks buddy

Hey T, Thanks

Thanks and nice one D,

Hey Y, yes recovering from injury. Legs were OK, no more damage but no enurance over a longer course. Managed to bluff it in PD

liyen said...


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Gilbert said...

I am Gilbert Chee from Rotaract club of Taylor’s University College.

Currently, we are organizing a charity event, and we hope that you could help us post our event flyer as well as a short description on your blog.

I’m sorry to post this on your chatterbox as i couldn’t find your email address.

Please do drop me a email if you are interested in knowing more of the details.

Thank you

Gilbert Chee