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delldell314

IM70.3 Thailand 2017

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hi to all friends,

Long time never write any post race liao since my injury due to bad bike crash... Signed up for this 70.3 at 2016 but unfortunately i have to DNS due to injuries... Not only waste my training effort but all the $$$ for the race/accomd booking etc...

Signed up again for 2017 and finally managed to travel and finish off this race 1 year later then i planned. Thus i like to share my race experience: 

 

Arrival:

This time only my wifey went with me thus it was muuch more easier for both of us without worrying for the kids' welfare. Wifey was also able to help me much more on my race logistic and enjoy the race village event together. Upon check in, we went straight to the RPEC. From experience, first thing to do is not to collect race pack but to book carbo dinner slot for partner as it always sold out./ It cost us about 52SGD for my wifey's entrance to carbo loading dinner. True enough.. It was sold out when we are out from the race expo.

As usual, race pack for tri is always less crowded than marathon... collection of race pack is done within a few minutes and the next booth to go is to check out the M-dot merchandise... Expensive pricing yes but the design is nicer than bintan 70.3. Can't resist and finally got my first M-dot merchandise event tee for satki-ness.... I even got 1 for wifey as it don't usually come in lady cut... :lol:

Went back hotel rest and return back to carbo loading dinner.. Food wise is ok. It is just a normal buffet dinner but definitely not worth $52SGD kinda.. Was surprised the oldest participant in the field is 85yo ah gong from japan.

Pre-race prep

Love to travel for triathlon race but still find bicycle logistic a bothersome.. Spent the next morning to assemble the bike. Weather was not sunny but rather cloudy..  Managed to go practice/familiarize the swimming route and transition area..

Checked in bike after lunch and the queue to check is long. Every participant need to take a photo with his/her bike to ensure no one swap bike during check out which prolong the waiting time.  Racking n setup e bike is breeze. I did it within a few min with some  leisure photo shoot arnd the TA.

Race day:

Arrived at TA about 6am to prep all the T1/T2 race gear... It was crowded and still dark at the TA. Lucky wifey went with me thus it make alot of thing much easier for me when she can bring back the rest of the equipment like bike pump etc..

 

Swim:

This race i become more daring and seed myself in the middle wave within the main pack which i expect to be more "washing machine" effect. It was a rolling start and it was not so bad at the beginning until about 200m away from the start point. Everyone was fighting for swimming space.. It was sort of "fun" but also waste my energy coz i can't swim properly with limited space.. However it get better after the 1st bouy.. Managed to draft a few swimmers to save back my energy. The swim route is much easier than Challenge I.Puteri with less turn/U-Turn. When i out of the waters, i was surprised i managed my PB for open waters swim. My garmin clocked sub-40min which I very happy while running into the TA toward my bike. This time i saw there are still many bikes on the rack which mean i manged to catch up with the front pack of the swim.

 Bike:

When i found out that Thailand IM is one of the toughest coz around Asia, i decided to try out myself. It is definitely the toughest bike coz i even race. First 20km is nothing but ascend climb.... Upon reaching the first ascend, 2 bikes crashes just happened in front of me.. I suspect the cyclists never able to gear down in time for the steep climb... It was steep!!!!!  After the first climb, i saw ppl starting to dismount and walk up... But honestly within myself, I do not want to do that. i engaged to the lowest gear and kept on climbing.. It was tough and heart breaking.. Every single pedal need lot of efforts with no stopping or else i will fall... While i saw more ppl walking up, i saw it as a motivation that i will not dismount to go up..   I did not count the no of ascends but i think it is about 4-5 steep climbs within this first 20km. After the ascending, it were the descends... There are marshals stationed at this point for safety and keep shouting for cyclist to brake onward... Managed to go down the first descend and toward the second descend.. it was a very technical descend with sharp right turn!!! The cyclist just before me crashes on the right turn.... the next moment i dismount... :|:( Perhaps due to the bike crash last year and seeing bad crash happen in front of me... i felt nervous.. Marshals went over to attend to the lady cyclist wwho fallen.. I walked down slowly the steep downhill and then mount back to cycling... Just before mounting back, i heard another bike crashes behind me at the same turn... I have never encounter so many single crashes within such a short distance and period... It is really tough and technical bike coz...

After the 20km of technical coz, the rest of the bike coz is also not too easy. It is not a 100% road enclosure thus i find myself sometime zoom along the heavy traffic with just a narrow bike lane... Overtaking is very difficult... You need to look out for chance with no traffic and space to overtake.. I estimated i was not in my aero-bar for almost 40-50% of the cycling route. There are ascend climbs from time to time but not as technical as the first 20km... Toward the end ~20km, cyclists were directed to the inner right lane with traffic moving along my left... My speed reduced coz i just don't used to traffic moving along my left side since i been using outer most left lane for all my riding practise... 

I'm glad when i passed main entrance toward TA in the event resort  becoz i manage to complete this bike coz safe and sound.. :unsure: This bike coz is not only very tough and it is very hard in term of bike handling skill and high traffic awareness. Upon reaching back T2, most of the bikes are back on the rack... yes. i did pretty slow on this bike coz n exceeded 3hr split time.

 

Run:

After a tough bike coz, my legs are abit exhausted than usual.. I was still hoping to do a fast run in this coz. While the terrain is not giving us any chance, the weather is considered blessing for us. It was cloudy with no sun when i started my run. It was a 2 laps run coz and i can plan my pace according to the hydra station. Again it is not a flat run coz.. With exhausted legs, it do feel tiring to run up from time to time.. After the first 5km with my fav gummy bear candy... I feel i can run abit faster to go for my sub2 n tried to maintain at ~5:30. Hydra and cooling stations are nicely lay within 2km. There are a moment even i can feel some drizzy rain to cool myself down.  E running route is mostly behind the "backyard" of the resort or along the golf area, there isn't much  crowd to cheer etc... Depend on individual, it can be a con or pro.. 

While i felt that i managed to catch up with alot of runners, i still did not manage to break my sub2... However i finished this race w/ a strong sense of achievement to conclude for my 2017!  Finisher pix taken with my 6th hard earned finisher 70.3 medal!

 

Post race Conclusion:

Personal opinion: Go for this race until you are very comfortable with your bike handling and climbing skill!! (I meant it).

Will i return for this 70.3 again?: Nope. I feel i will rather spend money to attend race somewhere else for new experience. Bike coz is very challenging n fun but concerned with its safety aspect.

In term of race experience: Challenge Taiwan still top in my personal list.

I hope my review is good enough as leisure read...

 

With my 6th 70.3 at Thailand which also my last race for 2017.. I plan to step up my own game to go for Full IM at 2018. Considering kids' sch term n own schedule, I'm targeting at IM W.Aust 2018. I hope I can be prep and ready for it  at December  2018.

Wish me luck guys!!! :jump:

 

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