I left KL with OP Jim at around 1600hrs on Sat, 19/7/2008 in a cheeful mood and feeling upbeat about my chances in PD.
However, as we passed the turn-off to KLIA nearing Nilai, we got stuck in a blardy traffic jam, again. I dunno whether it's a coincidence or not but it was at the same place and on the same day (day) where i got stranded going to my first tri in A'famosa in May 08. Somehow, I think traffic jam and triathlon have got a positive correlation between them. Luckily, this time i wasnt rushing for anything and we arrived in PD around 1830hrs.
Later that nite, i didnt go to the official carbo-loading dinner due to some confusion and i didnt have the ticket. However, IM Yusran came and brought 6 packets of out-of-this world beryiani with chicken and lamb. We had dinner amongst ourselves and the beryiani was excellent. Next time, i must recommend to Mr Chan to serve beryiani during carbo-loading night.
Later, i went to the carbo-loading dining hall to meet friends and fellow triathletes. Everyone were in jovial mood and we exchanged many good luck wishes to each other.
After the race briefing, went back to my room and ran through the final preparation before going to bed at abt 11pm. I was praying to God to let me sleep in peace unlike in A'famosa where anxiety took control which left me awake until dawn. I noticed that i was calmer and relax this time around and managed to catch a good nite sleep and well earned rest.
I woke up at 515am, went to toilet (twice..!!), eat light breakfast, vitamin and a Powerbar on the way to the race site. At the race site, i put my race kit into the basket, hooked my bike and went for body marking.
While waiting for race time, we took photos and mingled around with other athletes.
It was the first time i had swam that far in the open sea. 1.5km with approx 1,000 other swimmers. It was something which were unthinkable and unimaginable ever in my life. I'm was living outside my normal-ordinary-comfortable-predictable life as i threaded the water slowly.
Abt an hour later, i emerged from the sea like a Godzilla storming the city of Tokyo. As i was running and passing the shower area, i could see spectators raised their eyebrows, whispering to their friends in amazement pointing and looking at this bull-sized guy with massive jello-like stomach bouncing all over the place. Ahhhh... i dont care. At least i'm competing rather sitting around doing nothing like I was once before.
i took easily 5 mins at T1 and rolled my bike to the mounting area. Smiling face. High spirit and body felt okay.
I overtook quite a number of riders during the cycling leg cranking and mashing the pedal. I saw big trains and pelotons passing on the side of the road. Beautiful sight. The bicycle course runs through the hiway towards KL and turn right at the traffic going through a series of undulating rolling terrains. It was a very nice course.
In the last 15km, I drafted behind the guy in the above picture. Main slipstream siotttt... instead of working together, the guy kept trying to breakaway from me but i closed in each time he distanced away.
I got to T2 approx 1.5hrs later and some of the athletes had completed their running leg. Aiyaaaa... to be honest it can be a bit demoralising seeing these guys reaching the finishing line just when you were about to leave for your running leg.
Anyway, i tried to keep my spirit up without thining much of other athletes. After all, I'm only competing against myself only. My target was to complete the race and prove that A'famosa was not a fluke. I have only me standing in between the challenge and the achievement. still smiling.
when i started running, i was already about 1030am. Sun was bright and temperature has started to rise dramatically. By the time i got to the 5k mark, it was scorching and burning my neck. It was one of my most difficult 10km run as the running course was a boring, straight, no tree shades, no scenery except cows and run-out-of water water station. I had 1 Powerbar and 1 Powergel to keep my nutrition level up and provide the much energy energy to complete the course.
2km to the finishing line, suddenly my kidney hurts due to overheating and i felt a sudden urge to berak/poo too. i was really in pain from thereon and hoping that i wont be DNFed. Ironically, my body was holding quite well as i presevered in agony. Later i was told that the berak sensation is called runner's diarrhea due to the constant up and down movement of the body during running which may stimulate bowel activity.
Anyway, 400 meters to the finishing line, i could see people were going back already with the bikes nicely tucked on the cars and i thot, "Damn, there wont be anybody left when i reach the line."
After almost 4 hours of toiling in the water, heat and pain - i reached the finishing line with my arms raised in the air. No matter how long it took me to get there albeit swimming alone, cycling alone and running alone, getting to the line was indeed a sweet victory. A moment to saviour for the rest of my life.
The medal maybe small and cheap compared to the efforts you put in to get to the finishing line but the self-belief and confidence level that you achieved at the finishing was far greater reward than anybody can give you.
Finally, my first tri was the most memorable and my second tri was more significant.
Smiling face again.