Arriving in Putrajaya 5 days prior to raceday seemed more than sufficient. I was excited to see this part of the world and as I do in a new place, try to tale in as much of the local culture as possible.
My best mate, Niel, accompanied me on my trip, not to race, but to be moral support. I think this trip will give him plenty motivation to prepare for future events abroad.
So, we were tourists in Malaysia, based in the beautiful Shangri-la at the top of the hill overlooking the government town of Putrajaya.
Eat their food and experience their culture, that was our moto. We spent the mornings training, which proved alot more tricky than initially expected. With no bike shop in town, we were taking risks riding without any inflators and my loose headset…
I developed stomach issues on the Wednesday which forced me to lay low for 2 days. I was in no good shape.
Raceday arrived. Hot and humid would be the order of the day. I knew the race would be decided on the run, but it would come down to hydration and planning if you wanted to survive this race.
In my warm-up swim on Saturday, the water temp was a steamy 31degC. In some ways, it felt warmer than the outside temp.
Sunday morning was no different. The field full of aussies and quick swimmers, I would have my work cut out for me. I felt sluggish as the horn sounded and immediately fell off the back of the group. I had many negative thoughts in my mind and even contemplated stopping after the swim. Ok, if you are within 4min after the swim, then just carry on, I thought. 3min30sec down and in terrible shape, I was obliged to continue.
The bike course was flat, with 2 dragging climbs over 45km loop. I pushed quite hard and found a steady tempo. I made up 1min on lap 1, but as we passed eachother for the turn-around, I saw the 5 riders working as a pack up front. This was bad news for me, riding alone and spending too much energy.
The stomach cramps starting up again on lap 2 of the bike, I needed to switch into survival mode.
I lost 20sec on lap 2 and entered T2 with a 2min30sec deficit. I set off at 3:40 pace and tried to keep it consistent. I wasn’t to be. The heat was destroying my already beaten body. A couple of the early leaders were also hurting as I ticked them off and ran into 4th.
Onto the 2nd lap I was 4min down on 3rd. I had nothing left to give, but was still making up time. Finishing 4th, 2min behind a podium is yet again bitter sweet, but happy to survive, many lessons learned.
I spent the remainder of the afternoon in the medic tent, which looked like a war zone with too few doctors and not enough drips to recover athletes.
Time to go home, recovery and family time is what I need.
Till next time