Saturday, June 17, 2006

Action Asia Challenge Macau

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A bit of an late update since I lost my internet connnection at home last week. Finally completed the last leg of my three races in 6 weeks schedule in Macau with the Action Asia Challenge. This time I am partnering Andy in team Tempo Sparks again. We have raced together under this name since 2003 for 3 times already. Kin my partner in Moganshan is also racing with Larry, another mountian biker, under the team name of Windcatcherz. So without saying a personal battle quickly developed between the two teams, to make myself clear, I want to kick their ass real bad.

I cannot have a more enjoyable race than this one, after doing these races regularly enough, I am now getting to know so many of them when we rubbed shoulders on the narrow race track. Ah Keung from my group of climbing friends is another person I know personally. But there is nothing more fun than racing back to back with friends you know.

The first part of the race is mostly on foot, shortly after the starting run, we have to swim across a lake and landed ashore like in the Battle of Normandy. Andy's swimming goggle he bought at the hotel disintegrated at first touch of water and that dragged us down a bit. But we quickly recovered our pace and were taking over people on the coasteering section, that is mix of running and swimming along the rocky boulders along the coast, and occasionally climing up cargo nets from the sea. We got passed Windcatcherz quietly and tried to stretch our lead. We know any advantage is shortlived as the second half of the section was on bikes, interluded with some hill climbing with fixed ropes, kayaking, abseiling and getting wet again and again for no reasons. I realised I have developed this fear on off road biking since the injury, but I tried my best to stay on the mount while charging downhill. We could see Kin and Larry right on our tail at every checkpoints.

Finally Windcatcherz pressed home their advantage and overtook us at a stretch of downhill biking trail, but 5 mins later when we got to the abseiling check point, we executed it in commando freefall style and overtook them again. Though at the penultimate part was 15mins cycling on road toward the Macau Tower and we cannot pushed our bikes any harder to fight them off. Finally we came to the last 2km run across a bridge toward the finishing line. Though Andy's injury is kicking in, his had been closed to breaking his knee at the coasteering and now the swelling has taken its toll. I can see Kin and Larry just at the top of the bridge and at our top running speed, we probably stood a chance of catching up with them. But injuries is just part of the race and it is all these uncertainties that turns a race into an adventure.

Finally we got to the finishing line at Macau Tower and once again I felt enormously proud to have get this far in another adventure race. The finishing line always mean so much for a competitor, however shattered I felt, I can always find another bucket load of energy to sprint through the Arch of Triumph.

Out of 135 teams, Tempo Sparks came 88th overall, finsihing at 6hrs57mins. Windcatchez came 86th beating us by 3 mins. Congradulation to them.

Thus I have time for a mini break, but the calendar is still busy in the rest of the year. I am gonna team up with Alain and Alice from work as a relay team in the Korea Ironman at end of August, the new challenge is to swim 3.8km at open sea.

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10 comments:

CK said...

Hi Gab, thanks for your message at my blog. this is Mok Kun if u remember...

Gabs Lau said...

oh hi mok kun, good to see you

ahdont said...

this is great. every adventure i read, it makes me feel weak by how much pain you can take. i feel so distant from you now.............

Gabs Lau said...

mate don't be so down man, your flying training is an adventure to us but of course you probably feel less of an adventure when you are so used to flying. you see next year when I am doing all these races again, I probably would find it repetitive and bored. we just keep on finding something challenging to do and rejuvenate ourselves.

Alex said...

What do you do for living? I'm jealous that you have that much time to travel and race.

Gabs Lau said...

Alex, I hardly have enough time, I work in a commercial bank, the hours are pretty long, finish after 8ish most days, so I don't get to train much on weekday, so I just tend to push all my training on weekends. got plenty of annual leaves though, so enough for my oversea races

kin said...

Hi Gabriel,

I love the "commando freefall style". It is indeed a real freefall when I saw you jumped off that 20m wall. I told the marshall you had just killed yourself.

Mate, we should do some training together. It is fun to be together with good friends. We enjoyed the race a lot(it is not much a race for us but fun) and your team is a big part.

For us, we've got to work hard on the rock running.

See you and good luck on your next race.

Kin said...

Hey, where did you get the winning post photos? Do you have any press reports on the event?

Gabs Lau said...

haha, we ran back to the finishing line to take the picture, you can see the medal on us.

Andy Lau said...

Looking back at this blog, it has already been 2 years from the race. I am eager to get fit again and be in the race with you!