Part 1: Time Ironman 70.3 Putrajaya
Sunday was showtime — the iconic Time Ironman 70.3 Putrajaya event. 70.3 refers to the total distance in miles (113km) covered in the race and that’s made up of a 1.2 mile (1.9 km) swim, a 56-mile (90 km) bike ride, and a 13.1-mile (21.1 km) run.
Edwin Lim (the runner) and I (the cyclist, of course) only got to meet our swimmer, 19-year-old Muhammad Zolkifli a day before the event. We were fully sponsored and put together by Community Recycle For Charity (also CRCBox), a non-governmental charity organisation. It was the first time for all of us at the Ironman triathlon and needless to say, we were an inexperienced bunch. But that didn’t matter because we were fortunate enough to have a sponsor who had full faith in us. We just wanted to do our best.
Registered under the Men’s Team Relay event as CRC IRONMAN Relay Team (cool name right?), we each had to complete our own course in consecutive turns. The morning was kind and the wind gave us some comfort but as soon as it hit 10am, it became scorching. The heat rose and at one point, it was 42 degree celcius!
The first event was swimming and at 7.10am, the water was uncomfortably cold, a little dead and really more than anything, it was murky. It was the kind of waters that when you put your palm in it, it pretty much disappears. Scary! But Zolkifli, and the other swimmers were professionals at their sport, so they braved the waters.
Next up was me! The first 45km was insane. My calves were suffering as a result of zero prior training to the event and I started getting cramps. It was as if even my helmet wasn’t prepared! The giro magnetic visor (that part that shields your eyes) fell off mid-ride. The weather was holding me back, feeling dehydrated and at every water station, I had to stop for a water refill. The only solution I had to my cramps was to keep cycling in hopes that my muscles would slowly stretch out. I couldn’t stop knowing that my runner was counting on me. The entire second loop, I just focused on maintaining my pace and staying in an aero position to cheat on some headwind. Towards the last 5km, I was so relieved knowing that I was about to pass the timing chip to my runner. But I also knew that his relay would be the most difficult. Under the unforgiving weather conditions, 21km is probably inhumane. But standing tall at 6 and a half feet, Edwin would be just fine.
We were delayed on our expected completion time, hitting it close at 5 hours 38 minutes (5:28:35). But crossing the finish line together was the best feeling at the end of a grueling race.
Wait, the actual best part was the free sports massage, the ice-water pool and all the food and drinks to compensate for the energy we expended the last 70.3 miles!
Oh and in case you didn’t see the news, our own Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin finished the race too.
More about our placings and celebration later today!
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