Asia Pacific 70.3 Championships 2010

Monday, Dec 06, 2010 at 21:31

TriathlonOz - David

Bugga me what a day! The weather looked clear in the morning which sounded warning bells as the heat from the sun is intense and cloud cover was what we wanted to see for the day. At 5am we headed down to the restaurant for breakfast having already arranged all our water and stuff for the morning. Simple muesli and toast was on the cards. Then the bus trip to the main transition area.

We got marked up with race numbers, did our final checks, pumped up tyres, installed water and gels etc. Then we headed down to the jetty to jump on the ferry over the lagoon to the beach where the event was to start. We arrived on the beach at about 6:15 with our wave scheduled to start at 7:10. Before we knew it we were in the start area with 1min to go and the horn sounded telling us to get going.

The swim was in two parts; 1250m in the sea and 650m in the lagoon. The sea part was great as the salty water provided plenty of buoyancy and was relatively clean. A few big jelly fish were taken care of by support crew on boats wielding long sticks to push them out of the way. Then a run over the beach and into the fresh but dirty water of the lagoon, it was not floaty and tasted terrible. Bernard and I swam the whole way together so this helped us push each other along the whole way. We emerged together at the ramp and made our way to transition to pick up our bike bag and get changed for the bike leg.

I grabbed the bag and raced into he change tent opened the bag, bugga wrong damn bag! I had to charge out of the tent back to the rack and get the bag sorted I had grabbed 404 not 405. I got this sorted and threw on the shoes helmet and glasses and bolted out to the bike rack. Grabbed the machine and took off towards the mount line.

I am always happy when I jump on the bike and get going and today was no exception, I had big plans for the bike leg. The roads were very rough and quite tight so initial progress was a little slow but then at the 7km mark my day changed, I hit a bump in the road and my left foot unclipped causing me to come down very hard on the seat causing the seat to drop about 5cm. Crap only the beginning of the race and I knew I was going to be out of position for the whole ride and this was going to effect my times and my head space. Anyway nothing to do but keep going, I rode on and at my predefined mark (10km) I went for my gels only to find that they had also come off at the same point so my 4 gels were gone, seat was in the wrong spot so I was swearing internally and maybe externally also. It upsets me to even write this.

So for the next 80kms I rode with a lot of extra pressure in my quads and thinking about the effect this would have on my run. The bike course is very challenging and has a number of serious 20deg plus hill climbs mainly at 45&75km. I cannot fib, I walked two of these as the impact on my legs plus the steepness of the hill was just to much for me. There is also a footbridge crossing that you have to dismount and walk over which was ok but different. The rest of the course is fantastic travelling around the island through rubber plantations, coastal communities and excellent scenery. One other thing to note is at each of the schools all the kids were dressed in school uniforms out on the course yelling and waving as we went past (it was Sunday after all maybe they school on Sunday?). The roar from the kids was fantastic and very inspiring. As I approached the end of the ride I was pleased as I was cramping up and had extra pains in my back from the seat. So getting off was great except for heading out on the now sunny hot run course.

Arriving into transition there was a host of bike catchers to take your bike for you so all we had to do was run to the bag racks, get our run bag get changed and go. I headed out well at the start running the first 4kms at 4:40 pace (pre planned pace). Then the impact of my legs and the heat and humidity hit me like a wall. I slowed down to around 5:15 without even knowing. The first lap 10.5 was tough and running past transition to start lap two was almost too much for me and about 1km past transition I got tingles in my fingers and my head went light and I thought I was going to pass out, I walked, and I then walked for about the next 4km. It was killing me to walk I never walk but I had switched into just "finish mode". As I was walking Sean went past me and yelled a few words which helped me to get going and I started running again. I was now actually moving much better and for the next few km moved at about 5:20 then I spotted the 17km sign and something inside me triggered and I took off huffing and puffing back to a race pace of about 4:40. I was still walking through the aid stations but I was really running again and it felt good. With 1 km to go I went full belt and was grunting and groaning all the way to the finish line. Bugga that was hard.

After about 10 sponges, 3 bottles of water and 5mins I was able to move out of the finish area, stuffed but happy. Straight to the massage tent and a relax. Sean came in a few mins after me and we acknowledged each other for a job well done in finishing this event. Bernard came in a bit later and we all had stories to tell about the day.


Swim: 00:35:47 T1: 00:03:01 Bike: 02:37:10 T2: 00:03:02 Run: 01:58:32
Finish Time: 05:17:31 Category Place: 17/114 Divisional Cat Place: 14
Not the best result but it was how it was going to be on the day!
Sean 05:24:38 and Bernard 06:00:46. So after the race we rode back to the resort for a shower and lie down.

We went to the awards cocktail party and banquet at 5pm. I was still hoping to get a look in on the 5 World Championships slots (qualifying entries) available in the 40-44 age group and at 5:30PM when the roll down started (roll down is a process of moving down the finishers list to fill the available positions/slots available) I went over to see how it went. The category was announced and 2 of the 5 slots were taken and names started to get read out and 2 slots went quickly then lucky for me a number of names went unanswered till David Martin was called! Woo hoo I got the slot in the 2011 World Championship race in September in Las Vegas.

What a great but bloody hard day that was. Several drinks were then consumed until I was ready to pass out at about 9:30 (party animal hey).

There is the Asia Pacific 70.3 Championship from my perspective.


If it's not hurting your not tri'ing!
David Martin
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