Sunday, August 17, 2008

Race: Desaru Long Distance International Triathlon 2008

Sunrise at desaru...

The starting point for desaru swim

Long sandy beaches...

Wong ah thiam left me in the dust...

Friday morning, with raymond ng's car, and Ngae, we headed southbound for desaru. Tagging along was Dr Tan and Jason Thiong in another car. Desaru is a place I've never been before, but from the pictures of it, it sure looks beautiful. All of us will do the long distance half ironman, which is 2km swim, 90km bike, and 21km run.

And as we arrived, it reminds me of terengganu, although the water is not as clear. But one thing is for sure, I'll love to retire somewhere at the east coast with the sea nearby.

Then I went for a test swim in the open waters. The waves were crashing and rolling. Somehow, I love it. Heck, if they have a long distance swim race, I'll prefer doing this compared to cycling and running.


Race day:
I didn't feel particularly excited on the race. I was hoping a sub 6 hours finish. For nutrition, I've brought a few dates and a snickers bar. No powergel or powerbar, because the taste just sucks.
Another thing is the start time at 10am. I was left wondering, why 10am? why not 8 or 7am?

At the beach for the swim leg, already the temperature was high. The sea was turbulent as usual, and everyone was eyeing for the buoy. I told a few fellows, to use the sun as the navigation point. It makes sense because once in the water, you won't be able to see the buoy.

And as the horn went blowing, we raced to the waters. But it wasn't the seasick waves that is problematic. It was getting stuck in a traffic jam of swimmers. It's either you bump into the front guy's legs, or the person behind is clawing at your legs. As I got of the water for the bike, my time was 48 minutes and 57 secs.

The cycling leg was a bad one as I've found out that my front gear could shift to higher gear. I spent some time trying to push the gear changer, but to no avail. So I settled with that for the rest of the race. Better than having a puncture. Certain parts like downhill, I couldn't use strength to increase the speed, as the cadence went above 110.

Apart from the gear problem, the temperature was blazing hot. As I u-turned where I had to slow down, I could really feel the heat we were cycling in. And at the moment, I thought to myself, these triathletes are pretty crazy people. You have to be insane to pay money to be in this kind of condition.

Then some rain poured, and at least some parts of the cycling route was wet. But the wind was pretty strong as well, and most cyclist were just cruising along. Me included.

And now for the running leg 21km. It was nowhere easy. My personal best for 21km would be somewhere around 1:40, but with the heat, and after 2 legs discipline, I couldn't do it. It took awhile for me to get off running, and it got better as the heaven's poured. I was pretty shocked to find Siok Bee in front :), and also some few fellows. Yes, my bike was that bad. Adzim was pretty fast as well running in front.

Managed to catch up Abu, shazly, stupe on the run, but Julie was just fast and furious. Met Dr Raymond, who had a puncture, and he offered some refreshing ice, as well as Jaja supporting all the way. Thanks.

Also met hand injured Ariff, who was running in his arm rester, and overtook me. At first I thought he did the full with that, but it was his running leg relay. Anyway, it just shows how crazy are triathletes.

At the last loop back, Rashid overtook me. I said I was just taking it easy, but perhaps I was demotivated on the bike leg or just not having the mental strength in there. Somehow after that, I manage to run, and had Rashid pacing behind. Then I slowly picked up the pace. The speed interval training did really helped here, as I was running faster.

And in the end, managed to clocked 6:33 something. Not so good, but good experience at the least.

I knew desaru is doable, but I didn't expect such a gruelling experience baked in the hot sun. Ironman distance is surely double the torture.

More pics at
Desaru triathlon 2008 pictures


zulhassan said...

tayar bocor pun laju lagi tu. Taniah Yip.

powerman NOV jangan lupa. Kita berjemur sekali lagi

Stupe said... time if bike got prtoblem before race, look for me.

well done with your timing, first time i did desaru, it took me 7 hours and 20 minutes

kev said...

Welcome to the crazy people club! Hahhah, but Yip, you can call yourself crazy too! With all your ultra runs!

Ya, I'm also a bit afraid of the heat and humidity at Langkawi, but will keep my fingers crossed I won't be too bothered by it!

yipwt said...

zul...bukan tayar bocor..gear tak masuk.

stupe, well done...u ran even with blisters..that's something.

kev, the temperature was around 39c with 100% humidity during the rain...bloody hot. But dun worry...think u can survive langkawi.

John said...

Well done and congrats on your debut. You'll certainly improve from here.

missjewelz said...

yip !!! congrats !!! we both finished didnt we ?!

yipwt said...

hi john,...heard u wanna do tri :)

Julie,...beat steph ya next time.

zulhassan said...

sorrylah bro , baca dalam keadan mengantuk sangat sampai tak perasan aku, lebih baik ada masaalah gear dari bocor. :D

bola2api said...

gila lah..

well done well done

Bink said...

You dont have the mental strength in running 21km after 2km swim and 80km bike ride? Where in the world didja get the mental strength to do a 84 km in Singapore?and running from your home to K.Klawang?

Anonymous said...

beat steph ! 2nd time u telling me ! and oso ada a few other frens.. :) will do it. slow and steady.... creeping in like the early dawn.....huhuhuh....