Thursday, March 14, 2013

Kenyir Lake International Triathlon 2013 - Race Report

As I have a tendency to be rather long-winded, I'm breaking my write up on Kenyir Lake International Triathlon 2013 into two (2) parts: The Race Report and The Road Trip. Just in case you don't want to read about my long and winding road trip, at least you can read this one instead. And vice versa!

Sunday, 10th March 2013.

Gun time was at 8am and we were running late, no thanks to my dilly-dallying. Yet I arrived at the starting area before the guys did, causing me to go into a frenzy - WHERE ON EARTH was everyone?

Body marking started since 6.15am and GS needed to get his done before he jumped into the water at 8.15am. The swimmers were only allowed to warm up in the water for 15 - 20 minutes until 10 minutes before gun time.

Can I have the number on my forehead? :D

Team 912: Kenny, myself & GS. I look sleepy!
Photo credit: Zul/Fendy

Dutamas Runners: Fendy, Kenny and myself.
Photo credit: Zul/Fendy

The swimmers started in 3 waves; blue caps at 8am, white caps at 8.05am and yellow at 8.10am. GS was in yellow, together with Hsu Ann. We didn't wait to see them off, Kenny and I made our way to transition area to wait for our cycle and run legs respectively.

While hanging around at the transition area chitchatting to Ultraman Yip, Uncle Chan (Mr. Organiser of Triathlon Malaysia) announced and requested the runners to return to the swim area for a briefing. Puzzled, we sought clarification from one of the marshals and he affirmed the announcement.

Ultra Yip was doing the Men's Relay - his team won 1st!

Because the swimmers had to swim a distance of 1.6KM and then RUN 450m towards (and uphill) the transition area, they decided (at the eleventh hour) that the relay runners shall run that stretch for their swimmers instead. You know, feel bad for them or something.

Er, okayyyy.
(But what about the individual participants??)

There was a lot of confusion when swimmers came out of the water in daze, ready to run up towards the transition area. It was not a problem for the individual participants, but you could see the puzzled looks on the swimmers' faces as their respective teammates wrestled the timing chip off their ankles to make a run for it.

Some swimmers even ran along with their teammates, still not comprehending the situation: What are you doing? Why are you running with the timing chip? Aren't I supposed to be the one to do it? Put it on your ankle, don't hold it!

GS completed his swimming leg pretty fast!!

I took the chip from him to do my part, only to tire after 300m. GS ran with me and hahahaha I was hopeless! I walked up towards the transition area as I could feel my quads cramping.

It was no joke, sprinting up when the legs hadn't warmed up yet.

But gee, I should have just let him run on his own and hand over the timing chip to Kenny. There is evidence of him overtaking me, by the way.

Made me feel like a complete loser. :P

Photo credit: Zul/Fendy.

Anyway, Kenny was off and I had about 2 hours to kill, assuming he had difficulty with the crazy slopes and 45KM of them all.

After an hour and a half, I had to go to the loo. I went into the cubicle which was just vacated by a participant, only to find that she had thrown her sanitary pad into the toilet bowl...

What the heck!

What's wrong with that woman???

And you know what? I bet some of you are friends with her, so I can't disclose who she is. Hah!

I took a slow walk back up to the transition area and just as I stepped into, GS waves frantically at me, signalling that Kenny was back.


I kind of took my time taking the timing chip from him (my legs weren't warmed up enough yet, sorry, teammates!) before running off.

Up to 1KM -
Downhill was fun, but I had to make sure I wasn't going too fast to die on the slopes. Waved at supporters along the way who were cheering the participants. Very sweet of them!

Up to 2KM -
Up heading towards the direction of and passed Kenyir Lake Resort and Spa. Slowed down and walk-run-walk-run as much as I could, overtaking some individual participants along the way. Don't think they were pleased to see me running past. Was trying to keep a Mat Salleh lady within sight - she just jogged up all the way. *Envy*

Up to 3KM -
A gentle incline and then downhill and flat, it was a lovely run along this stretch. Stopped at a water station, said thanks and poured water on myself. Ran past a tall guy who remarked, "Eh, lajunya!" ("Eh, so fast!") but I smiled and told him of course, I'm doing the relay bit. :D

Mat Salleh lady was still within sight, joined by another.

Up to 4KM -
I don't remember much, just that I was telling myself to keep a 6:00 pace. But generally I knew I was going a bit too fast as I was panting like mad. It was warm and I wished I had worn a running vest instead of my TMBT t-shirt, and didn't have my water bottle in hand. It was such a hassle.

Up to 5KM -
It was a -20m elevation and everyone took the opportunity to run a wee bit faster to make up for lost time. But it was a bit worrying as everyone knew what was coming. We could see it from afar!

Ran alongside Chan Yew Wah for a while and introduced myself. I mean, hey, if we're Facebook friends, might as well put a name to a face. :)

Up to 6KM -
Walked. No bloody way was I going to run up that crazy incline (up to 170m). Ok, I tried jogging a bit. Then walked again. It was frustrating not being able to go fast without zapping your energy immediately. Told myself, no way you're going to kill yourself now when you've still got halfway to go. But wait, it's only halfway! C'mon, hurry up!

Only to walk again. Then jog. Walk. Jog.

Time check: 36:28. Okayyyy not too shabby!

Up to 7KM -
OMG WHY IS THE CHECKPOINT SO FAR AND UPHILL?? Why are there so many inclines! Where is the yew-turnnnnnnnnnnnnnn ...

It was a mental challenge to be sane. I walked a lot by then. 

Lesley Tan was running back and I wished her good luck.
Saw Fendy and Zul coming down the slope. Fendy said, "1.5KM to go!" as Zul and I hi-fived each other. 

And soon I spotted the marshals holding out the checkpoint ribbon and the one and only stall which served 100plus. There was a pakcik photographer who definitely took the opportunity to snap pictures of walkers like me. *sobs*

I joked with him whether he could photoshop the picture to make it look as if I was running, instead of walking. With a cheery wave, I set off - I was terribily glad that the inclines were done with and let's get going!

Up to 8KM -
Hmmm... where is the junction to the dam? It felt like forever. At every turn of the road, I'd perk up, expecting to see the road leading to the dam.

Up to 9KM -
Wished Pui San and Yim good luck as they trudged uphill.

2KM to go! YAY!!!!
Gave the water station a miss. Got onto the road on the dam itself and sped up. Or so I thought. Overtook a guy from a Mixed Relay team who stopped to take a picture of the gorgeous dam. Wish I had my phone with me to do the same. 

A boy in blue and I were pacing each other and then it got pretty tense for me. I was on his left, and he on my right. Soon, he started veering towards his left, getting too close to me. So I slowed down and went on his right and kept up pace. He sped up too, so both of us were shoulder to shoulder. Then he veered towards the right again!

What on earth ... geez. So I changed sides again to be on his left, and AGAIN the same thing happened. I couldn't take it anymore so I said to him in Malay, "Er, you do know the road is quite wide, right? Why are you sticking so close to me? Don't knock me down! I'm in the Relay category, you don't have to kill me!"

With that, he apologised and moved to the far right of the road. Hehe. But eventually we started chatting (hmm, yeah, chatting at 5:35 pace? I must have been bored!) and I found out that last year he participated in the team category and this year was his first time as an individual.

Up to 10.5KM -
I became lazy and decided to slow down a bit. Just in case there was another slope waiting for me, right at the end of the flat road. Time check at 10KM was 1:00:36. Sigh, Not too shabby, I guess.

At the final water station, Uncle Chan encouraged me to add some ice cubes to my water bottle (so sweet!) but I declined that it wasn't necessary, since the finish line was near. I drank some water, with him encouraging me to drink more (in case I faint from dehydration?) and I poured some on myself, before making the final run.

Aww bugger. Spotted Andrew snapping pictures! I was hoping I would be able to escape the photographers because I look like crap. (And I was right!)

To the Finish -
Sped up to my capability (5:45 pace, what else? hehe) and spotted Kenny, GS and other supporters standing in front of the gate. The teammates decided they'd cycle and run with me towards the finish line, although I was sprinting by then.

300m to the finish line - hurry up!
Photo credit: Kenny

A Mat Salleh guy was ahead of me and I didn't know whether it would be polite to overtake him so I could cross the finish line FIRST or what. In the end, I slowed down as he jogged across the finish line, with me right behind. I DID try to shy away as I'm sure he wouldn't want me in his finishing picture.

1:09:38 for 11.57KM.

Aiyer, so shites.

But thank you to the volunteers who hung the medals around my neck and putting a cold towel on my shoulders/back, handing me a banana and 2 slices of watermelon, a can of 100plus and a cold bottle of water. That was great!

Trying to be a good sport instead of moping over my timing!
Photo credit: Kenny.

With friends!
Photo credit: Andrew.

I was moping about my time the entire trip back (with a huge migraine bothering me as well) and wondered if given the chance, would I have done it any differently. My intention from the start was to keep at a 6:00 pace and it seems like I was more or less there.

So I shrugged off the grey cloud which had been looming over me and told myself, never mind, *pats back* I was more or less on target.

If I had my phone with me, I would have taken pictures of the slopes for you to appreciate. Ha!

Click for larger view.

The splits. If not for KM2, KM6 and KM8, I guess I would have stuck to my 6:00 pace.

As first timers, my teammates did fabulous and I'm sure both Kenny and GS are itching to complete a triathlon on their own very soon. For me, I think I'll opt out from relay events for the time being, as the (self-imposed) pressure to do well is too much to bear.

We're still waiting for the official results to see where our team stands. I HOPE we're not the bottom 3 or something... *cross fingers, eyes and toes*

I was wearing my Skechers GORun Ride for the event and I must say that I was glad there was no usual chafing usual to my right foot. After pouring water on myself at almost all water stations (except 2), I realised after completing my run that my shoes were squelching from both water and my perspiration!

This run also reminded me again and again that I need to train the damn hills or I will suffer during the Nestle Fitnesse Malaysia Women Marathon. Huaaaarrrrrgggghhhhh.

Photo credit: Andrew.

Possibly related posts:
Powerman Malaysia 2012
First Weekend In October


  1. Nice to see someone else struggle with hills ... hahaha!

    Still fast considering what you went through. Congrats!

    1. thanks! i think you would have enjoyed the experience as well! i wished i had pictures of the hills!!!!!!!! :D