Sunday, August 13, 2017

Race Report - Silverman Duathlon 2017

Silverman Duathlon 2017 came to Lumut thanks to Mr Colin Cheang and his partner Mr Rashid. We met a few times and discussed on the technical aspects of the race just months before. I have the impression that the organizers would face huge challenge because they are new to the sport, so the technical aspect of it needs to be improved exponentially due to the time constraint. However, Mr Colin is an ambitious guy. He is so enthusiastic and willing to learn, he writes down every pointers I share with him. For the record, I am not part of the organizing team nor paid to give consultation ya. I did all this for the sake of helping him to make Silverman a successful event at my home ground. 

The distance 10km run - 61km bike - 10km run was the distance announced by the organizer. This is one of my favourite distance actually, similar to Powerman. I trained for it, planned my strategy, put in those mileage every weekend and every night after I finished my work. Being an engineer in the Royal Malaysian Navy Air Wing, we maintain 6 Super Lynx and 6 Fennec Helicopters. Please allow me to highlight that "we do not borrow our helicopters from the air force", we play with our own toys. haha. Helicopters are always the force multiplier when operating together with warships, so the demand for our service is always very high. As the service provider, the engineering team get everything fixed and well maintained so that the pilots could do their job. Busy place, heavy workload. Not an excuse, I train at night. Marina Island is just 2 minutes from the Naval Base, so many friends said it's going to be homeground advantage for me. Just so u know, I never did the course recce on my bike because I believe you guys experienced how bad was the road condition and traffic. 

My form gets better over time, I am aiming for podium. I readjusted the aero position for this race, bought a TT handlebar and changed my set up a little. Everything went so well, the progress was very pleasing. 13 days ago, I took the bike out on the road for the first time to check my aero position. I rode around the 5km loop inside the Naval Base because the traffic control is so much safer than riding outside. Come the 4th loop, I pushed a little harder to keep 40km/h. Then a car on my lane and stopped on the road to chat with two girls at the sidewalk. I got off from the aero position and squeezed my brake lever as hard as possible to get maximum stopping power for that super short distance left. Within split seconds, I swung to the left hoping to avoid the crash. Cut short the drama, I knocked the girls down and took down the side mirror i think. With some assistance from passersby, I got back up and rested at the road side. It happened less than 2 weeks before Silverman. I went to the hospital, dressed the wounds, did X ray and all. I was not very worried about the wounds and blue black because i believe it'll get better. My rib was the main concern, it hurts VERY badly when I take a deep breath, cough and sneeze. Other than fixing my body, I had a broken handlebar to fix, cracked helmet, and some mechanical issues on my bike. I fixed it myself. I bought resin and hardener to bind the carbon composite, then reinforce it with a metal ruler on the upper and lower side so that it can hold the lengthening and compression when subject to load. I wish I had some fibers to bind with the resin actually. On completion, I put some weight on the handlebar to confirm if my repair work could survived the load. 3 days before race day, I spin my bike on the trainer. I felt okay. Tour de France rider could ride with a fractured vertebra, why can't I endure the pain =p
A day before race, met follow OPs and members of Makan Kambing Group for food, food and food!!! Pleasant company. Went back to my room to catch some sleep at 10pm. Just when I was about to sleep, I got a phone call asking me to go to squadron to sign off some documents, we got an urgent tasking. I drove to my office, assisted the ground crew with whatever support they require. My crews are a bunch of really excellent technicians, they can aut opilot for all the tasks given with very minimal intervention.

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Race morning. Lubricated my bike chain with Adreno TT, a lubricant I made myself during my recovery from bike crash. Seep some Hammer Fully Charge for the warm up, taped my gel on the bike, Hammer Perpetuem on the rear hydration. Did my fly mount preparation, synced my Garmin sensors, rehearse the bike-in and bike out sequence. Every thing was simple and easy, no stress, that's the way I like it. Transition area set up by our Ironman Freddie, Kerian Duathlon Organizer. We all know how good is he so kita tak perlu la puji dia lagi kat sini okey. Haha great job Freddie!

First 10km run, we head towards Teluk Batik. I placed myself among the top 10, I tried to keep my pace at 4.15-4.20 well below my threshold pace. Cadence was good, another UPNM cadet Muhamad Firdaus Hasnan was with me most of the time. Bahaya ni ada cadet start to catch up with me. Finished the run at average pace 4.18mins/km. My right rib hurts. Transition was good, flew mounted and out we go! My broken handlebar survived my body weight during the mount. Haha, good one.

 Out from Transition Area.

I rode at a rather safe pace and power, I always check my powermeter. Saw another fellow Navy athlete Halif who trains full time with the Commando. Not too bad ya for a full time engineer! Averaging around 37km/h. Haha. At the turning after Jambatan Tuanku Bainun, the road condition was horrible. I cramped VERY badly, the whole left leg hardened! I sucked in more fluids and electrolytes, forced my legs to pedal! Shut up legs =p That's the complication expected for resting so long. My seat post felt a bit too short for me to make power too! Then I recalled that my seat post was not the original position after the crash. I even thought of putting two energy gels at my groin area to lift up my seating position. hahaha. After 5km, it didn't get better. Firdaus, Richard and Allie Helmy caught me up. I just let them pass while I slow down to fix my cramp. Come the super uneven road section, I swayed left and right to avoid pot holes. Trucks and cars just zoom pass us like nobody's business. The poor traffic control put our lives at risk. Saw a few riders suffers mechanical failure, punctures and so on. At that point, I was still cramping. Hahaha so I settle with 33km/h nice and easy.

We had some drizzling rain along the way, no thunderstorm. My bike chain is lubed with my Adreno TT, I was very confident that the wax film will not go off even under heavy rain. I engineered the lube, and I tested it myself. Come second loop, I checked my distance at the turning point. I can guarantee that the bike course would go over distance. The turn was too late! The negative impact to many participants was that, the nutrition they carried was for 61km, not for 66km. Nothing wrong to extend it to 66km, just declare it up front for the participants to prepare. It might sound like a small issue, when we ran 10km and then bike at race intensity, it is going to be a big deal. I believe the organizer will improve in this aspect. It is their first time, so learning is part of growing.  Whatever it is, my handlebar survived the distance and horrible road condition. My right rib was not feeling okay. I came back with an "injured horse pace" of average 33km/h. That's my training pace for 100km ITT.

I did a quick transition, just 41 seconds, 5 seconds slower than the overall champ Jason Loh. Haha. Went out to run with cramping legs. Hammer Endurolytes helped to reduce my cramp. Come the 4th kilometer, I got back my running legs! I pushed the pace slightly higher, here comes the rib pain. I am feeling happy because the pain was bearable, or it is just me racing so many years that I could shut the pain switch off. Water station was so limited! The volunteers at the aid stations were not very helpful to be honest, far from what we had in Powerman. The tables orientation need to be improved to suit the flow of incoming participants. A simple gesture to hand us our water cups goes a long way. The tables should be long so that we could always grab another cup if we miss the first one. I had highlighted this to the organizer, they listened. Next year, hopefully better. The nicest thing about the run course is the shady area, it is cooling and scenic. Plenty of photographers on the course too! Thumbs up to the organizing team for picking this course.

My position was no 7 overall, with 3 veterans ahead of me. Nobody was behind me, no pressure to run faster. Again, my rib was hurting a little. Finished with a "pregnant turtle" average pace 5.10mins/km.

Final Result : Men Open No 4 

Picture courtesy my brother Chan Jun Kwan. Many mistaken him as me, sama kilang so muka sama =p

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 Broken handlebar okey. Reinforced with metal ruler because I could not find fiber to bind with the resin. 

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Jumpa kawan kawan =) the doctors did Back to back races, just came back from Cebu 70.3.

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Podium Finishers. Congrats to Huzaifah, finally made podium. Consistency, discipline is the key. 

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Familiar podium faces =)

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Nak cari seribu satu alasan, memang boleh. Tak cukup masa, busy kerja tak boleh bersukan, tak dapat train full time. Dulu masa jadi engineer frigate, training dalam cabin sempit pun bersyukur aku dapat habiskan Ironman. Now dapat base job jadi engineer helicopter, bersyukur la boleh training di darat tak dipukul ombak. Aku makan gaji jadi tentera, so jadilah seorang tentera. Tak dapat train full time pun tak pe. Most of the podium finishers also don't get to train full time anyway. Moral of the story, jangan banyak alasan. Paham?! =p Selfpity is your worst enemy.