Officially a little triathlete - I completed because I TRIed at Port Dickson International Marathon 2015

Capturing the moments of my 1st triathlon experience at Port Dickson International Marathon 2015 on 10 Oct! Awesome experience!

I'm officially a little sprint triathlete! Yohoo! 

So happy that I managed to complete the sprint distance (750m swim, 20km cycle, 5km run) at Port Dickson International Marathon 2015 on 10 Oct 2015. It has been on my mind since last year that I wanted to try it one day. And I'm glad I finally did it. 

I didn't go for the Olympic distance ( swim 1.5km, bike 40km, run 10km) because I didn't want to end up being brought back in an ambulance or on a wheel chair after the race. :)

Race results:

Overall position: 62 / 258.
Swim (750m) position: 81/258 (Time 00:15:28)
Bike (20km) position: 249/258 (Time 01:03:57) - Bottom #10! sob sob!
Run (5km) position: 51/258 (Time 00:28:24)

I don't have tri-suit and bicycle

I decided to wear swimming trunk to swim, cycle and run. There are few friends and colleagues who offered to lend me their bikes but finally i decided to borrow the foldable mountain bike from a colleague. The borrowed mountain bike can be folded nicely and fitted into my Toyota.

Fitting the borrowed mountain bike into my car boot.

We stayed at highest floor with breathtaking view of the marina. 
This shot was taken from the room window at Avillion Admiral Cove

Race Kit Collection

Race Kit collection. I love the Newton PDIT shirt. 
Very nice! So it's official, I am #635

Surveying the venue site since triathlon is new to me.
Checking out 
the sea that I need to swim 750m the following day.

Instead of eating at the provided dinner by PDIT at hotel, 
we went to eat at Restoran Fatt Kee, a recommendation 
from a friend who stays at PD

Briefing Session
Briefing session. Uncle Chan is very funny! 

I have heard about Uncle Chan Uncle Chan Uncle Chan from some triathlon friends before. And I just knew that he was a race director for PDIT and many other events. Little did know that he is such a funny humorous guy until I attended the briefing session and met him for the very first time!

There would be 120 volunteers, 80 police men, 3 ambulance and 258 participants at Sprint Distance after some pulled out due to haze.
Sprint Distance race course: 
750m swim, 20km bike and 5km run

Highlights of some funny moments which caused bursts of laughter from the audience:
  • "I was a Malaysian swimmer........... more than 50 years ago. I won gold medal before. And I was a water baby then...."
  • "You are allowed to use safety buoy but you need to inform safety official first. But no motor boat though!"
  • "In the sea there is no water station.  But you can drink any time you like... free of charge. The water is salty and can prevent cramp too."
  • "During swimming if you find difficulty, shout for help. Not soft soft. People can't hear. Shout loud loud."
  • "If right leg cramp... use left to kick. Turn over to your back and use backstroke to pedal. Shout for help but don't open your mouth too big.  Many birds around..."
  • "Relax a while the cramp will be gone. Use left and right leg to swim. Not your center leg."
  • "No one dares to ask how deep is the water" (seriously, no one asked this question during briefing at all!)
  • A participant asked about the route. Uncle Chan replied, "Same route as last year. A lot of cyclists... just follow them.... unless you are champion. And if you are the last, got sweeper."

Preparation for 1st triathlon (the night before and on race day early morning)
Back to room to start the preparation. First is the bike.

All set.... smile emoticon excited and nervous at the same time.

On the race day - putting on the Race Number
Tattoos. So excited about this because i have
wanted a tattoo for a long time and now I got to have
this semi permanent #635 for at least a day!

Can't contain my excitement over the race number
tattoo! must take some pictures for memory. 
smile emoticon

All set to go out from the room. #635 - 
you will go down in my memory as my 1st triathlon! 

Swimming 750 m
Oh no - swimming !!!
There is a price to pay without wearing a tri-suit. And it would be first time for me to be topless and expose my tummy to so many people (close to 300 odd people) in my swimming trunk in public. Most participants all wear tri-suits making those topless even more outstanding. 

I felt very shy, very bare and naked! I guess I gotta learn how to hold my breath and suck in my tummy all the time with cameras around or to invest in a tri-suit next time to hide the tummy. :)

I bumped into a running friend and she wanted to take a photo for me. I told her ok but not to post on facebook. lol! And true enough - i sucked in my trummy when she took my photo at the beach. 

Topless  - shy shy. No choice since 
I don't have tri-suit. I didn't manage to 
hold my breath and tuck in my tummy as well. haha! 
Oh well - what the heck!
Swimming was a mass start. And all the 258 participants (after some last minute withdrawals due to haze condition) waited eagerly to jump into open water at the swim start assembly area. Being newbie, I talked to some of the participants on open water swimming tips. I was advised to stay behind and follow the crowd. 

I put on my provided 2XU white swimming cap, swimming goggle and ready to start my new sports adventure - triathlon.

It was also my first time to swim competitively in open waterI'm not sure if I would be scared of the depth of water and got panic with close to 300 people starting out together. But i told myself just do it!

I swam further away from the float line and followed behind other swimmers to avoid being kicked on my face! :) I was swimming freestyle at the beginning and I was having difficulty swimming against the tides. Additionally, I had to continuously pull my head up to look at the front to see where I was swimming until my neck was very tired. So I decided to alternate between breast stroke and free style.

I heard a female participant's very loud panic scream. I believe she got panic with the open water. I was told after the race that she overcame her fear subsequently.

Well, being kicked on the face or body was no joke!! As I made my 1st turn to the left before another turn back to finish line, I swam towards the float / buoy line area. And then suddenly my face was kicked by a female breast stroker! i started to get panic a bit but determination to finish the swim overcame my panic. 

And I tried my best to swim to shore without being kicked on the face or body again. Haha!

    Transition area. Mine is H racking area

    Here is the borrowed mountain bike on the rack. 
    I also got my running vest, isotonic water ready.
    Cycling 20 km
    Cyling in swimming trunk and running vest! haha!

    Cycling leg... this is the most torturing part. I find my cycling is very very weak. Mountain bike is heavy and no matter how i tried I couldn't get it to move faster. I never trained. My thigh is not strong. And what I do was to let other cyclists passing me by. I was so worried I would end up the last. Rather frustrating!

    I wore swimming trunk and just put on my running vest. I was very demotivated because I never trained at all on my cycling. The last time I ever rode a bike for more than 20km was 2 years ago. So I really suffered! 

    No matter how hard I tried to pedal, how many times I adjusted the speed, I couldn't get my bike to move fast as I wish. The fact that it's a mountain bike also didn't help further. 

    So what I could do was just helplessly seeing many other participants cycling pass me in their racing bikes. And some in their mountain bikes and foldies also over took me. 

    I was so worried I would end up last or in a sweeper bus. Based on the time I was the bottom 10 (#10 from the last). sob sob!!

    Running 5 km
    Last leg - running! My favorite! The race number 
    tattoo number is still there! Yippie! So 
    now I can smile a bit more. Running and Swimming 
    all in swimming trunk! Tried to save transition time. 
    Photo credit: Camel Muar. 

    Smiling.. Tried my best to overtake some
    other participants who overtook me at cycling leg.
    Photo credit: Chen Hong Bing.

    So happy that that cycling leg was finally over. I put on my Skechers Gomeb Speed 3 and started to run faster and faster. However, my thigh was so tired from the swim and cycling that I couldn't even run at my normal pace. So I just took it easy but tried my best to overtake as many as possible to catch up on my time. I don't wanna be the last!! haha!

    "I completed because I TRIed."
    I am now officially a little triathlete- a little
    one since I only tried the Sprint Distance.

    I was so happy that I managed to complete my 1st triathlon. So now I 'm officially a little triathlete

    With the time of 1:47:50 and overall position of 186/258, I know my timing was not good. But at least I completed it. I shall take this as a first-time learning so that I train harder on my weakest part - cycling and swimming. 

    After swim bike run -all tired but smiling!

    Before removing the tattoo after finish... when again will I have the tattoo? :)

    Beloved parents

    Triathlon is exciting! The feeling is different from running a full marathon. I like running and swimming because I feel I am in control. But cycling - I feel so so helpless and clueless. This is totally a new sport for me to explore.

    Perhaps I will come back stronger next year and try out the Olympic Distance. :) But first - i really need to look for my triathlete friends and cousin to help train me up in cycling. 

    Next time - I hope to wear tri-suit (no need to be topless!) and use my own racing bike. 

    Written on: 2015.10.17



    1. 1st experience with topless haahaa

    2. Vincent, i cant stop laughing when reading your journal, you were topless than others haahaa :D

      1. hahaha!! you are making me laugh again!