left kl for bukit merah around 10am. got there about 1.30. the first thing we saw as we arrived was that mother of a hill coming in to bukit merah laketown resort. our immediate thought was, "oh f**k! if we have to take this route tomorrow, we're royally screwed!"
we drove in and went to register. i managed to con my brother (signed him up without him knowing it) into doing the biathlon so went to watch the race that afternoon. for a first timer, he did pretty good. out if the water in 29 minutes and did the run in about 35. post-race, the dude was feeling happy. said his main problem during the swim was navigation. he kept going off course. but despite all that, he still finished with a good time and was ahead of many other swimmers. now, to get him on a bike.
senn ran a pretty decent race as well. she finished the swin in about 25 minutes, bu as usual, suffered on the run. her run (more like walk) was about 50 minutes. she really needs to work on her run.
at the carbo load dinner, mr chan briefed us on the bike course. when he mentioned the big hill at the resort entrance, you could hear a loud groan from everyone in the hall. fortunately, he said we'd be riding past that hill on not up that hill. there was a collective sigh of relief.
woke up to the sounds of pouring rain. uh-oh. does this mean race cancelled? or postponed? hope not. didn't quite fancy doing the run later when it's hotter.
at about 7am the rain eased off and we made our way to transition. when i got to my spot i saw a brand spanking new orbea ordu in the spot next to mine. drool. got everything set up and it was off for body marking and swim start.
the klaxons went off and away we went. it was a pontoon start so we had to dive off the pontoon into the water. swim one loop, climb onto the pontoon and dive in again for another loop.
i was worried about the diving in part, afraid that as soon as i hit the water, i would dislodge my goggles. luckily, nothing like that happened.
halfway through the first loop i looked at my time. it was slow. which had me puzzled. i'm swimming ok, no difficulties, rhythm was good. why so slow. at the end of the first loop i looked at my watch again. 27 minutes.
27 minutes? at my normal pace i would have been about 13 minutes away from the end. i'm only at the halfway point. something was seriously wrong here. there's no way i could finish the next loop in 27 minutes.
rounding the final bouy, i was passed by senn. which was even more puzzling. was she having a bad swim too? how could she have been behind me all this while? something was not right.
at the end of the swim, i looked at my watch. 56 minutes! either the swim was longer than 1.5k or my swim really sucked! i hoped it was he former.
all hopes of doing a sub 3-hour race disappeared at this point. to make things worse, it was a loooooong run to T1. arriving in T1 i started feeling cramps in my calves. "ignore it," i thought. let's just get on the bike.
this has got to be the flattest and easiest bike course i've ever done in a tri. it was fast too. leaving the resort two guys passed me and asked me to hop on. so away we went, like a bullet train, taking turns at the front. it was a nice paceline while it lasted. after about 10k, my legs couldn't take it anymore and the other two guys pulled away.
got to the u-turn, and saw that we had only covered 16 and a half kilometres. it was going to be a short bike course. it was then that i realised why the first half of the course was easy, we had a nice tailwind pushing us along. as soon as i made the u-turn, i went smack into a headwind. did the return leg mostly solo. at one point a relay cyclist passed me and asked me to hop on but my legs just couldn't push the pedals hard enough to keep up.
got to T2 satisfied. it was the fastest bike leg i've ever done: 1hr, 05m. think if i had managed to hang on to the paceline earlier, i could have broken 1 hour. oh well, on to the run.
got to T2, and had a little trouble putting my shoes on: i couldn't bend down far enough to slip my socks on. i tried it standing, cannot; kneeling, cannot. finally had to sit down to put on my socks and shoes. so much for using lace locks to speed up my T2 time.
the run started off very slowly. it was only after i puked (yes, again), that i got comfortable. becuase of the rain earlier this morning, the first loop was nice and shady. the sun started peeking out on the second loop though, making it very, very hot.
apart from the puking, there run went without any incident. crossed the line in 3:19. not quite the time i was hoping for but it'll do.
s - 56m
t1 - 3m
b - 1h05m
t2 - 2m
r - 1h11m
got on the bike to see how senn was doing. she was just after the water station on her second loop. escorted her all the way back to the finish line. she finished in 3h58m. again, she needs to work on her run.
overall, i had a pretty decent race. it could have been better had the swim not been so long. it was twice the biathlon length (which was 1k) and even then, there were people saying the biathlon swim loop was more than 1k. so it could have been more than 2k! if it was, then my 2k time has definitely improved.
anyway, now it's off to kenyir.