Monday, April 27, 2009

The raw duathlon

Got my endorphin fix yesterday at the raw duathlon. Did the 5k 40k 5k. I thought since there were no kakis with me, it would definitely be a lonely affair. But highlight number one was a reunion with my BMT buddy Ahmad Hilmy who saw me on FB and told me he was going for this event too. I tried looking out for him at the transition zone but didn't see him but he found me at the start point so we started the race together, just like SOC in the Army! We chatted like it was 18 yrs ago. I used to beat him at it but now he finished earlier than I did. Well done buddy!

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So this was my first duathlon and a highly charged event for me. The adrenaline was there for the 1st 5K so I finished that off in about 25 mins. The weather was getting real hot and I wished the start had been 7am instead of 745am. It was nice to transit to the bike leg and ride under the shade of the rain trees on the changi coastal road with the wind blowing. At about 30km and onto the last loop, I was running out of water even though I had 2 bottles in my bike cages. I had frozen one bottle but that melted way before. Being a zen dog doesn't help the bike leg competitively as I began to get into a kind of zone with people whizzing past and started to enjoy the cycling, admiring the nice bikes that whizzed past. But I knew the heat would take its toll in next 5k run leg so I took it easy on the bike.

The next transition was really grueling running on the heated tarmac its albedo at around 10am. Not more that 100m into the run, my thighs cramped, luckily those were peddling muscles.. or the lack of. So I ran those cramps away. It was really hot and I took my time at the drinks station... The road was beginning to dot itself with cramping runners.

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(this was taken at 630am.. those clouds up and disappeared at about 730am)

At the 2.5k turn, the wind../ zephyrs that had previously blown softly into my face now disappeared and I was now running away from it... Its soft murmurs in my ears now replaced by each of my feet placing itself on the tarmac. I lamented this wind of change../change of wind. Shortly at the 4k mark, a caucasian (attended by vigilant medics) had passed out on the side of the road still clutching on to a plastic cup.. and a guy who I had seen cramping up when I was on the opposite stretch was still negotiating with the medic to continue with the race. I was glad I signed up for the 5km run legs... I haven't so much to prove anyway.

I pretty much enjoyed the last stretch.. better than the marathon or half army marathon.... at least I still had something left in me. Got a drink from the milo stand and headed for the free cup (decent amount) of beer (ice-cold Brewerkz beer after a duathlon at the Aviation park road on a damn hot day is mind-blowing, someone should do a study on this). I think I finished in about 2hrs 45mins.

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(after the race... check out the cloudless sky)

Overall, an enjoyable race. $55 a bit expensive but the medics were on their toes and the beer was a nice touch. The volunteers were the best I have met in races, smiley and ready with the drinks. No finishers medal (which I don't care much for) but something to take back would have been good.

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(the relaxing ride back to the car after the race)

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