Tag Archives: Singapore 70.3

The Inaugural Aviva Ironman 70.3 Singapore 2007: a milestone for Asian Triathlon

P8316958The Inaugural Aviva Ironman 70.3 Singapore: a milestone for Asian Triathlon

 

“Who says I can’t?”  This was the catchphrase of the TV ad which was aired repeatedly over a couple months in various cable networks internationally.  It showcased a handful of ordinary people who had a common goal: to test their mettle in the newest Half Ironman distance race in Asia. 

 

Last September, approximately 1,250 triathletes from all over the world congregated in Singapore, passing through the city’s popular landmarks such as East Coast Park, Marina Promenade, and the Esplanade.  With the help of Senator Pia Cayetano and our Pinay In Action project, I was lucky enough to be one of the competitors.  

 

I was in pretty good company—the Philippine contingent was, in fact, a perfect example of what the race organizers had intended to attract: triathletes from all walks of life who set out to challenge themselves.  Our representatives included the likes of business tycoon Fernando Zobel de Ayala, Senator Pia Cayetano, David Charlton of David’s Salon, individuals from Cagayan de Oro, Davao, some OFWs based in Singapore and neighboring Malaysia, and members of various triathlon clubs like Polo Tri, Fitness First, Team David’s Salon and Xycos, to name a few.

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The Aviva Ironman 70.3 Singapore promised to be a truly unique destination race.  In the words of organizer Adrian Mok, “There are no other city Ironmans in the world – this is the only one. Others might start in the city but heads out of the city. This is more spectator-friendly as they are able to watch the action. We are especially proud of the cycling route as previously cycling on the highway was not allowed.”

 

Everybody was excited about the much hyped-up race but the question hung in the air whether the organizers could pull this off the first time around.  Having raced in Singapore repeatedly over the past couple of years, I was pretty confident they would.  But I still decided that I would reserve judgment until after the race was over.

 

The 70.3 posed a challenging 1.9km swim leg, with the rough waters creating a sea of different colored swim caps constantly bobbing up and down the length of the East Coast. There were a significant number of worried expressions from the participants as they gazed into the chop, but thankfully the first portion of the triathlon, which consisted of only one big rectangular loop, went by without any mishaps. The run from the beach to the transition was quite a way, but it was flat and the ground was carpeted, so this wasn’t really a problem.  

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The designated bike course was not demanding physically, but technically, there were a lot of narrow lanes and sharp corners, so this required our total concentration. The fact that the race was very well-attended did not help as well, and even though drafting (riding very closely with other cyclists) was not allowed, it was impossible to avoid it in some segments and from where I was I could see that a lot of the triathletes took full advantage of this!  We passed a lot of scenic spots though, and I particularly enjoyed it every time we were atop Benjamin Sheares Bridge.  After completing five laps and registering 90km on my bike computer, I wheeled my bike into T2, which was at the Champs Arena.  The volunteers were quite helpful, as they helped me park my bike and handed me my run bag immediately. 

 

The 21km run was flat all the way, and we ran along the tree-lined paths with relative comfort.  Aid stations were conveniently located 2km apart so the racers didn’t want for sports gels or water.  At last, the bright yellow finish arch beckoned us on the floating platform and we crossed it, weary but truly satisfied.  Who says we can’t?”  No one. No one at all.

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Singapore 70.3 Race Recap

Singapore 70.3 Race Recap   Sep 9, ’08 11:51 AM
for everyone

 

just got back a while ago and can honestly say it was a good trip…had a few rookie boo-boos during my race and could have won 1st in my category if i didn’t commit those but i guess it’s another hard lesson learned.  either way i am super thankful for the podium finish.
 
swim was two laps and a bit wavy but i’ve had bumpier swims in singapore so i was happily swimming along anyway..the trouble started on my second lap when we had to overtake all the male age groupers who started 15 minutes later….it was, in a word total chaos. felt like vomiting from having to swim on top, under, beside, and diagonally over the guys…. they should change it back to the 1loop swim like last year. when i finally got out of the water and checked that i still had a decent 35min split i quickly forgot about that…haha.  
 
moving on…bike split was really slow. maybe it didnt help that i veered off-course (mistake number 1) … there was a left hand turn that we had to make which forked in two and since i was one of the first few females out of the water (we started ahead of the age group guys), i and two other girls wrongly took the left most one…there was no barricade or sign indicating otherwise, and no marshal either.  it actually led to the same major hiway but we had to pass under a bridge and when we came out we saw that we were on the wrong side of the lane…i looked across to the other lane and to my horror saw the error we had committed….the other two still biked ahead (they realized it a bit later than me) but i dismounted, crossed a south super hi way type of road (living in manila does have it’s benefits…i’m an expert traffic crosser), carried my bike across the fence, jumped across it, crossed another lane with fast-moving cars,. carried myself and my bike again over the barricade, and got myself onto the right track…still a bit shaky from my hiway expedition but was able to re-focus.  on my 2nd loop i saw that they blocked that other road so no one would make the mistake we made…my mistake number 2 was that i wasn’t able to secure my spare tubular tire very well and i had to keep stopping or else i would lose it. felt like kicking myself but i didnt want to lose an expensive and hard to find 650c tire. haha.
 
my run was very straightforward, just checking my pace against other people i knew and progressively increased my speed.  truthfully, I was feeling fresh and felt satisfied when i crossed the finish line, until i found out that: 
 
   ATHLETE                        RANK     AGE/DIV       SWIM         BIKE      RUN          TOTAL
1THOMPSON, Sarah     16/37/28  30/30 to 34    00:36:430    2:48:59  01:58:38     05:28:52
2DE LEON, Ani Karina    9/43/29   33/30 to 34    00:35:360   2:53:07   01:56:41     05:29:07
and then i wanted to kick myself for the umpteenth time that day….aaaaaaaaaaaaargh. 15 friggin seconds.  SHOULDA WOULDA COULDA. vented my frustration that night by repeating the story over and over and over to my friends who were with me there and texted my friends over here.
 
but on the plane today flying back, i knew that all was well and thanked God for the weekend.  and for all of my blessings. yes it could have been better, but it could have been much worse. and to put things into perspective, i was talking to alex bok, the manager of tbb the other day.  he was asking me how my prep for hawaii was and i answered that singapore was my last tune up race.  he said, yeah, i know, it’s just for your training, but imagine for some people it’s already a lifetime achievement. i’m glad i remembered our discussion and i know how true it is.
 
well, that’s my race story and i am sorry for the novel haha…hope everyone has a great week ahead!!!
 
P.S. like me, patrice won a slot in his category and qualified for the 70.3 world championships. we had to give up our slots though because hawaii is going to cost a lot of money and we would probably go bankrupt if we go to florida a month after…haha.
P.P.S. i know how lucky i am to have friends organizing the send off party this friday and going out of their way to support a fellow athlete.  thanks so much.  i really really appreciate it.

   
   
     

 

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