Posting a title like that in my blog makes me feel so “super”… hehehe.. cause it’s like a first up there you see. A level of pride which you get with every first time for anything.. but then…
…it wasn’t really my triathlon debut. Well, at least not a full one in this case. We had formed a set of triplet to get this task done… a relay team that had no prior experience whatsoever with triathlon, but nevertheless a bunch of misfits out of the stables of Dutamas Runners that was gonna get the task done.
The whole thing actually started way back, perhaps 4 months ago when I was asked if I wanted to try out a tri. Wong Yi Bin’s cousin, Mak, a happy-go-lucky-try-it-all type of guy decided that it would be fun to have a go at it. And he had swimming covered. Cycling and running were another story altogether. Yvonne, DR’s running queen was naturally our runner and I, the running-handicapper got to be on two wheels. 😉
And so, the so-called Kenyir dream team was born. (…was more like a dream to just finish it and finish it well… :P…)
Four months flew by like a Sunday brunch at McDonald’s with extra fries. (Don’t ask where the reference with food came from…) …and me barely having survived Brooks Half Marathon last week was once again thrown into another pit. This time perhaps, it was a bit more reassuring to know I had speedy teammates (who could ensure this debut would not end in utter shambles…)
Anyway, before I knew it, we were making final trip plans and I had my bags packed.
The journey to Kenyir was quite an experience. The running queen, myself and Andrew Choa, our designated cheerleader, photographer, support person, crying shoulder (if needed) started from KL and picked up our swimmer, Mak from Ipoh. The journey to Kenyir is easily summed up by the words; cowboy town, potholes, truckers, jaw-shaking AND loooong… Yup, that’s it.
Lake Kenyir Resort was the official site for the event. Race pack collection was quite decent (I was comparing of course to my own out of town experience at Tour de Bintan.) The evening programme was a carbo-loading buffet experience at the resort (do you actually need to carbo load the night before? – but it makes a damn bloody good excuse to indulge.. :P…)
Anyway, we ended with a briefing session by the esteemed Uncle Chan, the triathlon guru (literarily) That session was an equal and excellent combintion of wit, humour and detailed explanations.
The next morning, we started bright and early. Waking up in the boathouse (oh yes, we stayed in one but it ain’t no cruise!) we got ready and made our way by foot and wheels to the race site. I certainly felt a level of calmness which I never expected, but then again it’s perhaps due to the fact that I wasn’t alone in this.
Split into starting waves, we were the last starting wave to be starting. Mak was up and once the horn blew,it was an immediate focus on race-mode…Mak was surely a fish with an unofficial timing of 30 mins blasted out of the water and ran right for me at the transition point.
As soon as I was given the timing chip, I knew I had to work fast… Getting on my wheels with my adrenaline rushing and having to make very steeep drops right out of the start of the race was nerve-wrecking! Gosh, I prayed for a safe descent with no incident. But as my nerve cleared I began to realise one clear fact… “What goes down, must come up”… Yup, I had to come back via the same route.
Apart from the start and end, the rest of the route was fairly tame, but boy did my legs spin to try and keep up with the fast groups on wheels and for all the idea for wishing for a speedy and uneventful race, I had to be faced with a technical glitch with my gearing system. I had problem shifting within the mid range gears which meant I was stuck with the high and low gears on my bike. I had to make do! I had to play with a combination of high and low gear along the route to maintain the speed I needed. But coincidentally, the route itself was a combination of high and lows, which I worked on with my gear cautiously.
Having to suffer the final climbs which I had flew down on just 1hour and 45mins ago, I made my way back to the transition point where Yvonne took over to get started on the running event. I also realised at that point that we didn’t do half badly and seeing as we where in no slouched position of being in the bottom half. (Lol, that competitive feeling in me was tingling a bit… but that was all, I had to be sure)..
Anyway it took our DR queen a blistering 11k run within a speedy hour to make it back to the finish line and we took the finishing line at 3 hour and 46 min sealing the time for our very first triathlon event, relay style.
At the end of it, I just had to love the whole new experience. It was something new for us and for me especially and I think the start of a new discovery in this sport. Well, I gotta work at it if I am to even try an attempt at the next triathlon event.