Sunday, November 14, 2010

Powerman Malaysia 2010...

Event: Powerman Malaysia 2010
Venue: Seri Manjung, Perak
Date: 14 November 2010
Time: 7.30am
Distance: 11KM run, 64KM bike, 10KM run
Shoe: K-Swiss Blade-Light Race
Bike: Ceepo Katana
By Frank

My main race for year 2010 but one to be forgotten. :(

Travelled up to Seri Manjung late Saturday noon at 4pm with Chin Chin in my car. Poh Seng who is driving his own had Debbie with him. Journey started smoothly till we hit the mid of the trunk road when it started to rain. The traffic there was also on the heavy side due to a few lorries. To add matters worst, I was in need of the washroom! After about 3 hours driving, we made it safely and proceeded immediately to Leadview Hotel. Met up with my roommate Yip and unloaded some stuff before heading out for dinner with Chin Chin's Penang friends. Dinner was really good and I'm sure Chin Chin enjoyed hers as well as she really wallop it.

Back at the hotel, after unloading all the stuff and preparing my race gear, it was off to bed after cleaning myself up.

Race day...
I woke up really early at 3am due to coldness. Was trembling even with my blanket on. A quick check out the window revealed a wet morning. Kind of surprise here and I started hoping that the rain will stop in time, especially during the biking leg later.

Gobbled down my breakfast, cleaned myself up and by 6am, I'm all ready with Yip. Proceeded to the lobby as we wanted to avoid the bike traffic at the lift. The rain has lighten to a drizzle and both of us made our way to the race site hoping to be able to check our bikes in early. Sadly, that was not the case and we hung around the area chatting with friends.

At close to 7am, I started queuing up to get myself int the transition area. Checked in my bike and prepared all necessary stuff. While doing so, my friendly rival, Andrew hop by. A few friendly taunts here and there with a photo taken together, and we are off for warm up.

With my friendly rival, Andrew before the start...

At the race start, I had Poh Seng with me. 7.30am and we are off. Had a little difficulty heading out of the start area but soon spotted Lynn and Pat. Wish them luck and I broke free. Poh Seng followed me closely. Kept reminding myself to control my pace as I did not want to repeat the same mistake last year. 55 minutes for the first run is the time I'm looking for. Just about 3KM into the run, Poh Seng was already off on his own. Tempted to follow, but I did not. I stood with my own strategy.

At one point, the locals were barbecuing chicken and the smell was really "bad" (aromatic) for the duathles. Hahaha... Kept running, completing the first loop and soon re-entering the race site again for my bike transition. Leg was still fine, completing my 11KM in 00:51:39! That's more than 3 minutes faster than I wanted too but still slower than last year. I will take it.

Bike transition was a mess. Everything went on well except my bike shoes. The double strap plus 1 lock took me some time to put them on. I had to stop twice while pushing my bike out due to the shoe loosening. Sigh... Took a cup of water, clip on and I'm off. Spinning on low gear first to get my legs moving and once out on the main straight road, it was game on.

Down I went on the aerobar, and slowly switching to high gear, I went for speed. The aero helmet helped a lot here when I managed to reach speed of 41.2KM/h (the only time I checked my speedometer). The wetness on the road was fine as it has started to dry up but sadly to say, the road condition was bumpy due to cracks. And at a certain point, I had to battle head and side wind. I was swaying left to right and it was really scary considering the speed I was going.

First bridge, second bridge and then disaster struck at the third. While climbing the long steep Raja Permaisuri Bainun Bridge, I stood to climb. Was really surprised Andrew managed to catch up with me here. The climb was bad but when I got to the top, it was speed again going there. However, I guess damage was done as just slightly ahead, my left calf gave way. Going at high speed on the fast lane and then slowing down was really dangerous and it took me some time for clear road to pull over to the side. Yes, I was forced to stop as left calf cramped up. Really really early still in the race and I was wasted about 3 to 4 minutes here.

Back on the bike, the leg wasn't itself anymore. Twitching all over my left calf sending signals that it may give way again. I can't push anymore and I know my Class A race was over. It was all about nursing it and to complete the race. I lowered my gear and just pedalled. The aero helmet did not help anymore and I just concentrated on the road ahead.

Completed the first loop in 01:03:31 and I'm off again for the second. Average speed has dropped to 29KM/h and dropping even further. More and more cyclist overtook me including one on a Ceepo Viper! Just before the Raja Permaisuri Bainun Bridge, Sunny caught up with me and kept motivating me. I swear that she is such a good cyclist! I'm glad to have her company here. We switch places a few times as I played around with my gears. Zooming ahead and then slowing back down. Soon, Raymond too caught up and the 3 of us pedalled together back to the transition area for our 2nd run.

Disaster struck again as I had problems getting my bike on to my rack due to the athlete beside my rack sitting on it. I told him about it but he was simply taking his own sweet time putting his running shoes on. Luckily the other athlete on the rack beside was not back yet, and I quickly do what I can first as I did not want to stop too long. Left calf was already signalling me and I quickly slip into my running shoes, removing all the bike essentials from my back pocket. Then I screamed to that guy again who is still putting on his shoe when I'm already ready. He now noticed me now and apologised. I shifted my bike into the correct position and off I went running.

Emma was at the side of the exit area cheering and she tip me not to stop running. I have no plans on stopping either as I know it will be disastrous should I do that. "Small strides, small strides", I told myself. The weather was hot now. I was already grinding my teeth as I run as it was plain horrible. Legs were really tight and even my right quads is showing signs. Entering the side of the race site, I told the marshall to splash water on me which he did. It was really refreshing as it was cold. Surprisingly, he apologised but I gestured to him that it was a job well done. My shoe was all wet here but I had confident in the moisture management system.

Just after completing the first loop, Chin Chin passed me. She was in great shape and I took the opportunity to follow her. About 4KM to go. "You hang on there legs" I told myself. At the last kilometer, I spotted Pat and gave her a thumbs up before I went for it. I was really glad to see the finish gantry and just made my way happily through it completing my second Powerman with a time of 04:08:21, a new personal best.

Chin Chin followed closely behind and I took an opportunity to have a photo taken with her at the finishing area, congratulating all our friends before heading straight for the fruit stall to replenish my sugar level. Did not want the same thing to happen last year when I went fuzzy. A few more photos taken with friends and I waited for a while at the finishing area to wait for a friend. But I was forced to leave as I knew Yip was waiting for me back at the room. I forgot the drop the keys in at the lobby.

Chin Chin and Poh Seng who both did really really well. Maybe it was the black in them...

With super supportive Emma (noticed some of her gear) :) ...

With June Yew, an uprising star in the triathlon scene...

Showered, packed up and went for lunch before making our way back to KL at about 4pm. Overall, a very simple race trip. As for the race itself, though a personal best, I was left utterly disappointed with it. However, things like these do happen I will take it and learn from this experience. What may have cause it, I'm not sure. But one thing for sure, it's the same muscle that gave way during last month's TNF 2010. Could that be the cause?

Front view of the finisher's medal...

Rear view of the finisher's medal...

- My sponsors K-Swiss, BV Sport and Key Power International (Ceepo) for the gears provided for this race.
- Chin Chin for keeping me entertained during the long drive to Seri Manjung and congratulations for completing in the top 10 with a very good time.
- Poh Seng for the convoy and company together, plus congratulations on an amazing result.
- Yip for being room mates again.
- Sunny and Raymond for the morale support given during the race.
- Tony for making the arrangements for accommodation.
- Emma for the cheers and support.
- Andrew on the friendly rivalry. And a HUGE congratulations on a HUGE improvement!
- And to others not mentioned above, you know who you are. THANK YOU!


Jamie said...

very good timing! congrats! maybe next year i du the running legs.need to find a willing biker.

zErOiCe said...

Congrats Frank! :)

andrew said...


we will meet at the battlefield again nxt year :D i'll b training even harder for I know you'll come back nxt year harder and stronger!!

Yimster said...

Good job and congrats again for the PB! Dont be too hard on yourself. Perhaps need to find out the root cause and you be back speedier!

Kevin Siah said...

Mark Allen said there is no such thing as a perfect race, but you can race perfectly. Given the mishaps that happened, you still persevered and clocked a PB. You raced perfectly in imperfect circumstances. Well done.

The Runner, Dreamer, Observer, Seeker said...

Another mission accomplished...
Well done, Frank!

Frank Chong said...

Jamie: Thanks. No need to think so much, just du the full individual long distance. You will luv it.

zErOiCe & Runner, Dreamer, Oberserver: Thanks.

andrew: Next year next year.

Yimster: Thanks. It's over. Am looking forward to Powerman X already.

Kevin: Thanks. I agree and I guess it just wasn't my day or race.