08 March 2010

Mission Accomplished - Ironman Langkawi

Its been more than a week since the Ironman Langkawi. I better start writing my race report, before this becomes very outdated.

Not much to say, just that I'm so thrilled and excited that I have finally completed an Ironman, one of my goals in life.

I've taken some pictures from friend's facebook and blogs, so will let the pictures help explain my experiences.

The trip to Langkawi started off being a very lonely trip, as I was the only person from Brunei participating in this event. It sure wasnt good for my morale.

Unpacking my baby in the hotel room. Was staying at Hotel Bahagia, a nice, small and clean hotel. But a bit too far from the race venue (around 2km).

The day before the race, i met Stupe, a guy i got to know from following his blog, and a few of his friends, Kam and Barath during breakfast at the hotel. Meeting and getting to know them really did made my trip more memorable. Since Stupe had a car, he invited me to tag along with him and his mates wherever they go. It sure was fun having a bunch guys to hang out with, checking out the race course, sharing race tips and experiences and offcourse the makan. A lot of makan.

Race briefing at the host hotel. The room was too small and the aircon wasnt working. The route was a bit confusing, especially the bike course. Good thing i had some tips from Stupe and Kam, "1 big loop and 3 times bukit hantu". Thanks guys.

Bike all set to roll... 9 power gels (5 tapped & 4 in bento box) & 1 power bar. 3 bottle cages and 1 aero bottle. 3 spare tubes, 1 multitool and 1 mini hand pump.

No. 68. Swim - Orca 226 tri pants & Blue Seventy Goggles.
Bike - Orca 226 tri pants & Orca tri top.

Run - Orca tri pants, Mizuno running vest, 2Xu visor and Newton Racers.

Bike check in with Barath and Kam. Both of them did it last year. Barath completed last year's race with minimal training. Power lah.

Ironman eve dinner at Wonderland Seafood. Made more frens. Bandit (probably the world's greatest support crew) and Kok Aik (the real Ironman - he played chicken with a lorry on one of his bike ride and hit it head on)

Race day

As it was my first Ironman, my main aim was to finish the race in one piece. However, being optimistic, i did have a wishful thinking target in the back of my mind. 2hrs swim, 6hrs bike and 4hrs run. i sure was dreaming.....
Swim start & finish
Did a short warm up, just to test the water and my goggles. This is my weakest event and hearing about jelly fish in the water made me even more worried.
Races started at 7.45am.
(a sample picture taken by the snap-attack, hired them to take my pictures in Langkawi. thanks Shazly and Jason for your help and support. cant wait to see the pictures)

It was an out and back 1 loop swim. It took me around 1hr 10mins to reach the u-turn point. Was so worried that i wouldnt make the cut-off (2hrs 20mins). It turned out that the current was against us on the way out, so the swim back was much easier and faster.

3.8k swim - 1hr 48 mins.

was enjoying the moment - took my time, still a long long way to go

Transition 1 - 6

just one point i want to highlight at T1 - no sunblock provided - lucky i brought my own

one of the many hills on the bike course - wasnt expecting that many steep hills..

after 100km, i couldnt stay aero, was just holding on to my aerobar arm pads. I was getting cramps on both of legs at this point and was really worried everytime i came to a hill.

Wiggling my toes and just stretching on the bike does help. I made a stop on the 3rd and last lap at one of the water station to stretch, pee and fill my top and pants with ice. It sure help cool me down and get rid of the cramps...

the bike leg was just like a dream, couldnt really recall or believe how
i managed to bike 180km.
This was the first time ive done 180km.

half way through the bike course, the aid station ran out of water and bottles. Athletes who had empty bottles had to stop and fill them with ice. crazie lah... it was blazing hot and still a long way to go.
180km bike - 6hrs 18mins

Transition 2 - 6.56 mins.

Started the run quite strong and happy. Not too far to go.

We had to do 5 loops. The run course was flat, but there were a lot of road works around. dusty with lots of pebbles.

Did the first lap doing a slow and steady run. Was really hoping to run the whole way, but my knee was just hurting so bad. Didnt want to push it and cause a permanent damage. So after the first loop, was only jogging slowly from 1 water station to the other.

the best part of the run was getting those bands and the ice water. had an ice shower everytime i reach a water station. dont think its healthy, but it sure gives you a shock and wake you up.

ran with this lady, used her as my pacer to keep me going. she sure was fit. she must be 50+. Respect.

Had pebbles in my shoes, and since i wasnt wearing socks, every step i took was painful. Tried to rinse them off once, but it didnt work.

the final dash - shed some tears seeing the finishing line.

42km run - 5hrs 7mins

Ahmad Fathi from Brunei - "you are an IRONMAN"

Total Time - 13 hrs 28 mins

took a short nap next to my baby - she did good

still need to go back to the hotel. tried walking, but at the end, cycled by back to the hotel .

saw a ramlee burger stall on the way back - only managed to eat 1 bite. stomach wouldnt accept.

the day after - last night felt like a dream.

Thanks for the lunch Stupe.

Awards dinner - horrible. but made more frens.

21 October 2009

Cycling to Work

I'm always late for work in the morning, mostly due to my early morning runs and ride. Even if I'm not training, I'll still be late. It's just habit i guess.

So this week, my colleague Hamsul and I have decided to start cycling to work. By doing this, we'll be able to "kill a few birds with one stone":

1) Be at work on time
2) Bike training
3) Save money
4) Reduce my carbon footprint

Preparing my stuff for work

All packed

Hidden somewhere in the office

Ready for action -
there's no proper shower in the building, so had to just use the disable toilet to have a shower

12 October 2009

Borneo International Marathon 2009 - Race

Official Results:
42 km : 03:36:12

Overall Ranking : 17th
Category Ranking (Mens Open) : 11th/91

Full results here

Congrats and Well Done to all who ran.

Did not really push it, just maintained a steady and controlled pace

3:35:58 - 26.49 miles (aprox.)

I opt to wear a pair of tights instead of my running shorts. I was surprised that I did not get any chafing around my groin area, which I usually get when doing a full marathon, no matter how much Bodyglide or Vaseline i apply. I guess I'll be using more tights for my future races.

Same as last year, very well organised. Well done to the organisers.

08 October 2009

Ironman 70.3 Putrajaya - Race

The race started at 8 am, quite late compared to other races i've competed in. I think it's the norm for triathlon races to start around 7 am, where as marathons usually starts way early in the morning at around 5 am.

This time i arrived around 6.30 am as i was just staying about 10 mins from the race venue, and the place was already packed with athletes and spectators.

a few places next to my bike was empty, so had plenty of spaces to put my stuff

My race gear set-up.

Did not wear a tri-suit, just wore a tri pants and a cyling jersey for the bike leg, and a running vest for the run. Much more comfortable

Good thing Zulhassan was there, being alone, i was really getting nervous and jittery.

Improved my swim time. It was in a lake, so there wasnt any current or waves.

SWIM - 46:53

start of the bike leg - was so happy to have finish the swim

There was a lot of confusion on the bike leg. We were supposed to do 3 big loops with 1 small loop at the end of each big loop. (3 big and 3 small loops).

At the end of the first big loop, a group of us missed the sign board that was supposed to tell us to go for the small loop. I think the sign was obstructed by a car or something, and even the marshal didn't tell us to make the loop. So a group of us just slowed down and talk to each other on what to do, and decided to just keep on going.

So at the end of the second big loop, i did 2 small loops, to compensate for the first big loop, and the small loop is where the timing chip markers are.

I was really pushing it on the second loop as i just felt great. But it was a wrong move as that really killed me on the final lap. I was getting cramps on my leg every time i stop pedaling.

Bike Time: 2hrs 49mins

5 mins into the run, got cramps on both of my legs and just had to stand still for a minute or two as I couldn't move at all. Couldn't even sit down.

The other athletes passing me told me to just try and walk it off, which I did and to my surprise after a few minutes of walking, it disappeared. So started running again but at a controlled pace. I think this was one of the most sakit half marathon I have ever done in my life. Kept on questioning myself why I am doing this, it was painful.

A few km to the finish, got another cramp on both legs and just sat down under a pondok for a minute. So the last few km, I was just jogging and walking to the finish line.
Run Time: 2 hrs

Total Time: 5 hrs 40 mins

So glad that's over. Another finisher's medal.

Official Results
56 6 51 Junaidi Ahmad Fathi M 25/29 BRN 0:46:53,05 2:49:51,50 2:00:15,24 5:40:52,66

Finisher's Medal and T-Shirt
(dissapointed with the quality of the t-shirt and they only had a size L for me)

After race buffet

Will come again next year kalau ramai kawan2 dari Brunei join.

03 October 2009

Ironman Putrajaya 70.3 - Pre Race

Took the late evening flight to Kuala Lumpur last night and now staying at a friend's place in Cyberjaya, which is about 10 mins car ride to Putrajaya.
Went to the Pullman Hotel in Putrajaya this morning to register and pick up my race pack. The place was very quiet as most of the athletes have done theirs yesterday, including the race briefing and carbo loading dinner.

The swim start. It's a man-made lake. Looks amazing and the water looks reasonably clean.

The Swim Finish area with the showers

T1 - still empty in the morning

Start and End of the bike leg

Came back in the afternoon to Check-in my bike

Bike being checked by the technician from bike boutique - he is also a Top Malaysian Triathlete (Wong Ah Thiam)

Racking my bike

Just making sure everything is running properly

Met my Ironman friend Zulhassan for the first time at the swim area.

Did a few minutes of swimming. The water was ok, clean but murky, couldn't really see anything in the water. The swim route was properly marked, but only with small buoys, which are quite hard to sight when you are swimming.

This is my first time to Putrajaya and I'm quite amazed with the place. The area is just amazing with all the infrastructure, sceneries and buildings. Looking forward to the bike leg tomorrow as the road looks smooth and fast. I just hope it won't get too hot.

I'm a bit nervous about tomorrow as I know I'm not really well prepared in terms of my fitness, as my training slowed down during the fasting month. I'm just gonna try my best and go with the flow. I don't think I'll be able to beat my time in Singapore last March.

But.. you never know, a miracle might happen.. AMIN.. (just being optimistic)

Good Luck to all my friends who are competing tomorrow. All the best!!!!