I don’t tri. I do
By Tuan Senang Besar aka TSB
TSB took part in his first triathlon back in July. His report epitomises all that encompasses the lifestyle of this sport. A self proclaimed ‘Teh Tarik tri-wannabe man’, TSB’s take on race day is inspiring, heartfelt and REAL.
I try to plan my swim/bike/run on the weekends around the family’s schedule. That includes going out very, very early in the morning. Never-the-less, it’s something that I choose to do. The key is to keep everyone happy. And so far, everyone is.
My friends always asked me this question. “Why do you take the trouble to get yourself involved in this sport of suffering?” My answer would be “don’t know but I just want to show how a fatso can finish a race he started.”
A short while ago, I became a runner by completing the KL half marathon despite citing that I hated running. This time around, I got myself into the pain fest again by signing up to do the PD International Triathlon.
The first task was to get through to the ‘The Wife’. For some apparent reason, she thinks I can’t swim, despite me swimming in the pool at our condo every other day. So I had to tell a white lie and told her that I was doing the relay.
Race Day: Woke up at 5.45 and wondered how did I get myself into this? Down at the transition area I saw familiar faces, got my body marked and made my way to the Power bar counter and chomped down a free bar. Took photos, everyone had a tri-top on except me, Kam & AJ. We were real men. We went topless. I decided to test the water. Seemed a bit choppy and murky, swam out for a bit and came back. The usual briefing from Mr. Chan who had to scream before a loudhailer was given to him. More photos, smiles and then, it were time.
I started with the second wave. Positioning myself towards the left where the line was out on the sea I did quite well until the first buoy, that’s when the choppy water came into effect. It took me forever to reach the next buoy for the u-turn. By this time I was zigzagging a bit and the female swimmers caught up with me. Made the u-turn and felt a bit bushed so I decided to take it easy, enjoying watching the yachts at the marina (yeah, right). Out of the marina and back into the undercurrent. I was now leisure swimming. Spotted Mac on the side and yelled to him. I could have a conversation with him. And then Bandit came alongside. He swam really well and that gave me the extra little push I needed to swim faster to the shore. Damn, that was one long swim. I didn’t know how long it took me because I don’t have a stopwatch, but apparently according to Bandit we did about 1 hour. That’s not bad, I guess.
Nearly all the bikes were out of transition. Ha-ha! Took my time to change and pushed my bike out, taking the phone from my old boy and rode off. I have never done a brick before so it took me a while to adjust to the different use of muscle groups. I didn’t’ push hard on the bike. On the rolling back roads towards Linggi I struggled on the inclines. I was so slow, I was yawning on the bike. Nice scenery. There seemed to be an Indian religious event going on. I wonder if they have banana leaf rice served. Then I saw this lady on a mountain bike. She had a flat rear tyre and was struggling to pedal. I came up to her and asked if she needed help (not that I could offer much since I didn’t have a spare MTB tube). She replied saying that she’ll be fine and would push. Amazed at her will I rode off towards the u-turn. At this point I seemed to get a second wind and started to big crank all the way. I was certain I was faster on the way back. No, I don’t have an odometer either.
Rode into T2, put my shoes on and walked off. I brought a bottle of ‘happy juice’ with me, just in case. By then, most of the field had come home to the finish line. I started my jog. I saw Adli and he encouraged me to keep going. Barath came by my side with his car. I asked him if he’s going to run with me like I did for him at ironman. He said he’ll do it in his car. Useless ****. So off I went. More runners on the opposite side are coming home. Almost all of them exchanged hand slaps.
It felt like the longest 5km run of my life. Major Kalam and Adni came past. I was approaching the Avillion and then the amazing Patsy overtook me. I couldn’t even pace with her. At the u-turn, I sipped drinks at the water station and headed back. I kept my pace but had to pee. Must pee, damn it! At a public beach area I ran to the public toilet and pleaded to the lady to let me pee without paying. Didn’t carry coins. With that done, I went on my merry way again. The traffic police truck was moving slowly towards me to pick up the cones. I walked for a bit then I saw this dude on a bike with a medal round his neck. It was Upiq! What a God send! He came back looking for me. He got off his bike, pushed it and walked with me. We spoke about everything and anything. That took my mind away from the fatigue. Next up was Julie & AJ who snapped photos of me. Julie even shot a short video and interviewed me. Adeline came on a bike not long after that too and before you know it, I was already at the junction of PD Marina. A few corners to go and I decided that I MUST run to the finish line. They were all waiting for me there. Stupe, Bandit, the old boys, Ish, Z, Mac, Adeline and Senn.
Damn that was hard. So why did I bother to do this? I don’t’ know. I don’t tri. I just do.
I’m not a triathlete. I’m just a fatso who can reach the finish line (albeit slower) just like the skinny guys.
What are you doing? 🙂