Tuesday, May 30, 2006

First Taste of Triathlon

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Last Saturday I got my first taste of a triathlon. Martina, Andy, Alice and I headed out to Bintan, an Indonesian island an hour away from Singapore. Well to be honest, the only reason I am doing it is because it was free, Alice knows someone who sponsored the race and so got some free competitor spots. We even got our hotels and ferry for free. Bargain. So I headed out to a triathlon but the last time I swam was probably the end of last summer.
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This is the most relax and enjoyable event I did, the family beach resort has been turned into a camp of athletes with their expensive bikes and flashy triathlon outfit. The main restaurant is constantly serving buffet and you see all these people doing crazy carbo loading with the unlimited pasta supply.

So we got Friday to chill and to do the preparation. I tried the race course (5km) on Friday morning, it was hot as hell, I ran for just 2 km and was dying for cover from the equatorial sun. Now the swimming was a problem both for the distance (750m) and my ability to keep my wound dry. In case you haven't heard, I picked up a nasty cut at the Moganshan Race 2 weeks ago which I said hello to my bone. Two weeks later, the wound still looked like Freddy Coughan's face and I am on a mission to keep it dry. Experimenting with all sorts plaster in the shower, I found Band Aid Advance Healing to be the choice for a undisciplined patient. I then reinforced the plaster with climbing tape and eventually electric tape. It worked my wound stay dry.
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Onto the race, it kicked off at 8:15 in the morning and 180 people sprined toward the sea. For a newbie to triathlon like me, it was a funny experience, we were like lemming on a mass suicide party. And I am license to kick and grab anyone who gets in my way. I tried front crawl for a bit but it was impossible to stay on course or stop bumping into people, so I switched to breast stroke and now no one can get near me, else my kick met their kidney. 22 mins later I am the 117th person to emerged from the sea, Alice was right behind me.

I got on my rented bike from the resort, a 40pound moutain bike which moved like a donkey. Most people who overtook me with their flashy road bike kind of snobed at mine when they overtook. I try to regain my position against these snobs whenever I see one just for a laugh and I can bearly held them off for a minute. The biking session was 40km. I came 146th, even more falling behind.

So finally back to the transition area to get on my feet, the conditioning the day before was useful and I was almost the only person that was running in the heat. I took 29min to cover the 5km and ranked 47th, kind of redempt myself.

My overall position was 104 and I am jolly happy with that. Andy and Alice's relay finished 96th and congradulation to them!
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It was a good event, doing multiple sports in a paradise island and cool down with chill watermelon. Thoroughly enjoyable experience.
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The next chanllange: Macau Action Asia in two weeks time!!
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Gabs Lau said...

haha, these are great tip, where did you found it. I should get martina to film the process of me bandaging my wound and stick it on youtube.

Anonymous said...

Good Job for finishing. My first tri will be in Sept, wish me luck.

Anonymous said...

a v interesting story of yours in Bintan. How I wish someone would pay for me to join a race? Lucky you.

Wish your leg get well real soon.

See you in Macau.

Gabs Lau said...

Yeah, see you in Macau man, will be fun to race with you this time around. What's your team name?