Ironman Bang Saen 70.3 Race Recap

Where was I?

Ah ya…

We woke up really early, get dressed and I couldn’t eat. Mami Vitri pushed me to eat at least banana and even made me a cup of instant cofee.

A shuttle bus (in a form of TukTuk) picked us up at 4.15. the hotel gave us a sandwich and mineral water for breakfast, I left it at my room….then decided to bring the sandwich. From Wheeler Bed and BIke , only took 5 mins, approx 2.5K, shortly we arrived at transition area.

And what is a race without drama?

That very moment I realized I left my bike shoes at the hotel! DAMN! I forgot what I did, seems I ran to the drop off point and realized it would do no good. The local said there would be another shuttle bus but I doubt. Friends told me to calm down and I tried, entered the transition area and prepared my stuff. Tried to call Alvin who was still in hotel, but he didnt hear. I  figured if I walked back and forth, it could take 1 hour or so, I still have spare time before the transition area close at 6.00 am.

I ran back to drop-off point, and fortunately the last shuttle bus (with Alvin in it) came. I asked for the driver’s mercy, with the help with locals, figured out my condition that I NEED to go back to hotel. The driver said yes, he dropped me off, I asked him “please wait for me for 10 minutes!” With a 20 Baht on his hand! 😀 It wasn’t bribing I hope.

I run frantically to my room and got it! FIUHHHH now I can smile! probably I couldn’t finish swim leg due to the choppy water, but at least I tried (to get the bike), didn’t I? As I re-entered the transisition area, I heard the MC said Fun Fact about this event. He said that in term of age group, the most participants come from Male 40-44! wooo, target market gw donk, mana mana aja nih yang available. *jahil* Udah tenang soalnya. 

Another drama, ban sepeda kurang angin. The was a local participant telling me I should get my wheel pumped.

Damn! I was looking for a pump with an adopter (related to type of the wheel). Agak susah nyarinya, ternyata ada team dari Indonesia yant bawa! Bagus deh, ngga usah ngoceh pake bahasa Inggris. That local guy helped me with my bike, he pumped the wheels. Kap Khun Kaaaaa! Probably excited that someone from overseas came for the sake of this event! He told me he haven’t done Bintan, yet. I assumed it wasn’t  his first time doing half IM, he knew where the events are held.

Fortunately, next to my bike was an empty space, seemed the 1307 cancelled her. There ,  I took Subh Pray.  Next to me (1305 and 1304) were also  Indonesian. I met Dini several time. She gave me dates for extra energy and I asked for her sunblock too. Lupa bawa booo.

I took a gel and small bottle with me, dropped my bag to BAG DROP station, and off to starting pen, I was in Pink Lane. The slowest swimmers, whose pace is 2:30 / 100m and slower. I met Evelyn, good! Had friends to chit chat, then later with Luwung, and Indonesian designer lives in Bali. We entered the waiting area.

The different between Bangsaen and Bintan, the waiting area provided bottled drinking water and plenty of them. Another thing, the EO didn’t allow us to swim after 6 am although race starts at 6.25 am.

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Regrouped with another Indonesian (Including the man behind me). An oriental looking guy came and asked

“Kalian dari Indonesia ya?”

He is Jery (or Geri), an Indonesian living in Laos for several years. He has done that and this half Ironman across South East Asia and annually do Tri Race in Bang Saen. Actually, it was the first time for the 70.3 distance was held under Ironman organizer. Jery also told us a bit about the city, although it’s quite and small, it holds many sport events during a year and the pretty girl next to us is a Thai Model! @mymanow IG nya #penting

Biar wa ngga tegang, wa ngoceh aja terus! I took my gel and drink and another drink. Swimmers entered the water by 5 people, 5 seconds each .

Here’s my recap, it is going to be soooo long.

  • The water was unfortunately still choppy. As predicted, being a slow swimmer I got kicked many time.  I saw many swimmers hanging on a rope.
  • The course was form of an isosceles triangle, 700 m – 500 m – 700m. Berapa luas segitiganya? #krik
  • I pushed hard against the water, otherwise it would take me nowhere like yesterday.
  • I’m a right sided swimmer, I took breath better on right, besides the rope also on my right. Make sure I didn’t get too far from the course.
  • But I remember I have to switch to left side too, breathing on right side , gives pressure on my right ears. After Bintan, my right ear isn’t normal anymore, it has low tolerance to water pressure that gives trouble during my drill.
  • When I took breath from the left, it offered beautiful sunrise.
  • img_0539Done first 700m, I took left turn with sooooooo many swimmers macam zara lagi sale. Hard to move and the ropes that kept the buoy float were disturbing as well. I reached ones and made them as stepping stone (rope)
  • Even 3/4 of the course I still saw some swimmers hanging on the rope and marshal asked were they ok or not. Including the green cappers too. It was a hard sea. But a calm sea will not make a good sailor #apeuuu 🙂
  • Each 100 meters marked by a buoy and abt 200 meters before the sea shore I saw my watch it was 50mins something. I still have 20 mins left before the Cut Off Time.
  • I pushed even harder. Then I felt slightly cramped on my left calf. Oh no!  This is my very first sport, I love swimming my entire life, not completing this leg wasn’t an option. Not today! And I made it. Exactly 1 hr, 9 mins slower from Bintan 10 mins from COT.
  • Alhamdulilah!!!! Untung tuh sepatu gw ambil tadi! I said to myself!
  • Run to transition area, I took a fit bar and alike, a sip of water, and ready to go, yet put the bike back as I think I need Tri Vest on. Kurang kece foto gw nanti tanpa TriVest. Run out to transition area. It was sooooo big as it held 1500 participants. (Hope it also answers question, why no rental bike or alike in Tri event like this 😀 )

Bike LEG

  • The most scariest leg for me as I had flat tyre on my last Tri Race at Bintan Triathlon.
  • We already tested the bike route and Bang Saen famous for its flyovers. The least favorite about the route is there are sooo many speed traps. I saw cyclist lost its tumblers.

    That expression tho’

  • I think I was doing fine on first flyover, another two I said to myself, as yesterday, my friends and I were discussing the route
  • Cyclists were passing me and I looked at them and said “youu…swim slower than me?” #pongah  I silently asked them. Hahahhah kampret sombomg bener gw! When I tackled the flyover, I murmered  Yes, here come one, yes two!  One (flyover) to go, it was the longest flyover or….I thought it was. Wait whatt???? Masih ada flyover lagi???
  • Then it took us in alternate road next to highway. Lurus aja jalannya macam orang mudik. Route was boring and dry.  Then we took left to villagers area. Around Km 20 was a water station I opted not to stop. Km 25 or something I saw the potential winner making his way back to the city.
  • But I can say, I enjoyed the route, undulating, flat, sharp turn, a combination of flyover Bintaro, Kuningan, Gatsu and those beautiful small villages during TDA, Jogja. Chon Buri area is sooo quite, saw locals cheered us up Tapi ngga meriah aja. Emang Indonesia kebanyakan penduduk kali ya.  I think I was soo closed to God since I made pray and dzikir every other mimutes, jangan pecah ban lagi ya Rabb! Please no bike drama! I keep looking at my watch, 30K, 35K…if I took OD I would have finish this leg in less than 15 mins. Why I gave my OD Sungai LIat Triathlon bib up?  Although not hard core, I train regularly. Also the reason why I jumped up to Ironman Distance. See, mending mengutuk selama race  dibanding nyesel  ngga daftar kan apalagi Did Not Start? hahahhahaha!
  • There were still speed traps along this course, sebagian saya tabrak, sebagian saya menghindar ke kiri yang ngga kena trap. 
  • I could passed few cyclists and said “Excuse meeee. Bike on your right” when I wanted to pass them. I felt like I’m the coolest South East Asia female cyclist. nyiahahhahahaha #pongahlevel2
  • Then I stoped my bike to get my tumbler filled with water. I had two bottles with me, plain water and Isotonic. I ran out plain water on Km 35’s I think. Continue my bike and tried to get isotonic drink from Marshal Hand without stopping my bike, and again, gw berasa keren bener!
  • We made U-turn in Km 40’s something, saw few cyclists behind me on my way back.
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  • There was a scenic yet scary route on the way back, by the side of Ban Bhang Pra Reservoir. There was a bridge in front of  us and when  I looked up, I saw cyclists there! Eh gileee jekkkk, nanjak lagi maleeeh? This was the route and why the photographers exist on every tanjakan? muka saya ngga ada yang bener!

 

  • I actually couldn’t recall what really happened. The area was quite on my way back (ya iyalaaah gw lelet, udah ngga ada peserta lagi) I kept riding, kept looking at my watch, 50 K, 55, 65 K and so on. I took both gels (that whas taped on my bike) within 10-20Km distance. There was banana provided but I didn’t stop. Things I regret later.   Also met another Indonesian, both using road bike instead of TT bike. salip salipan gitu deh, hahahhaha. Pas nyalip minta jalannya  pake bahasa Indonesia aja.  Later I knew, many of friends including Acha, Ika and BTR did tracking me. Worrying my whereabout, monitoring via Ironman Tracker app. Thx friends. *blowing kisses*
  • Just around 10K back to race area, Evelyn passed me. I look my watch, it was almost 11.30 am, I had spare time before COT at 12. 00 pm.
  • So, finished in 3 hr : 40 mins. With the headwind / side wind along the course (bikin berat boo) I think I was doing fine. Another wish was granted that day! Alhamdulilah!

Run Leg

  • Back to transition area, I took another fit bar. Took my bib with me and drank plenty of water. 
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  • I was almost 12 pm when I started the run, under hot scorching sun! I did power walk as @ayu_soemardoko told me. But those evil hills laid on Bangsaen Seashore were devil!!! drained my energy to the lowest level. #lebay
  • When I jsut started the run, I saw Vitri was making her last loops, she told me water station were good! plenty of food.
  • It was a-3-loop-track, steep hills, and hills and hills again! Go check my Strava account for details. If you ran Bali Marathon, the similar hills like in Km 21, repeat 9 times!
  • Vitri was right, there were sooooooo many food available, isotonic, cola, water melon, gels, banana even its ice cream and its traditional food made from sticky rice.
  • I saw many army and there was a group of people, covering one lady. She was the princess,  the first grandchild from the late Rama IX.
  • Since it was looping, saw many friends and they were motivating me. Sunu, Pak Idham, Bagus and the younger Bagus.
  • around 3K before the end of the loop, they gave us rubber band in three color. Princess and her group took her second and I of course took the first rubber band.
  • Done first loop,  mein Gott! another 14K. I never sign up for a race again EVER!!! EVER, ever! I cursed myself during this hot sunny day. I shouldn’t waste my money, I could just lying on my bed today. get manicure, pedicure, hair spa, full body massage. What a waste of 8 hrs ++ geee. 
  • I can’t remember what I ate, I stoped in every water station, eat that banana, water melon, ice cube, cola, isotonic in random oder. I took sponge threw them repeat countless time,
  • Near finishing the second loop – which also the check point Cut Off Time, the committe still allowed to go. I really wanted to give up, yet there was no appropriate “resting place” it’s either hot (34 degrees, thank you very much), many garbage (by Water Station ) smelly — yang namanya even kayak gini banyak yang pipis sembari jalan aja..so, imagine yes? 😀  and even …. monkeys 🐵 , ya dalah yaaaaa gw lanjutin aja dengan sisa sisa⁣ tenaga.
  • But fortunately, I didn’t get cramp. I was doing oke. I was the last person who got the 3rd loop rubber band! The marshals were about to go back to race village. -__-    I knew I couldn’t make it. meh!
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NOTE, that Briyani wasn’t for me!

  • On my way to third check point, there was intersection. It was near my hotel, and there was no marshal anymore. I had to cross the streed muyself. they already open the road for public. double meh!
  • Long story short, technically I managed to cross the finish line, but 9 mins after they close the gate.⁣
  • The race director came to me and said he was sorry I didn’t make it and gave me a T shirt.
  • Ingin kuberkata kasar “kata loee enjoyable course maliihhh!” cih! 
  • I talked to him on Friday, as I explaiend to him I wear hijab I need long pants on swimming leg. In Bintan, I had to argue as the rules didn’t allow pants above the knee. Lupa gw kenapa aturannya.
  • And muss ich sagen, thank you very much Mami Vitri, Bu Thya and Sunu  who had patiently waiting for me. The ladies got their Personal best Time on this devil course. 

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  • Came back to transition area, regrouped with Natali and Dini. None of us finished this race. hahahhahaha! Natali was only 2 mins too late! kejam kalian panitia! 
  • I saw that local guy who pumped my wheel, he made it. when I told him I didn’t he said give it a try another year. “Or I’ll see you again in Bintan!” yeah right!  Unfortunately I can’t remember his name.I even forget his Bib though he was in front of me on transition area.

So why it didn’t work.

  • My refueling is big homework, i suffered from bloating few days ahead. I was hungry during run leg yet keep drinking cola and isotonic.
  • I barely practice long swimming.
  • Of course, the  run as well.
  • I should have my weight lost few kg as well.  Perhaps.
  • yet, I break my own words, I’ll sign up for an endurance again. hahahahahhaha

My viem for this race

  • Give it a try! It was a good race. Thailand is affordable for Indonesia, food are great! I regret I didn’t extend my stay in Bangkok.
  • The finisherpix is FREE!!! Otherwise it took USD 100 or something!

SEE YOU ON THE NEXT RACE! 5K color run :)) :))

PS : re-read my Bintan Swim Leg recap, I lied.

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