Sunday, June 7, 2009

Xterra Malaysia 2009


A beautiful morning at Teluk Chempedak...

Queuing up for obligatory body marking..

Transition for both bike and swim...

The individuals go first...

There's some current to the left, so I set my sight a bit to the right of the buoy.

Got to run...!

Here's the pros....noticed he had some cuts on his back...



Home run...Sanggup Richard is just behind me.


Actually I was hesitating to join the race, but since Zain had been thinking of doing the bike section, and i need to balik kampung anyway, so we team up for the relay section. Besides, this is organised by our close tri friends.

The event was held at Kuantan's favourite beach, Telok Chempedak. Frankly, I have never swam in any beaches in Kuantan at all, though i live so near to them. Partly because of the effluent I have seen going into the sea...But, the beach is a lovely place because of it's location, eateries (yeap...MacD), and also Hyatt resort nearby.

Although it could be 3 man relay, I opted to do the swim and the run, and Zain doing the mountain biking section. The scene is almost the same as a normal tri event, except the transition area is filled with mountain bikes!

8am - Tengku Mahkota arrived to officiate the starting. The relay teams had to wait 5 minutes after the individuals had their start. I was hoping to dip below 30 minutes. I could see the rest of the swimmers are pretty strong. When the horn blew, all of us just flew into the sea, and fought to gain lead. After awhile...I settled for a fast but not optimum pace. Then, I suddenly knock into something, which turned out to be a jet ski with a floater at the back. It had came to rescue a girl swimmer, who had some problems.

We have to swim 2 triangle loops. And to my surprise, I managed to clock 13:12 minutes for the first, which requires us to run back on the beach for the second loop. Feeling great, I managed to complete the whole swim leg in 28 minutes.

At the transition, Zain was waiting. I quickly passed him the chip, and off he went for the bike part. Zain is from mountain biking background, and pretty strong and fast cyclist. I budget 1.5 hours for the bike section.

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While waiting, the results of the swim were out. And yeap, the other swimmers did much better. In fact one team went 19 minutes for 1.5k! Average would be 25 minutes.

While waiting in the waiting box, we could see how the pros went blazingly fast. One of them had scratches on the back, apparent from a fell. Then it's our national pros who were coming in, lead by Shahrom. Razani, Dino and a few others came back almost the same time. At 9:58am, the first relay biker came. I was anxiously hoping Zain could come back sooner, but since this is a first, I don't want to put so much hope.

At 9:20, he arrived, and I quickly unlaced the chip, and went for the run. Frankly I didn't have any idea how the run is going to be. The starting path have us going uphill a bit on gravel, then tar, then headed up the hill in trails, and then downhill. Afterwards it's going through a small park called Taman Gelora.

And then things became tougher as we ran up stairs, then trails up a fairly steep hill. I was pushing it from the start, but when the climbing started, I opted to powerwalk instead. The climax was getting a ribbon at the peak, then descend back on to the beach for a second loop. Now running on road is ok, trails pretty exciting, beach...pretty sucky because all your leg power is muffled by sand.

And now for the part I don't understand. We have to go through a waist deep 'stream', then pass some huge rocks on the beaches, make a U turn and run on a set of planks (which I thought was for bikes). Surely, the organizers could find a better place to run. Fyi, the stream is a waste water drain out, so not so lovely yea...

On the second loop, guess what. I finally found myself at the back of Sanggup Richard. I thought it would not be a bad idea to draft him. Puzi was nearby as well. Then Sanggup slowed down, so I decided to push ahead. I managed to lead until the part descending towards the beach. But he had stopped for drinks just 500 meters to finish, so I guess I'll just try to outrun him to the finishing line. Anyway, we came back almost together. My running time was 47 minutes 39 secs, and I couldn't be happier.

We finished 9th for the team event. So I guess we did pretty ok.

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All in all, there's some complaints, but it's pretty well done. But I won't be getting a mountain bike soon just to do this. Just looking at how dirty the bikers were is a real put off.

Anyway, my hats off to the Xterra team who had made this possible. My only grudge is not getting a finisher T for the team event..:)

4 comments:

Simon said...

Trail running, beach running AND running through stream and climbing over rocks is all what Xterra is about - surprised me too but this is pretty much the standard format. As for the getting dirty on the MTB bike - man that's the real fun of it - you really feel you've earned it with all that sh*t on you. Get a MTB bike - I did it on my wife's cheap heavy thing - but the biking was the best bit by far. Well done to you guys, great result.

yipwt said...

simon,

Darn..I didn't knew that. Anyway, not planning to get down and dirty with MTB. :) Even the best detergent won't get those stains out.

anakpanyu said...

The MTB trail was good. The trail running was not as expected. I was hoping for it to be more challenging.

Stupe said...

:D Yip, good report. :)