Saturday, February 13, 2016

Ultra Aquathlon Putrajaya Malaysia Race Report

Aquathlon is not a typical race on my calendar, however I've decided to give it a go just to stay in touch with multi-sports and also to gauge whether I'm still able to complete one since the last race back in April 2015

The race event comes with multiple categories and since I'm doing it, might as well sign-up for the most challenging Ultra category (yeah, I'm an ultra athlete too!!!) which involves a 2.2 km swim and 21 km run around Putrajaya. While Piew and Jacalyn is pairing up for relay, I on the other hand was going for the individual race.
Photo courtesy of Jeanie

Team 149 Piew and Jacalyn finishing 3rd placing in Mix Relay
On the race day, I met up with Jeanie and Jacalyn at our usual meeting point and carpool to the race site. Piew and Yan Leng (go kepoh) was already there when we reached, Jamie came to join us to cheer for us after his short training run too. I wasn't the usual confidence self as I know I didn't put in much endurance training on the swim and for the first time I am trying to transition from breaststrokes to freestyle swimming. Nevertheless, good, bad, ugly, I'm going in for a trouble race,
Photo courtesy of Jeanie
The race started on time for the Ultra category which require participants to swim 3 loops of 750 m open water race course and off I jumped into the Putrajaya lake. Started the swim with my trusty breaststrokes but almost after a few strokes, I got into a slight panic due to lack of confidence and almost immediately felt short of breath. Needless to say, nothing works after that. My freestyles sucks, forced to switch back to breaststroke for every less than 50 m of freestyles attempt. Swam off-course several times and saw Jacalyn who started the race 3 mins later swam past me on the first loop with ease. She was really fast and smooth, I tried to tail her for the swim but end up disastrous :( 

I then decided to give up on my freestyle swim and raced the remaining 2 loops with breaststroke. Although I felt more comfortable and a smoother swim for the remaining loops, however due to the lack of training, it was tiring to say the least and I have to pay for the price later in the run leg. 53mins from the start, I'm glad to have finished the 2.2 km swim in one piece instead of a DNF (due to panic). My legs wobbles as I head to the transition area to gear up for the run, I knew, my hope of finishing the 21km within 2 hours was nearly impossible.
Photo courtesy of Running Malaysia
Took my time in the transition area to put on my running gears, made sure I drank plenty of liquid as the hot weather in Putrajaya is very unforgiving. 5 - 6 mins later, I head out to start my 21km run on the familiar route which was the exact same as Putrajaya Ironman 70.3 only with a different starting and finishing point.

Photo courtesy of Yan Leng
By 8:30 am, the sun is out kissing every athletes and supporters, Putrajaya became very hot. Saying that, I was surprised that the first 8 km run was just a little over my target pace, and I secretly hope that I can carry the pace for the remaining 13 km. Well, it was not meant to be, after a fairly good run for the first 8 km, things started to go downhill from there. Keeping the pace under 6min was a challenge, at times the heartbeat was going too fast and I had to walk to bring it down.
Photo courtesy of Yan Leng
Soon, I finished my first loop of the 2 loops run. Although the legs felt fine by now (no wobbling) but it was difficult to keep a good pace due to the heat and tiring legs. It became a run-walk affair for me up until about KM 15, where I start picking things up again as I was already familiar with the route and know it is not far from the finishing line. It was uneventful for the remaining 6 km and finishing the race with a little sprint crossing the finishing line.
Photo courtesy of Yan Leng
Congratulations to Piew and Jacalyn who finished 3rd placing in the Mix Relay Category as expected coming from a fast duo from their respective discipline, a job well done!!! As for me, although it was a trouble race for me, I crossed the line within the top 40 for Ultra Category.

It was a well organized race overall with plenty good spots for spectators who came to support their family and friends. The swim leg was a straight forward loop format with sufficient life guards around, simple transition area and plenty of water/aid stations along the run route. Only bad point that I would pick on is the lack of ice soaking sponge along the running route. It was a hot day, and the ice cold sponge would do good rather than harm to all the runners regardless of which category you are racing in.

There is a lot of work to do on my freestyle swim, is not easy for me and swimming off course is also a problem. Nevertheless, first race of the year, first steps towards my Ironman quest wasn't all bad, at least I learnt from the race and I'm just glad I am still in touch with multi-sports finishing the race. 

1 comment:

Product Review - Nike Zoom Streak LT3

A pure speedster... FAST!! I would normally ran a considerably amount of distance with the shoes before I put my opinion on the shoes, but...