Sunday, July 3, 2011

PD Triathlon Race Clinic 3 July 2011

Summary of Post
Insider information on race route and some great tips from Uncle Chan. I did the Sprint distance (800 m swim, 20 km bike, almost 5 km run) today!!

So far so good
I signed up for the PD Tri on the very last day (1 July), after I was 51% sure of making it to the start line on Race Day (see also 'PD Tri - in my dreams only?'). Kidneys working? Check. Joints working? Check. Overall health status: alive and can move? Check. ALL SYSTEMS GO! Then I found out about the free Tri Clinic (Thanks Reza!) and almost fell over myself signing up for that too. I was afraid of swimming in the open sea by myself, so this clinic would be the perfect opportunity to do so.

Uncle Chan gathering tri clinic participants for the briefing

The Clinic – Uncle Chan’s Briefing
The briefing started 8.40 am with about 50 attendees. Uncle Chan informed us that
the number of registered racers was a new record high of 1350, and registration was closed because that’s how many medals and t-shirts were available. You can still register to race but you won’t be getting a medal or t-shirt (try emailing Uncle Chan to plead your case). The swim start is a Pontoon Start. The Sprint category, which has 250 registered racers, will be started in two waves (100 + racers each wave). The 800 m swim starts at the jetty in the marina and ends at the beach (see map below). The 20 km bike starts from transition to main road, turn right on Rd 5 towards Teluk Kemang, left at roundabout to Seremban-PD Hwy, right onto N8 then turn back at the halfway point at Sime Darby. The run this year is going to be a tad more challenging than previous years because it is partly on the beach and we all know running on sand is TOUGH. Here's the link to the race course on Triathlonmalaysia’s webpage - click on 'Course Map' instead of  the 'click here' to open the pdf files (thanks for the tip Jenn Jenn!).

Sprint 800 m swim in calm, warm water. Pontoon start! Pic from Google Maps (sorry it's blur).

Some of Uncle Chan’s Tips for Tri: Use your arms more than your legs – this is the only time you will be using your arms. Save your legs for the bike and run. Go 80% on the swim, pace yourself so that you can finish the race. You can dive or jump for the swim start. If jumping hang back and let the divers go first – don’t jump onto the divers!

For today, we were to start the swim together, wait for everyone to finish, then start the bike together. The reason for all this togetherness was to make safety, marshaling and traffic control easier. The run was on the Avillion grounds (no traffic) and thus did not need this togetherness.

Another First for Grace
I’m thrilled that I made it to this well-organized clinic! I didn’t realize we would be doing the entire sprint course and wasn’t really physically prepared for it. I was the last to start the swim and it took me about half an hour. The chivalrous Kevin Chan (assistant Tri Clinic Coach) swam with me and I was also accompanied by a kayak all the way. For a first time 800 m open water swim in the sea, it doesn’t get any better than this! No waves, no current, because most of the swim is in the marina itself. Just like swimming in a pool, except it was easier to float due to the salty water. After the swim, I had a few minutes to put on my bike shoes, helmet and gloves, and we were off! I quickly fell to the back of the pack and soon I was cycling solo, last! My hero, the patient Mr Ho followed me in his car to make sure nobody ran me over. The bike leg took me over an hour! I think this was the first time I have done 20 km.  There were small hills, thankfully nothing major, and a lovely ride. Since I am still recovering from my last relapse, I did not overly exert myself. Definitely need to work on my bike leg! For the run (only 4 km route today), I slipped into my brand new Vibrams (early b'day pressie from hubs, thanks hubs!), clipped on my hydration belt, put on my super awesome running cap, and was off! The run took about 25 minutes. After that, I had a blast chatting with new friends Cynthia and Kash (aka Kooky), including making dates to swim laps at Templer’s Park Natural Pool.
Me with some admirers of the cool mountain bike that my hubs built with parts from Ebay (Thanks Stephen Fong and friends for this great photo!)
I can barely believe that I completed the Sprint distance! Well, almost – there was a deficit of 1 km on the run. Now that I know I can do it, I am really looking forward to doing it again… better!
Thanks Uncle Chan and team for this rockin’ tri clinic!!

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xo Gracie


  1. So proud of you, great job!! Can't wait to race with you!

  2. Thanks hubs! Can't wait to beat you :p

  3. Brilliant report as usual Grace. Uncle Chan and Kevin are awesome aren't they. Kevin actually swam beside me during the first triathlon clinic as he can see I was deeply stressed out.

  4. Thanks Reza! Uncle Chan and Kevin are the best. I was very glad Kevin swam with me to keep me going in the right direction because I could hardly see the red buoys (no specs = blind as bat)!

  5. Kevin swam with you too? Must buy him a drink in PD. Can't you get prescriptions goggles?

  6. Ya, Kevin swam with me too! I WAS wearing powered goggles, but I guess I need them in a higher power! I'm probably just going to follow behind the other swimmers on race day :)

  7. Grace, you have done well. I was at both clinic, my first Tri. Anyway, what you have her is inspiring. keep it up!!!

  8. Thanks for your encouraging words Steve!! Come say hi to me at the PD Tri! I am sure you will do great and also have a good time. Really looking forward to the TRI!

  9. Yes, I will say a Big Hi to you on the PD Tri. Saw your BIG smile after you complete your run in the clinic. The smile really encouraging.

  10. Thanks Steve, see you at PD!

  11. Chan Family : Uncle Chan, Daughter : Samantha, Sons : Kevin & Eugine. I believe Sam does most of the administrative stuff. Uncle Chan has a great sense of humour.

    Course maps is up in ur link. Don't click on the words "Click here" click on the "Course Map..." it'll open a pdf file.
    New course this year. Gonna be a challenge.

    Good job in going for the clinic. Hope u'll join every year. That is if they'll stop raising the registration cost =p

  12. Hey Jenn Jenn, thanks for stopping by and for the great tips I checked out your awesome blog wow... see you at PD!


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