Thursday, March 24, 2011

Ironman Singapore 70.3

Critical Thoughts
I have concluded that when you start the Ironman series for the very first time - you really don't know any better. Thus, the first being at Phuket Thailand 70.3 Asia Pacific Championships (even though anyone could enter), I really felt except for the local traffic issue - the Phuket race was done quite well compared to Singapore. It just seemed as though the race logistics, race gift, and overall race wasn't prepared as well as Phuket.

(Friday) Race pack collection
I landed on Wednesday to take in some Singapore touring and try to be more prepared compared to my time at Phuket Thailand 70.3. The race registration commenced on Friday and it was across from my hotel at the Suntec Singapore International Convention & Exhibition Centre. Of course, I missed everything as I was being a tourist and spent the day at Sentosa Island. My friend, Danny, gave me the low-down on the 'Compulsory' race briefing. He also viewed that this location made his travel quite difficult since the official hotel was 'extremely' close (4.5km) to the race venue which is not the case for regisitration and bike support. He was less impressed with the Carbo loading dinner 2 nights before the race. How much does one need to eat before to keep the carb loading effect 'working' for the race day?

(Saturday) Day before race
Danny and I met early in the morning after I got lost cycling trying to locate his hotel. I went over the East Coast Parkway bridge and found myself lost near Raffles Blvd because the sidewalk ended abruptly with staircases going down from the bridge. I spoke to a security guard and asked him for directions to Marina Bay (where I just came from). I really meant East Coast Park, and he looked at me for a few seconds with a loud laugh stating that I was really lost. I met up with another early rider and still under the impression that I wanted to go to Marina Bay, he showed me the way. After crossing Nicoll Hwy, I realized that the ferris wheel was in sight and told him I was going the wrong way :(. A long story short, I ended in the Park only to cab it to Mecure hotel. Finally meeting up with Danny, we rode our bikes along the route and saw massive groups of cyclists preparing for Sunday's race. We also got in a 1km swim near the race course and even a 3km run. In the evening, it poured while we were checking in our bicycles. It was a little refreshing as the weather was quite hot and humid, I guess carbon fiber doesn't rust, but some of the screws can and gear can...

I came across Nora (ultra distance runner from Hong Kong) and was able to secure a bus full of Lantau Buffalos for the morning race. It was nice because somehow I was thinking of walking??? Of course all this information was available on Ironman Singapore's website, but it's always great to meet up with friends.

Race Day - Pre-race
Prepared for a long day, Danny and I headed over to the Buffalo herd and arrived safely to the transition area. As usual, there was a lot of noise before the sunrise as everyone was double checking the equipment and layout. We headed over to the beach as the race would begin in a half hour. The sea looked calm initially, but as the women were heading in for their first lap - a few got clobbered by the Men age grouper. There wasn't any rope to prevent the mass swimmers from the ones who were exiting the sea onto the beach start and on top of that there was a strong current. It was a sight to see.

Swim [pictures]
I'm not a swimmer! Although I've increased my speed in the pool by 10%, it's still very slow. The start of my race, I had my googles knocked off and kicked on the top of my head amoung other clawings. It took a while to finally find some space as everyone sped off except the breast strokers. Once I exited the first lap, I looked at my watch and noticed over 30 minutes. I knew it was going to be a long day, but even at the pool, I can manage 1km under 30 minutes. I got shifted around in the water a lot and probably swam a lot more than I needed to in terms of distance. The current didn't help at all as for the second loop, I found myself hitting the rope with my left arm - A LOT. While I turned back into shore for the last loop, I saw a man turn over on his back and backstroke it 'home'. I haven't seen that before and just thought when the hell am I going to be done? Once I finally arrived out of the water, 63 minutes passed. My thoughts of swimming disappeared as I past 8 people on the run to the bike transition to the transition. btw, can you believe I'm taking swimming lessons every week???

It took me 1:55 minute to jog back from the swim to the bike. I then spent another minute putting on socks and race belt, and 1:05 minutes moving the bike to the start line.

Bike [pictures, more]

3 loops for this course. For the first 24km, I was roughly under 1:50km/hr. My friend kept on saying I needed to get a bike fit (sorta late 1 week before the race). My back was hurting and I had to go to the standard non-areo position for probably 80% of the course. I started to get disgusted with my performance when I saw over 2:00km/hr. After the first loop, the elites were already starting their run. I had around 2 hours more to go...  Being quite slow on the bike, it was un-eventful. I enjoyed the partial course the day before as I had a few km under 1:30. I guess the swim and the back issue didn't help.

My transition took longer than usual as I had to slip into Vibram Five Fingers.

Run [pictures, more]

I ran with Vibram Five Fingers KSO and my first 4km was around 4:35/km. The heat and humidity got to me again and I started to stop briefly at the aid station after 10km. I maintained under a 7:00/km for all but two kilometers. As the rain started to pour around 18km, I decided to not stop at the aid station. It really didn't matter since most of the food and drinks were gone. I felt sorry for those who were going to have a long day on the run/walk.


My swim isn't that bad. This occurs when the garmin in on your wrist. If you put it undernearth the race cap, you'll see more of straighter line.

Top 5 [official results]

OverallNameFinish timeCategoryGender positionCategory positionSwimT1CycleT2Run
1Kris GEMMELL3:50:56Male Elite110:27:450:02:252:06:300:00:371:13:39
2James CUNNAMA3:51:45Male Elite220:02:290:02:330:00:360:03:121:14:24
3Peter JACOBS3:54:25Male Elite330:02:250:02:390:00:430:01:091:16:59
4Patrick VERNAY3:55:50Male Elite440:02:300:02:330:00:460:01:421:18:23
5Faris AL-SULTAN3:56:13Male Elite550:27:580:02:170:01:040:01:081:18:13

Below is a list of prominent triathlon clubs in Hong Kong, (Yes, I took time out to gather this information; so I hope someone appreciates it): Hong Kong Team Color:

Tritons [blue]
Dragons [red]
Buffalos [grey]

OverallNameFinish timeCategoryGender positionCategory positionSwimT1CycleT2Run
33Dane Cantwell4:32:18Male 30-342940:33:550:02:322:19:180:00:511:35:42
WTDClinton Leong4:36:52Male 35390:40:450:02:332:10:340:03:121:39:50
55Oliver Baillet4:43:22Male 40444870:36:090:02:392:19:120:01:091:44:14
72Scott Stanton4:49:33Male 25296260:37:470:02:332:23:520:01:421:43:40
79John Pesci4:51:35Male 40-4469120:40:490:03:102:18:390:01:081:47:50
93Jason Keg4:56:49Male83150:42:540:03:212:18:110:01:381:50:45
109Shunsuke Tanaka5:00:06Male 303498160:40:050:03:242:22:590:02:071:51:32
115Sven Maier5:00:59Male 35391210:44:020:02:532:27:020:01:111:46:15
117Laura Walsh5:01:23Female 454910410:44:020:02:532:27:020:01:111:46:15
118Julie Shelley5:01:37Female 353913210:47:270:03:532:25:030:01:101:43:26
122Paul Thompson5:02:33Male 454910970:38:480:02:322:19:230:01:222:00:28
151Etienne Faure5:08:25Male 3539135280:47:260:03:362:31:580:01:211:44:04
161Liam Choen-Ruhle5:09:49Male 3034142270:41:560:03:292:28:330:01:481:54:04
174Rebecca Kynaston5:11:55Female 40442120:41:230:03:192:33:160:01:511:52:06
DQFBruno Lebeda5:09:50Male 40440:46:080:03:342:18:400:01:262:00:04
196Claudia Soldati5:15:22Female 35392450:42:140:03:282:25:480:01:342:02:19
212Barry Day5:17:08Male 3034186320:41:290:03:052:35:350:01:081:55:52
238Sian Abate5:21:00Female 45492840:54:240:03:012:38:060:01:261:44:04
240Paulus Schram5:21:13Male 4044212640:48:460:04:372:23:110:01:552:02:44
288Frank Marriott5:26:38Male 505425570:49:020:03:162:33:250:01:111:59:44
292Nora Senn5:27:04Female 35393480:48:240:04:242:32:190:01:382:00:18
296Karen Fairley5:27:30Female 40443540:40:540:04:052:42:400:02:241:57:27
306Anders Kind5:29:06Male 4044268740:59:030:04:402:33:420:01:411:49:59
314Rudolf Fleischmann5:30:12Male 4044276770:55:220:03:242:38:390:01:391:51:09
324Christiaan Straatemeier5:30:57Male 4549284310:43:040:02:522:24:120:02:122:18:38
334Nicolas Sordet5:32:41Male 3539292690:44:080:04:252:31:540:03:032:09:11
338Alejandro Tripodoro5:33:15Male 4044387940:33:120:03:572:36:140:02:122:05:10
346Eduard Wehry5:33:59Male 4044303870:54:170:04:052:30:230:01:402:03:36
373Martin Wray5:37:44Male 4549328370:45:430:03:292:33:480:02:352:24:40
416Daryl Albury5:42:29Male 40443651030:50:380:03:512:40:550:02:482:04:17
440Danny Mcfee5:45:24Male 3539295840:49:520:03:522:33:350:02:122:12:36
450Bea Desseigne5:46:48Male 353957150:53:090:04:002:47:320:01:332:03:51
541Hyun chang Chung5:55:50Male 40444701111:11:050:05:012:43:250:02:521:53:27
579Vincent Ypersiel6:01:50Male 40445021380:47:270:05:222:42:040:02:482:24:09
598Rob McVie6:03:58Male 3034517860:53:400:04:032:44:580:01:322:19:45
603Joel LaBelle6:05:09Male 40445221451:03:180:03:572:52:500:02:282:02:38
670Claus Schuermann6:13:04Male 4549580720:55:070:04:542:45:070:06:202:21:36
6:29:02Male 35397111631:02:110:04:042:46:350:02:572:33:14
887Julia Stanton6:38:32Female 3034118200:50:100:05:413:15:100:08:272:19:04
901Sergio Fernandez6:39:55Male 5054782311:05:090:05:092:58:480:02:052:28:44
1012Lindsey Coen-Fernandez6:56:02Female 4549132190:55:530:04:563:07:220:04:132:43:38
WTDRichard ThorntonMale 40440:47:570:03:422:40:510:02:26