Monday, October 31, 2011

HKTriA Aquathon - South Bay Beach

This would be my last swim/run combination before the big Ironman Race down in Busselton, Western Australia happening a month later. I joined this one right on the deadline thinking that it would be a good drill since I would be on vacation for a week with less fitness.

This race didn't have many competitive athletes since most of them went to Taiwan, Ironman 70.3 and also my heat was 40+ males and women. But, I knew I was far from winning any placement.

I had to take a cab and the funny thing is that the cost of the cab was more than the race. Once I arrived it was still dark and the HKTriA was just starting to begin preparations.

The transition was on the beach. I basically just put my bag containing street clothes in the basket since I was not going to do any transition stop today. My goal was to see how VFF would stand up to an beach aquathon.

Today's event consisted of 4km (really 3.4km) run + 540m swim (270m x 2 swim + run along the beach) + another 4km (really 3.4 km) run. I'm not sure who measures the distance but 800m is quite significant.

For the first section of the run leg; I just wanted to give all I got and deal with my slow swim later.. Apparently when the gun went off, I was first place until the top of the hill which lasted for about 2 minutes. On a side note, I believe VFF isn't really good going downhill, I find myself breaking on my toes. It's actually interesting to watch on video because as I peak to the top, I gained 30 meters (2 seconds) from the runner who won it, only to lose speed and position coming back down from the other side. As I was foot striking, he was heel striking. At the bottom of the hill my gap from the rest of the group was around 7 seconds behind me as I grabbed my first band and turn around. Apparently, I had a very explosive first 1km; probably the fastest ever if it is correct with a 3:31 minute kilometer. Unfortunately, my speed at this level was unattainable and dropped to 4:18 for the 2nd kilometer. Before I made it up to the peak of the hill, I was passed and in 3rd place with another right behind my tail. Once I reached back to the bottom of the hill and turn around; I already moved back to 6th place. The second loop, no one passed me and I headed toward the beach without stopping passing 3 people to place me in 3rd.

Once I hit the water, I knew my times would slow immensely with packs of swimmers passing me. The runner behind me was able to catch me in my 12 strokes. Approximately 8 minutes later for a 270m swim and one minute of beach running, I would go back into the water and do it all over again. My second swim was 8 minutes and 13 seconds.

After getting out of the water; I was able to pass 3 swimmers. It would be harder to catch up to other runners by this point. As I passed the finishing line to complete 2 more laps, the second place finisher passed me :(. But, each kilometer; I went a little faster than the previous one and was able to finish knowing that I gave the first run leg all I could give.

Unofficial Camera Results
Run: 13:43.19
Swim: 8:00.22
T2: 0:59.19 (Beach Run)
Swim: 8:20.16
T3: 0:53:05
Run: 15:34.08

Official (but not accurate) HKTriA Results
Run1: 00:13:52
Swim: 00:19:02
Run2: 00:15:48