April 23, 2006
Malakoff Duathlon April 2006
“Why do you always feel like taking a shit right before a race?” a friend of mine asked. Hmmmm, a very good question. Why? Anyways, the race we were talking about was the Malakoff Malaysian Duathlon Series or MMDS for short, which has been around since 2002. For those of you who don’t know what a duathlon is, well, it’s basically running, cycling, and running again. Beware though; this isn’t a sport for mere mortals. I recently put myself through the grueling pain of the duathlon. Mind you, the experience wasn’t pleasant. But it was good fun and the satisfaction that you get from crossing over the finish line makes it all worth it. For those of you who might be willing to give it a try, here’s a race report for you guys.
I only found out 10 days prior to the race and was raring to take part as I had always told myself that I would do something like this soon. So, did the online registration for the sprint event and all the followed all the required procedures. The race fee for this duathlon was rm40. Not much considering the fact that you get a goodie bag consisting of a POWERBAR, a Brooks sponsored t-shirt and free food and drinks during the course of the race. Not to mention the police escorts on the road. As soon as registration was done, I packed up my road bike off to campus. Feeling excited and all, on Monday, I went out for a short warm up spin with a friend. Call me a sadist or whatever you want but watching someone cycle for the very first time is just so much fun. Bent over the bars. Panting his ass off. That is one pretty sight. Ha-ha.
Back to training, because I was overexcited and under prepared, I just tried out the actual race distance on campus. Race distance, a 5km run, 15km bike ride followed by another 3km run. Sound simple? Believe me, I thought the same too. Not good! I just went out and did it and paid for it dearly. I suffered the whole of the distance as I had never tried anything like that before. I only cycle and barely run. Did it twice and paid for it badly. I fell sick and whole body felt like crap. Aches here and there. Not good! Anyways, dropped by the doctor’s place. He said I would be fine by Sunday to race. Guess what else he said, “you want to win or not? If you want to win I can give you steroids”.
That was it, after that, I just sat at home popping pills and drinking
tons of fluid. Falling sick was not as cool as it was when I was young.
When you were younger, you didn’t feel it as much as you do now.
He he. One day before actual race day, we had a briefing down in KL.
As soon as I reached there, I started analysing my fellow competitors.
They were tall, dark, and they looked super fit. I would be glad not
to finish last. Fortunately for me, I found out that they were all taking
part in the individual events. He he. I was only doing the sprint. It
was really exciting for me as I met a lot of people I know. The briefing
was given by Geoff Kronenburg, the race director. He is also the race
director for the KLMTB Carnival as well.
Fast forward to race morning. We were told to be at the transition
area, the area where you transition from running to biking and back
to running again., at 6AM as they would be closing the area from 7AM
onwards. Reached there at around 6.30AM as I had lost my way to Dataran
Merdeka. Can you believe that, a KL-ite losing his was in KL. And at
6AM in the morning, there was really no one I could ask for directions
for. He he. Best thing to do is to know the way there before hand.
When I reached there, the place was already beginning to fill up with all the participants. Everyone was decked out in full racing gear. Someone even came in full time trial gear as he was taking part in the team relay.
I began warming up about half an hour before my event. Just started jogging around the place, stretching and checking out the other competitors. There were a fair number of girls taking part. The youngest was about 14 years old if I am not mistaken. 14 YEARS OLD!
At 7.45AM, all the competitors of the sprint event were called to the line. Everyone’s faces were eager and raring to go. As for me, finishing the event was what I was aiming for. He he. Talk about aiming high. At the start line, I saw the cutest thing. A father-son pair.
Precisely at 7.50AM, the race director blew the air horn. The sound of laughter and shouts filled the air. Everyone started running like they were being chased by a monster. Why does that always happen at the beginning of a race? Maybe it’s just the ego. We have to show off to the spectators that we are strong and we want to win. But later after the first corner, the pace slowed as usual. After the first turning, the pack started getting stretched out. The faster ones went ahead while me and my other friend just took it slow, enjoying the scenery. At the top of the first hill was the very first water station. I had 2 cups and would have took more if I had more hands. It was tough. And the route was mostly uphill.
The route that we raced on was really scenic. It went pass the lake gardens area which was really cool and shady. The first 5km for me was pretty much a walk in the park. The suffering had not begun yet.
As soon as the 5kms were up, it was the cycling leg. This was where I was supposed to excel. He he. Transitioning from running to cycling is not easy as 2 different sets of muscles are used. I was passed by countless people during the running leg so this was the time for me to make up some ground on them. True enough, I passed most of the people that overtook me during the run because they were not used to cycling. I just put on my Lance Armstrong face and zoomed past them. He he.
Some photos of the beautiful ladies on even more beautiful
bikes. Specially for the guys.
National athlete in action
Then came the final running leg. That was the most difficult one for
me. At that point I was really tired. Wondering to myself why I didn’t
take up my doctor’s offer for steroids. He he. As soon as I left
the transition area for the last running leg, both my legs cramped up.
The pain was indescribable. I was running when that happened and I almost
fell forward head over heels. Luckily that did not happen. Managed to
stop and balance myself while cringing in pain. Some St. John volunteers
in an ambulance stopped and ask me what was wrong. As if they couldn’t
tell. But me, being a normal egoistic male, I shook my head and said,
“I’m fine”. When they left, I just stood there in
the middle of the road, trying my best to put on a straight face, and
started running again. Thank goodness the cramps never came back. A
mental note to myself: The next time I try anything like that, I better
be sufficiently prepared. Not like this time around. I just jumped into
the deep end of the pool and expected to float. Ha-ha.
Some of the winners from the different categories.
Elite men’s 1st place
Then there’s me.
All in all, it was a really good experience for me. I would advice everyone to try it at least once. If an 8 year old kid can do it, I believe that anyone can do it as well. Haha. I myself am personally looking forward to the next leg of the race. Maybe I’ll try the team relay this time around.
Any takers for being my running partner?