|2016||Challenge Iskandar Puteri||07:38:01||00:51:33||03:43:06||03:03:22|
Ironman 70.3 Busselton was my first international triathlon and first wetsuit event. I was both excited and nervous as this was my first time racing overseas – new place, different climate and being 1 of only 2 Malaysians racing that event.
Racing in a country like Australia was not the first option for me due to the currency exchange rate. I was fortunate to have a friend who lives in Perth that invited me to race the Ironman 70.3 Busselton. Logistics and accommodation were covered and all I had to do was take care of my flights and other expenses.
Having lived and trained in a tropical humid climate like Malaysia, the weather at Busselton was a bit too chilly for me liking. The air was dry so I didn’t sweat as much. It took me awhile to get used to these changes.
That morning, my friend took me for a short bike ride and briefed me on what to expect during the bike course. It was a very cold morning as I believe it rained the night before. I could barely feel my feet. I almost cried, worried it may be the same on race day. But race day was a lot warmer.
We went for a swim after the bike ride; it was more for me to test out the wetsuit in the seas. I felt comfortable. I know I was ready for the race. I was glad I took my coach’s advice getting the full sleeve wetsuit over the sleeveless as the wetsuit really help kept my body warm and buoyant.
It doesn’t matter if I have raced the same course a thousand times before, I will still feel nervous because the race is important to me. I was mentally prepared. Got all my nutrition sorted early in the morning prior the race. The only thing I was still nervous about was, how to get out of my wetsuit. I spoke to a participant who was racing in my same age group. She was lovely and gave me some good advices. The Australians here are friendly and helpful.
Swimming has never been my best leg. I went on the course just wanting to finish it within the cut off time. The water was really calm that morning however got a little choppy towards the end. I got a bit worried when I felt I was the last person in the swim as most of the Australians swam past me so quickly. Every time I looked up, there was nobody near me, not until towards the turn around about 300m towards the finishing line.
As much as I didn’t want to pee in my wetsuit, I peed myself twice to kept me warm. Oops, too much info.
Got out of the swim and checked my watch. It was pretty much within my expected timing.
After the race, I later found out that the last wave got pulled out because there were sharks within the area. They still get to finished the race but not the swim. I was lucky it didn’t happen to me as I wanted to experience the full racing course.
When I got into the transition, I looked around to see most of the bikes were gone. Suddenly the whole competitive side of me kicked in and got me pressured to get going. I wasn’t sure what to do with my wetsuit when I got there but saw everyone dumped it at their spot so I did the same.
The entire bike course was flat. Not a single hill. I saw many cyclists pass me, probably riding between 35-45km/h. On many occasions I was tempted to chase them but reminded myself to stick to my plan because I know how much my legs could push and maintain. I wasn’t very happy when I saw a group of cyclists drafting but later heard some of them get penalised. It didn’t bother me.
On the second loop, the head wind caught up and my bike pace dropped. I felt the road get bumpier, had a feeling it had something to do with my tyre but I refused to stop to check as I was trying to chase after the 3 hour time frame. After the race, I found out that my tyre was rather flat. I was upset as I had some problem getting air in my rear tyre that morning and was hoping I wouldn’t lose too much either. I probably could have done better if the tyre was fully inflated.
Had the numbers at the back of my head and I know I was still within the sub 7 hour time frame after I got off the bike course.
I also noticed, having it being a fast course, many cyclists were using disc wheels. While on the other hand, there were also cyclists who were bigger than I, with cheaper bikes, overtaking me on the bike course. That kind of put me to shame. Reminding myself – It’s not about the bike but the engine.
During the bike leg, I had the urge to pee but refused to get down as I didn’t want to lose any time nor stained my bike with my smelly pee. LOL. So, I peed on the grass while putting on my shoes. Haha… Luckily it dried up after the race when I collected my bike after the race.
The run course was 3 laps of 7km. I personally never liked many loops as I find it pretty mental every time you passed the u-turn and still have more to go. However, the crowd was amazing. There was lots of energy, music playing and people were giving lots of motivations. I would say it was one of the best run course that I’ve ever ran.
The only thing that I missed was the cold water at the water stations. It wasn’t as sunny compared to Malaysia, but when your body is so warm you just wished there was cold water and lots of ice.
Overall I ran one of my best 21km distance in a long time. Felt strong even after the race with no aches at all. I crossed the finish line and saw the time on my watch, I was so happy, I did it so close to sub 6:30 hour.
I couldn’t be any happier having shaved more than an hour off my previous races. It was my Personal Best (PB)
My Take Away From This Race
- While packing, never leave the bike pedal on, as it punched a hold in my sponge. I know it’s a small matter but still. Never do last minute packing. Pack at least 2 days prior to departure, that way any problems can still be rectified.
- One of the pieces inside my integrated seat post dropped inside the frame. I called my mechanic back home to enquire on the problem but glad I found the missing piece and got the problem resolved. This is one of the reasons why we should always pack our own bikes just so we know what could have gone wrong.
- I learned a better way to remember how to tighten and loosen the nuts. – Lefty loosy, Righty tighty. 🙂
- Always ensure tyres are pumped to at least 110-120psi. There is no room for error.
Credit & Acknowledgement
Breakaway Training, Coach Felipe Loureiro – Thank you for the believing in me and getting me to where I am today. Your customised program is never boring and it fits perfectly well into my busy working schedule. Your program made it possible for me to train at my optimum.
PushMore Fitness & Performance, Coach Jonathan Wong – Thank you for monitoring and working closely with me every single week on my strength and conditioning training progress. Despite all the pain that you have put me through, they are all worth it!
N8 Sports Nutrition – Thank you for supporting and believing in my race endeavour. The N8 Endurance and N8 Amour BCAA made it possible for long hours of training and recovery.