5 years after my first triathlon in 2007 at A Famosa, I finally get to do the Kenyir Lake Triathlon. Some of my friends opt not to do Kenyir because it is far. As for me, I just want to give it a try considering I have not tried the course. I have heard the course is pretty tough and hilly (see, tough and hilly are 2 different things..). And just a week before race, I saw Eugene Chan on Astro’s Kafe Arena, saying that the course this year is even tougher. Cowabunga.. missJeweLz like !!!
It was a super long drive from the Klang Valley to the East Coast. Kuantan-KL-Kuantan was almost a weekly ritual for me a couple months back I have no problem driving to the east coast. Not sure if I could take on driving all the way to Kenyir, was already planning to swap the driver seat with my friends Fairul and Rusfarizal @ Hanchik in case somebody gets tired or sleepy. But ‘surprisingly’ all went well, and I drove all the way. 6 1/2 hours or so plus one makan stop and a few loo stops (for Hanchik).
The weather was pleasant throughout the drive and the first half of the day. We checked in at the Kenyir Lake Resort and Spa around noon, collected our race kit, and later had lunch with IM Sofian and his wife, Tip, Richard Tang, Rupert Chen (nice meeting ya !) at a restaurant very near by to the race finish venue. I had a plateful of rice, veg and the famed freshwater Pangasius Sutchi a.k.a. ikan patin !!! I should have taken more as lunch was on Sofian. Thank you Sofian, again !
So the training plan for pre-race day was a short swim-bike-run, but since it didnt stop raining until late noon Fairul, Hanchik and I went for a dip in the lake. OOwwweee…the extra opposite of Tioman. Tioman- blue, Kenyir – black ! The water was clear alright but I couldn’t see anything beyond 2 meters. In Tioman went I swam out solo nearly a 100m out I was confident, but not this time. I had to resolve to the breast stroke apart from asking Fairul to accompany me side-by-side during the test swim. I wouldn’t want to bump into or swim with a giant fish. Or any fish for that matter ! It was only a short 250m swim out before we turned back. I wonder what Barry Lee was thinking when he swam the whole loop of 750m alone !!!! He must have swam fast enough not to think of any creatures swimming next or behind him.
Eve : as usual, the carbo loading dinner (i have started loading earlier in the week) and the best race briefing in the world (as quoted consistently by IM Sofian). Saw the UPNM boys, the usual tri suspects and some new faces. Jaja was in her BRIGHT pink jacket i could spot her from across the hall. Sofian as his usual self with Tip. Tip ‘tapau’ed some bananas in her bag. Potassium alert !
Rain : It did NOT stop raining even till late night. I was nervous if I would get any cramps..or if my knee or legs will bail on me ..or uhmm..I don’t know…
Woke up feeling fresh. Did not feel like race morning except for all the gears I see in front of me in the room. My bike was set up the night before. Race gears too. Tinggal pump my tyre je. And yeah, it was STILL training. I had my gears wrapped in plastic bag..
Slowly carried the bike up the stairs, before getting on it and cycled to the transition area. I still had to push the bike UP hill near the entrance of the hotel. I was not surprised to see not many triathletes at the transition. Some were enjoying the shelter of a nearby pondok/gazebo and another tent. The others were on their way, slowly I suppose. I was sure that the race start will be delayed. I was right. That, on top of a biathlon plan by the organizer. It was raining non stop since yesterday it flooded part of the bike course, a stalled lorry ON the road. My presumption was true, we did start the race later than schedule (after the rain eased a bit). And good news was, we still get to do the triathlon instead of biathlon. Chan Chee Seng couldn’t stress any further how important it is for us to slow down when going down hill to avoid any mishaps.
Positioned myself well. Not at the front. Still chatting away with friends, and also giving IM Patsy a quick hug. The horn blew and off we went… swim swim swim …. The time on my watch said that I swam 34mins.
Out of the water together with a couple of UPNM cadets, Adreen @ Penang one of them. I don’t think I had a quick transition though I did try my best. 2 minutes-ish. Luckily we didn’t have to run sooo far like in Desaru last year to reach the transition. Hopped on my bike and wheeled it through the 1st hill right after the bike out !! No way was I going to push it… lagi penat !
I enjoyed the hills alright. Slightly overrated when Eugene Chan said it will be tougher this year. Tough enough for an OD. n-less time finisher ,IM Sofian the hills were not a biggy 🙂 But still, we had some participants pushing their bikes. Not that they are tired (I presumed), but maybe they want to save their legs from getting any cramps ! Not exactly sure what was my bike split..no wait, the official result IS out already. 1:28 for the bike !! 🙂
Not my quickest transition yet, but better then T1… Placed the bike, changed the shoes, grabbed my 2XU visor and off I went.
The run was a breeze, and I tackled the hills smoothly. I was AFRAID that my plantar would cause my run trouble..and it did..! And that was after 5km ++ of running. It struck my right foot first.. At first I did not realize what it was, I thought there’s a stone or leaf stuck in my shoes since I did not have any socks on. Irritating that I had to really land on the outer/lateral side of my sole. Irritating at first, then painful… I was like..oh shucks…but kept on moving.. The rain (and cold) was both a relief and uhmm.. a trigger for all these small things to occur.. I was just lucky I didn’t have any cramps. Seldom get it actually. The 2XU compressor socks really was a great help. I didn’t feel any strain on my calf at all. Not a single pull I can bet.
Michelle Looi joined my for the 1st 1-2km of the run but she had to fall back due to cramps in her legs. I manage to over take both Michelle and Jaja near the end of the bike leg when were were ALL struggling to go up THAT last hill. The only difference was that I was not pushing my bike. I manage to not push the bike at all, and still manage to keep this pair of legs fresh for the run.. Again, must be that 2XU compressor..haha..
Ran together with Sara Ng from Singapore who was on her way to complete her first international race/tri. I was surprised that I could hang on with the quicker pace while chatting away with her, complimenting the beautiful and scenic view on our right (the lake) as we ran along the dam. For your information, it was the FIRST time ever the dam was open to public (or rather the Kenyir Lake Triathlon competitors). Chit chatting away till I got (sorta) bored with the pace but I hanged on.
Reaching the end of the dam was tricky..couldn’t tell how far it is to exit the dam..and when I finally did, I was surprised by another sharp hill ! That’s where I left Sara (I think). Not quite sure if there was another hill.. but i think there was. I lost count of the hills lah.. anyways, I pushed it to the max for a strong finish and made it under 3, with a timing of 2:53:15. That’s an OD PB for me..! 🙂
Position #6 (Women) (which came along with RM400 cash), 2hrs 53mins (my PB. (Yes, I am slow…!))
Congratulations to all participants at Lake Kenyir !!! 🙂 Thumbs up to the organizer and sponsors. You guys did a great job. And ohh, cool Brooks Finisher T 🙂
I will be leaving for Sabah tomorrow for the Sabah Adventure Challenge 🙂 Wish me luck !!! I have been training (not too) hard for this event. It will be a solo 60km trail run. Approximately 30-35km for the 1st day, and another 25-3okm the following. Fellow triathlon and running buddies taking part : Stupe, Bandit, Doc Hisyam, Budin, Tony Quay and Omar Yip Weng Tak. missjewelz will be among the 8 Malaysian women out of the 23 odd ladies doing the 60km trail.
I am now waiting for the 5.45pm countdown before I clock out of work. *nervous nieh..*..okay lah, hope you have enjoyed this post. Pardon me for THE delay. I have been really really busy these past couple of weeks. Have a nice week ahead you all !!! Don’t forget to smile and greet your colleagues and friends when you see them in the morning. I find that a salam or good morning are both effective antagonists to both ego and uhmm, shyness, for ourselves and the recipient. So, give salam, and say selamat pagi to everybadehhhhh !!!!! 🙂
p.s. you can follow my SAC (Sabah Adventure Challenge) updates via my Twitter juliana_ali. I will at best basis update !! 🙂