Well it’s been about 10 days now and I have been slow to blog about this race. I was kind of wishy-washy in joining it because:
1. The organization was also slow to update us on the status of the race. I was already on the plane and brief thoughts of “what if I wasn’t properly registered cause my name isn’t even on the site?” popped into my head.
2. My heart was not into it because of the recent devastation in the Philippines brought about by Typhoon Ondoy.
3. My training had really been only good enough for a sprint, not a half ironman (my friend Paolo even pointed out to me when I told him this– “heck, more like a mini-sprint!” as he knew of my crazy schedule).
4. My fellow Ironfools Pia and Joey cancelled, for understandable reasons. Our kababayans needed help.
Oh well, you get the picture. Naturally it is not recommended to go into a race with this mindset, and I highly discourage it, but there I was. My only bright spot was that Patrice was going to be there, and I thought to myself well that’s more than enough reason to make the trip!
It turned out to be the right decision. It was a beautiful place, a wonderful hotel, and a well-organized race. Being the budget airline kind of gal that I am, I flew in at the God-forsaken hour of 3am, and was lucky enough to be woken up by the hotel cleaning staff just before I missed the free buffet breakfast. It was a yummy spread of Asian food that I loved, and I started to feel good about coming. I went down to register, saw Emma Bishop of TBB among others and we had a nice chat. Later in the afternoon, Monica and LC from our National Team also arrived, followed by Peter the next day. So all in all we were four Filipinos. Although lean and mean, I knew we could still REPRESENT!
I can honestly say that I had fun during the swim, bike, and run portions… even though it was sometimes lonely–but that is long distance racing for you! Being part of the last wave on the swim was not very ideal for me as I had to go through a lot of the men’s previous waves… but I didn’t really mind, I felt like I should be taking it easy anyway. The bike course is beautiful, very nice roads but we had some confusion about the loops, which we gladly sorted out. As for the run, I liked the idea that we were running on the main road of the CBD but there was nobody, no cars, etc. Putrajaya is a new city the Malaysians created to relocate all their government buildings, and since it was a weekend, they obviously had no work. Very Cool.
I thought my time was really slow (okay, it was really slow) but then everyone seemed to be a bit slower that normal too because for some reason it was not a very fast course. But it didn’t matter, I am always happy to race. Happier still was the fact that somehow, I finished first in my category (I suspect it was because of my expert nutrition from Hammer, as I really do not know where else to credit it to). My effort earned me another Clearwater 70.3 World Championships slot, and so I took it, just in case.
My equestrian friends from Malaysia, Nazroff and Qabil, dropped by to see me as they were in the area for a show jumping event. Was glad to see old buddies!
So there it is…another race in Malaysia, another good memory. I like our neighboring country’s triathlon events. I am sure I will be back for a few more next year!