Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Kapas Marang Swimathon 2010: Land in Sight

My bro...'s his first time.
Enjoying the fast ride to kapas...the water seems oddly calm.
Sandy beaches, and blue waters..
Anxious swimmers at the starting...
Now you can see there's 2 groups going different directions. I am betting the right one is heading towards the marine boat, which is wrong.
The landing...
The one arm guy...faster than me!
Silly shirt...
More and more swimmers getting back. This year more than 220 participants made it back.

This years' kapas swimathon has the highest participants numbering more than 300. As usual, for this swim, I treated it as a holiday rather than a race. My bro tagged along, but just as a spectator.

Met with Teoh, Raymond Tan, Elaine and some friends (PS Sim) from singapore. Also, met with some guys from UPM swimming club. And Jason Tiang is also joining for a first timer.

After a bus ride from KL, and a hearty breakfast at KT, we headed for registration. Then it's off to the blue small paradise of kapas. I just couldn't wait to dip into blue clear water filled with corals and colorful marine fishes.


I had brought along the trusted rifle scope. And it prove to be a great confidence booster, as I could even spot the bright orange balloon on the shores of pantai kelulut. I could even see 2 small buoys at the far end. Didn't really went for briefing, as I roughly know what to expect. It's my 4th time anyway.

The only thing you need to do is know where to land regardless of buoys and marine patrol boats. Buoys could get lost, and boats will move, regardless of what they told you. Then compensate for current all the time. You have to realize that the current changes from the start to the end. So, always keep an eye of where you are going.

Once you know this, it's a matter of swimming and getting ashore asap.

And also before the swim, drink enough water, cause there won't be any for the next 2-3 hours.

At the starting line, you could really see the strong swimmers from the average. Strong and fast ones usually have strong upper body parts.

The horn blew, and it's time to swim. Now funny thing is, the group started to break into 2. One heading right, another left. I have no idea why so, but I knew where to go, so that's that. One lady was tagging behind for 1-2km. I'd guess she doesn't know the way. And it was pretty hard to see the landing as well once you're in the water.

But as time passes, the shore came closer, and the radio station on the left of the landing, came into view. I could now see the balloon. So, it was swimming as hard as possible, with more kicks.

But as always, nearing the shore, is tougher. Maybe it's the fatigue. Or maybe I am not just a good swimmer. But I set my sights on landing and just swam, counting the strokes up to 50 before glancing at the landing. Now, even if you're in the water, you can still navigate. Just observe the position of the sun during breathing, and you can roughly steer in the right direction.

Landing was close, and suddenly a huge wave brought me crashing into the sand. What a landing! I went to put on that silly shirt and got the medal, with the time of 2:26. My bro was there snapping pics...he said he'll be interested to do this next year.

Now, there was this guy with one arm. Yet he swam faster than me! Swimming is perhaps the hardest discipline to master. I've been swimming for years, but the improvements are minuscule.

Oh was fun, and that's the main reason I always back at Kapas.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Double broga in two days

Leonard, waiting for me patiently at peres...

The end of suffering, at least for broga loop.

I thought PCC ride to broga falls on saturday. That morning was really heavy with clouds, and rain looks like it could come anytime. I'd hope the rain be dumped elsewhere, as I rode up Ampang hill. Then I was lucky to meet Leonard, who was also doing broga. After some chats, I realized it was tomorrow and not today. Oh well, since we are here, we might as well ride on.

Then it rained. And pretty soon, we're riding in the wettest condition. I was just hoping not to skid on the downhills. Broga is tough not because of its' distance, but it's the many tough and long climbs you've to endure.

I was riding my roadie, so climbs seemed so much easier than the tri. We rode together but often I find myself drifting futher behind. He was very strong on the bike. I was just hoping to preserver enough energy to do the peres climb.

By noon, the sun came up, which was a relieve to the cold and wet ride prior. As usual, the toughest part is to climb back Ampang hill, and back to home.

166k done.


There were 2 groups on sunday. P2k and PCC. PCC starts from tekala, which is much easier cause you don't need to climb the notorious bukit hantu. Shorter as well.

I wasn't sure to do this. But I felt not that bad, so I setup the TT bike, and rode fast to catch P2k depart from bt 14 hulu langat. Looks like a lot of strong riders. The ones I knew were Sean Chang, Jacky but not many. During the ride, after introducing to Danny, he asked me if I could reach broga on the TT. Well, I said "let's see how".

I tried to hang on up bkt hantu, but as usual, the strong p2k riders went up like mountain goats.

Then I decided to go solo TT mode down tekala to get a drink. The peloton then passed, and I had to put on the TT legs again and chased the group down.

Stayed with the peloton until lenggeng, and again, some riders rode uphills like it was an easy thing to do. Then up bkt tangga, where I did manage to catch some later.

Stopped at klawang, and we had manage to caught up with riders from PCC. It was getting hot now, and I'd just wanted to ride home as fast as possible. Now suprisingly, I felt better riding today compared to yesterday. It was really a solo and fast affair from klawang, and some p2k riders managed to caught up after 2km into the climb up peres.

Got up to Peres, and I was still feeling strong, but I have to eat. One thing I have to have, is enough food and hydration in long endurance activities. I couldn't go on if there's nothing much left. It's one of the reason why I had dnf during the singapore run. I just have to stop and eat something, then continue on my own pace, and not really following another guy's pace.

Then on the way up Ampang, Sean was climbing up as well. I thought of riding together but he looks fatigued.

So there, another 166km.


I've not ridden for a long time, so it'll take some time my bike fitness to come back. Just have to work more on speed.