Sunday, July 25, 2010

Port Dickson Triathlon 2010...

Event: Port Dickson Triathlon 2010
Venue: Avillion Admiral Cove, Port Dickson
Date: 25 July 2010
Time: 7.30am
Distance: 1.5KM Swim, 40KM Bike, 10KM Run
Shoe: K-Swiss K-Ona C
Bike: Ceepo Katana
By Frank

A crash last week and diarrhea yesterday did not stop me from making my triathlon debut. However, one thing did. Read on as I experience the cruelty of endurance multi sport events.

The decision to use the Ceepo Katana was made at 11am, pre race day. I told myself there's always a first time, so there's nothing to be afraid off. And so, in it went into my car.

Pre race day...
Nothing much happen on Saturday except for diarrhea. Body purge 6 times including once while on the way to Port Dickson. I travelled with Raymond Hee in my car and soon arrived at our destination at about 3pm. Collected our stuff and met up with our friends at Avillion Admiral Cove before the both of us went ahead for our very late lunch. Then it's free time for everyone as I went on to test my bike for a few rounds around the car park area at the apartment I'm staying at, PD Perdana, which is located just 1KM from the race venue.

Later in the evening, it was the carbo loading dinner and briefing too organised by the organisers. Dinners was just so so, but it was enough to fill us up. Then it's back t the apartment to gear up and to have some quality rest. Oh, did I mention that besides Raymond, I was staying with Michael Dolan and Dloris too. Slept close to midnight as I had a good chat with Raymond, one that is really worth it.

Race day...
My wrist watch's alarm was set at 4am but I guess I couldn't hear it as probably I slept on it. Waking up and seeing that it was 5am made me jump out of bed. I was lucky everything went smoothly from breakfast to the other usual stuff. And by 6.25am, everyone was ready and off we went.

Upon arriving at the race village, I panic as I couldn't find my transition area. Raymond gave me a shock when he told me that I had to carry my bike and wait for him. But luckily he was wrong as we found it, located just beside the main transition area. Geared up and we waited...

As I waited, I felt really anxious. I was thinking of my safety and how am I going to tackle the bike course. And it was here I made a very regretful decision as I removed my "bento box" which had a spare tube and tyre levers in it. I saw Raymond running towards the transition area at around 8.25am, about 25 minutes into his swim. Our transition went very smoothly and off I went. The first couple of kilometers was about getting used to my bike. I was on the handlebar till I entered a wide open road. I felt comfortable here and soon went into aero position. Now, I felt the advantages of a tri-bike. It was so easy to pick up on speed, and coupled with the knowledge I gained from Shem Leong's big gear training last weekend, I made it to good use.

Chee Kong came into the picture at about 4KM. He was supporting me, looking out for traffic for me. I felt really good, averaging a speed of 32KM/h, hitting a top speed of 42KM/h, something which I have never done before on flats and rolling hills.

However, things went down for me 17 minutes into the bike course. At 9KM, I felt wobbly and discovered I had a punctured at the front wheel. Pull over at the side and with Chee Kong's help, we tried to remove the tyre which was really tough without a tyre lever. Tried to flag down a few others, but to no avail. One helpful guy threw me a single tyre lever which I was grateful of as Chee Kong was using allen key to try remove it was really worried me, as it may damaged by wheelset. Soon, Terence spotted me and stop to help. With his strength, we managed to remove it but then another nightmare came. Chee Kong's tube isn't suitable for my 50mm profile wheelset. Arghh...

A glimmer of hope when I saw Siok Bee when I asked her for tube as I knew her wheelset's profile is the same as mine. However, hope was gone as she did not have one. Here, I made a critical decision on my own, I will quit from the race. Soon, the official car arrived and up I went being drove back to the race venue. The end after such a promising start. Sigh...

Into the race village, I spotted Raymond and called out to him. I can see how surprised he was to hear my voice though I think he did not see me. Keat Seong and Yee Tze saw me and I asked Keat Seong for help with my bike and wheelset.

Upon placing my bike on the transition area, I went to look for Raymond to share the bad news. I was really sorry for all this, as it could have been prevented if I didn't have remove my "bento box". Sigh...

I decided to run, to help either Michelle or Jennifer, depending who arrive first. It was Michelle although Jennifer followed closely behind. I hope I didn't mess up Michelle's pace though as I paced her till the end before I detoured off course as I'm no longer a competitor.

With this, I collected my stuff and took a slow walk back thinking back on things. Caught up with Shem too to thank him on the "big gear" tips. Showered, pack up, lunch and it's back home.

And so came to this cruel end of my triathlon debut as I suffered my first ever race DNF (Did Not Finish). It's really cruel when mechanical failures causes things like this. I don't deny I'm sad, but I have to accept the fact. There's another triathlon but it won't be this year. Therefore, my eyes will be set on Powerman this year.

A post mortem done by the mechanics at Specialized Malaysia showed a small particle hidden between the wheelset and tube which caused the puncture. As the wheelset is new, we both agreed that it was there since the installation which was "cleanly" done. If this is true, I know who to blame, but the damage has been done. Let's move on...

Before ending this really sad entry, I would like to say THANK YOU and SORRY at the same time to my teammate Raymond Hee for trying to motivate me into joining triathlon by becoming my teammate and at the same time for the cruelty I had to share with him.

8 comments:

Jamie said...

Wah tough luck man. But it happens, esp in such a technical event as a tri. So many factors can go wrong. There';s always the next one and now you can start your personal project in earnest.

Raymond said...

haha doesnt matter. There's always a next time. We had fun didn't we, and that's most important

Tan Kien Boon said...

ahaha...so u are the one with the punctured.. i am the one with the skewer.. sorry that u DNF ler.. I always put my pump, 2 tubes and the skewers at the back of my cycling jersey reason i left one is i left the other in my house.. nevertheless i think it is fun lah..

Frank@Runnerz said...

Jamie: The first is always the toughest to swallow. But life goes on. What to do?

Raymond: Yeah, I did had my fair share of fun not only with the gang, and also many new friends I made.

Kien Boon: OH! I owe you a skewer! How do I return it to you? Although I still DNF the race, I still have to thank you for a life line thrown to me. Hope to see you soon.

Tan Kien Boon said...

dont worry bro...keep it as souvenir dint get the medal, at least got skewer mah...just joking... see u around.. was talking to ur miri fren who on transit to uk...

Frank@Runnerz said...

Kien Boon: Oh you meant Chee Kong? Cool... He was helping me with my puncture. But the more he help, the more I worry. Haha...

Finisher's skewer instead of medal. Hehehe...

Tweet @ Chin said...

Sorry to hear about the unfortunate incident. Sh*t happens, Frank. Just take it in stride and be better prepared next time.

heckler said...

Sounds like Kona 2008 where Christie got the co2 from Rebeca... But she go on to win the title ... And you got the skewer :) bro, it's a good experience and it will prepare you for other races. Cheers KA