Thursday, October 16, 2008

My first olympic distance triathlon....months ago!

Malaysia’s Toughest Triathlon Race – Kenyir Lake International Triathlon 2008

It’s been months and only now I realised I haven’t upload my 2 cents worth of mumbo jumbo for this event. Guess for me it is the toughest triathlon to blog as well. Bummer!

Well, the title says it all…Kenyir Lake International Triathlon is the toughest among all the olympic distance triathlons in our country – A Famosa, Miri and Port Dickson. Despite being labelled as toughest triathlon, something or somebody somehow made me willing to give Kenyir a shot. It was my first try in an olympic distance triathlon – 1.5km swim, 40km bike, 10km run. Yes, first try and it has to be in Kenyir!
Most newbies would have started their OD triathlons in PD among others and shudder at the thought of making their first entry in Kenyir.
Well, tomatoman here is truly crazy, hence the nick crazytomatoman! You never try you never know.
Years ago, before I started running, triathlon was just a blurry dream. I’ve always dreamt how cool if I can be a triathlete…swimming, cycling & running in tri top & tight fitting bottoms which make hot sexy girls (hot sexy mama also can lah) go googoo gaga over muscular sexy butts while zooming by like speedy gonzales! Hahaha!
My uncle did it years ago. Many hot babes were always by his side and that gave his wife a hard time swatting them away :P
Sad to say he’s retired with triathlon and I guess I’ll start the ‘tri fire’ burning in our family but of course there’s still hope in getting my uncle to make a comeback.

I must say I’m absolutely fortunate to have so many tri buddies, Dr Rum, Cervelo PiggieBee, Mich Ah L…err…oh nevermind or else I’ll get whacked if I put it in. Tips from the Ironman were priceless, what more to say we had training duels together although I opted out from swimming lessons. Guess tomato just like to float rather than swim…..tsk…tsk…tsk….but seriously, 1.5km swimming together with so many kicking legs and flying arms is no joke. Throw in real tomatoes among them and you’ll see the tomatoes getting pureed!

Early on 5th July morning, we car-pooled and met up with Randy, Ivie, Sam, Carmen, Chris & Emma before proceeding with our tri convoy to Kenyir Lake Resort. The journey to Kenyir was 6hrs including our lunch pit stop and snacks shopping. We finally arrived around 2pm with our almost flat butts that cried out with joy!
Kenyir is truly a hidden treasure…oh what a beauty! The first look at the lake brings peace & tranquility. However, the first terror came into mind as we drove up a steep slope leading to the triathlon finish arch. That slope was the last hill to climb before we can shout “I did it!”. As our cars rolled down to the finishing line, that was the famous hill Dr Rum has been telling me about. It will be the first hill to ride straight up from the lake. Oh my…..shiver me timbers!!!!

Checking in for our chalet was smooth and surprisingly the tri registration counter was not crowded like usual. Even so, all of us somehow ended up with XXL T-shirts. Obviously selecting the sizes in our online registration was of no use!

The inviting lake was too much to ignore and so, we rode our bikes to the starting line and had a little dippy in it. Like duckies with smiley faces we were. After dipping we went for a little hill climbing. The 1st and 2nd hill going out to the main road was still bearable but coming back is a best to do without story.….TOUGH! After swimming 1.5km and riding 40km, it’s gonna be the TOUGHEST!

Evening arrived rather fast but carbo loading dinner was a disaster when hundreds of hungry tri dudes and dudettes had to queue at least half an hour to finally stuff something into their mouths. I, for one had to start off with diluted soup and the green salad dishes. Hey, wait a minute…aren’t we supposed to do that? Err…that’s the western style, which many Malaysians can do without as they only know how to ravage the main courses. They knew what carbo loading meant, rice…pasta….potatoes…more more more…load…load…load…

After the re-run briefing by uncle Chan, we scuttled back to get our bikes, jerseys and supplement ready for the next day. 11pm and it was lights off!

True enough I didn’t need my alarm clock to wake up as the morning toilet flushes were loud enough. Ultraman Yip was the earliest to be ready and he zoomed off to the starting point while some of us were still having our breakfast and some secret power drink…hehe!
With everything done, off we cycled to the starting point and upon reaching the bike area, in an instant my eyes were glued to cervelo….cervelo…and more cervelo tri bikes. It’s ok, Merida bike also can do the job. Wait till Merida ‘sayur’ Cervelo….muahahaha!

A beautiful morning it was and after warm ups, everyone lined up at starting line awating for the horn. As soon as it was sounded, the triathletes resembled seals scuttling in panic as if a menacing orca was heading to devour them. In fact, one of the famous tri suit brands is Orca. Hey, I’m wearing it but …err…I was like a bloated orca floating….hahahha!

Cutting the long story short, the swim or rather the float was a very slow. Only a handful of bikes remain as I slowly walked to the transition. With bike all set, lo and behold the hill awaits!

First 5km was lonely as almost all of them were far in front. As I hit the 10km mark, riders came into view. The pros were heading back while my target was way ahead. All the way to the 20km U turn point, it felt real good passing riders. With 10km to the U turn, I saw Dr Rum on his way back. Then came Yip and Mich. With 2km to the U turn, PiggieBee was spotted. Oh yes, I was getting near. Yes, yes yes! Just gotta keep on rollin!
However, good things do come to an end. Both my quads cramped at the same time with 10km to go. Sad, so sad….I had to stop, rest and stretch while riders zoomed pass. From there onwards, it became a slow under 25km/h ride with cramps. Ouch! The worst was I had to come off my bike to push it up the last celaka hill! I just couldn’t ride up that hill. Luckily a stylo cervelo rider was also pushing his bike together with me. Hehehe!

Stashing my bike at transition was a relief but when running shoes were intact, more pain came into play. I had to hop and walk for at least 2km before the leg muscles get the signal to run. Running pace increased very slowly as I progressed on. Scorching midday sun caused us to look for shades all along the 10km run and sponge stations were very much welcomed. After many many turns on the long & winding road, the 10km was up.
Upon reaching the final climb before the finishing line, I went pass a familiar face. Datuk Bernard Chandran. He’s also into triathlon and Kenyir was his first OD just like me. Good thing is I sayur-ed him. Muahahahha!

I finished my first Olympic distance triathlon at Kenyir! It was not a pleasing time of 3hr22min but I did it. Mission accomplished! Yahoo!!!!

Pix from Kenyir...

more pix comin.......stay tuned!


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