Friday, November 11, 2011

Miri Olympic Distance Triathlon

Having had a good night's sleep I was quite optimistic about the race but still not believing my run was going to amount to much. My bike is always sorted and the work I've been putting into the swim is paying dividends no only in time but confidence too. If you know you're getting better then you're inclined to push more. This is certainly the case for me anyway.

The swim looked like it would be quite short, two loops and the sea was fairly calm again. I came out for the beach turnaround with Stephanie Chok. She's always been one of my swimming heroes so you can image how stoked I was about that. I came out after the second lap with Steve Lumley again, spooky! Again the long run to transition and we were off on my favourite leg, the bike, my territory.

I picked up another strong rider fairly early on and we set off in pursuit of the packs. I was looking in particular for Razani and the Czech guy who beat me last year. Slowly but surely we collected riders although few did much work. Then at about 10-13k we came up to the target pack.

I knew exactly how it was going to pan out and I knew the drill. No point in me nailing myself to the wall here as there was only myself, Razani and the guy that came with me capable of pushing the pace so I forced myself to hang back and wait for an opportunity. I can't tell you what willpower that takes. At the 20k turnaround we saw a massive pack with Wong At Thiam and Shahrom steaming along like a high speed train and probably catching us at a rapid rate. Every time the Czech guy found himself at the front he actually used his brakes, haha, I made sure I was behind him ready to pounce but as he braked so did I. An even bigger HAHA.

It was madness, we'd be around 45-50kph and then when he was at the front he'd brake and we'd be down to 26-27kph in 30m. I didn't care, I knew I wasn't going to be able to drop the pack unless the dynamics changed. And then it happened, there was a flash of green and one of Malaysia's national junior riders whizzed past. He was doing the relay and with fresh legs looked awesome. So I did the only thing that made sense, I let him go...going...going...oh my goodness...can I wait any longer...and then BOOM, I chased him down with the hope that I hadn't let the gap get too big and that I could drop the rest of the pack.

NOW I was nailing myself against the wall, big time. It was a huge effort, I'd hoped we'd got away but alas the pack was just about hanging on my wheel...or were they? A 30 strong pack was now about 10 and the Czech guy was blown out the back. Credit to Razani, he's hard as nails and no doubt anticipated the break, he was still there looking as strong as ever.

My work was done so I did my share of the work (or maybe a little less, certainly not more). I hung on up the hill, had a fabulously fast decent and created a decent gap between me and Razani going into T2.

A quick transition and I was off, no time to find running legs I needed to get away quick and try to win this from the front. Haha, who was I kidding, after about 2k I heard the inevitable quick stride of my rival closing in on me fast. He cruised by me and eased ahead. I didn't panic, I knew I was running well and I knew there was a lot of running left in this race. I felt that trying to stay on his shoulder would have been suicidal and intuitively I felt that running within myself, at least for now, was the answer.

He was about 50m ahead at the 2.5k turnaround. My next worry was where were the Czech guy, Steve Lumley, Rob Harries (not to forget Tony Harvey and Don Khor, not my age-group but I didn't want them chirping at me after the race. haha). Everyone was in check and I was having a ball, I haven't run so smoothly for probably 18 months. I was keen to encourage everyone else on, I just love the camaraderie in triathlon, the fact that yes we're racing each other but all suffering together too, brothers-in-arms so to speak. Cheering the others guys coming the other way also took my mind off the pain and seemed to help me gain energy too. Not only that but Razani heard me and started looking behind. Now I was 40m behind him, then 30m, then 20m, blimey I thought I'd better make a pass and make it stick.

I felt brilliant, I didn't surge but just kept the pace going. No need for silliness just yet there was still another lap to do and about 7k to mop up. I didn't look behind and kept cheering all the other guys and girls. Through T2 again, systems all still feeling brilliant.

This was a test race for Phuket 70.3 in a few weeks and the training plan said to take it easy. I wasn't about to give up on this race but I did promise myself an easy last k if I had a lead. As it happened no one was in sight and I literally jogged the last k and won by 3 minutes.

My time was a 2:01:54 which is credible but not forgetting that the swim was short.

A super weekends racing. In the end I won my age-group (RM1500) and even came in 3rd overall (RM300) a nice additional USD600, shared between the wife, Sid & Seb and the maids that leaves me with...nothing and an hotel bill to pay. Haha.

Finally I can't leave without mentioning that both the Sprint yesterday and the OD race today were both won outright by a girl! Radka Vodickova, she's a Czech pro and flipping awesome. I'm not even the slightest bit embarrassed about being chicked by her, she's amazing and a lovely person too. Very humble and amazingly fast.

1 comment:

Bryan Payne said...

AWESOME RACE BRO!!!! amazing, amazing, amazing. You looked so fast the camera couldn't even get a still shot of your legs. haha.

Your body shape is looking a little different too. Same dumb looking head, haha, but the body is leaning out.

Again, congrats on a great race. Loved the cycling tactics. It's just the beginning of great things to happen this year I'm sure.