(race recap) Ironman Langkawi 70.3 2019

After Bangsaen 70.3, I was a bit curious about completing half-distance triathlon race. If only questions popped up.  On March, I gave another shot! I would try my luck on October.

To swim better, I decided to go back to Akbar’s class, I was with him since 2015, I quit in 2016 when doctor told me not to swim yet.  The practice arleady move to Gelora Bung Karno which obviously closer to my office. It will be easier for me to commute.

Swimming in pool for speed session obviously different with open water swimming which is required in triathlon.  So  around March, I’m back with the squad again ,twice a week as opposed to my previous preparation for Bangsaen which was only once a week.

As I also write here, I have my running coach that gives me schedule on Sunday, Monday the latest, because obviously I lack of my running mileage. The reason why I can’t make it on Bangsaen.

But, building up my running really takes time that I only had max 2 a week for bike training. Pre-race MISTAKE.

Ok here’s the recap :

Saturday October 26th, 2019.

  • We had breakfast at the hotel. Me, not having my caffeine for a week finally in big relief. I sip a cup of coffee eat pasta and bread.
  • In agreed time, we went to The Danna, a nice resort 20-min-drive from where we stay, where the swimming leg started. Unlike any other tri race I had participated, they had different transistion area  for T1 ( from swimming to bike) and T2 ( from bike to Run) even the finish line. Hence, they gave us 3 bags, Street Bag (for our needs after the race), Bike Bag (our needs from in T1) and Run Bag ( our needs in T2). For Bike leg, I prepared myself with a  bottle full of Infinite, a powder-form food and should be dilute with 600cc water. I think this cool, I wont left anything behind like I forgot my bike shoes when I was in Thailand.

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  • We had sholat subuh near by, since when we arrived, the transition area was not open yet when we arrived.
  • Preparing stuff, wishing everybody good luck, we droped our Street Bag on Truck. When I just about dropped mine, a male Caucasian about my age yelled in panic. He forgot that swimming google and swimming cap were still in Street Bag and finding yours in stack of thousand street bags is just like finding a needle in the hasystack!  But fortunately, he can find his! He must be a good man then ! hahahah
  • I took gel with me and bottle of water with me.
  • There were 3 waves for Half Ironman distance, the red cap ( fastest), the blue cap (middle) and the white cap (slow or not sure)  I was in blue cap wave with expected swimming time 45 – 55 mins.  COT for swimming leg was 1 hour 10 mins, similar with Bagsaen. Seeing how calm the water was even after heavy rain the night before, I was pretty sure I’ll swim better, close to my Bintan’s timing.
  • There, I swam, very relax. The water was somehow warm, the sun hasn’t rise yet. It is expected that I got kicked, can’t help it. I followed all the floating flags, there was time I swam a little bit too far but I did practice my sighting so I kept myself from track again.
  • I forgot how the swimming track look like, thing I regret that I skipped technical meeting on the previous day. You know, in every triathlon race, there will be technical meeting from the committee to introduce you how the track looks like, the transition area, the do’s and the don’ts.
  • But on the last turn, I saw some white caps were overpassing me. But if take a look, I’m still around the blue caps. Means, I swam with others who are in 2.30 – 2.45/100 m pace.
  • There, I got it! 51 mins! I saw Jelly and Lily cheered me! Wow! They didn’t race yet willingly travel to The Danna for this! Wow!

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  • I took my Bike Bag, then I confused where to go. See, behind Bike Bag Storage Area there was a changing room, there is  where we should prepare our stuffs! I lost my 15 seconds! Ha! Took white balero, put skirt on, hijab and glasses. Owh, this was the first time I used different top for my tri race.
  • My favorite leg! Bike leg ! Langkawi Ironman race is famous for its hilly, undulated, steep hills! Rear Derrailleurs  killers! If you don’t know how to handle your bike.
  • When I rode , I was wondering why I was so tired! Many participants passed me. I wonder why I ride sooooo slow especially in hilly area. Was it my legs?
  • We took u turn after one steep hills. Of, unfortunately, bike course wasn’t steril. So I had to compete with any other vehicles.
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See my Tyre?

  • The nightmare came, I got flat tyre. A local  participant warn me I had flat tyre! OH EM GEEEEE!!!! This explained why I was soooo slow. I changed my tyre and pump my rear tyre with CO2.  Lucky I had learned how it worked. I continued. In down hill I still feel something wrong with my bike. I didn’t do it properly! I forgot to secure the tyre tube. I took my second CO 2 ( tabung kecil Co 2) I was panic, the gas pop up hopelessly. I cried! No way I’d finish this race and it has been one hour on in Km 19. But I tried my luck.
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what Co2 look like

  • Lucky, supporting car came and helped me but he didn’t have bike pump with him. “Kakak calm sajalah, it will be ok. My friend will come in 5 minutes” he calmed me. Which seem take FOOOORRRREVERRRRR!!!!! That was  my worst nightmare among all the races I joined. CLUELESS AND HOPELESS! The other bike mechanic finally came WITH A BIKE PUMP! I begged him to be quick, it was 1 hour 15 mins already. NOw I wonder, how does he know I understand Malay? hahahahah.
  • Bike then oke, I continued my journey. For Langkawi Ironman, the 70.3 and Full Distance take place at the same time! So, there were many full IRONMAN Participants around me. Whoooo, they must swim very fast.
  • The rest of the track I was considered ok. We bike through village, by the lake, with local kids asking free bottle (on water station they gave us cold water in a bottle). I didn’t take the bottle with me. Tapi ya, ada teman saya, orang Algeria kerja di Jakarta, Doel kami memanggilnya, Dia “buang” bidon ini ke anak kampung, di penalty panitia. Suruh berhenti 5 menit! Hahahahah Kasihan Amat. Jadi peraturannya kalau ketahuan buang sampah, di penalty. 
  • Remember I said considered ok? Because when we took right turn after we cruised the city, that is where other night mare continues. Bike Track in Langkawi is famous for its THREE SISTERS and ONE MOTHER IN LAW! They are HORRRRRIIIIIBBBBLLLLEEEEE!  This is where you would see, many people CHEERIINGGG YOU UP, because it was THATTT HORRIBLE!!!! These are the places where participant hop off their bike and WALK with the bike!
  • I forgot on which those scary hills, a participant in front me made sudden stop. I didn’t prepare for this and I was too close with her as well. I fell down, my bike chain was misplaced. Rantai lepas! OH WHAT A RACEEEEEE! 
  • Short story, in one of those horrible hills, I DID WALK WITH MY BIKE a.k.a NUNTUN SEPEDA! I felt slighty cramp on my right inner thight! I rode my bike while messaging my thight! I really wanted to stop!

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  • and in last 15K, we had to under go MOTHER IN LAW Hills, LONG endless hills under one hot scorching sun!
  • FINALLY! OWHHH FINALLY! I arrived at Mahsuri International Exhibition Center, where the transition 2 was.  I dismounted and fell down again!  I asked the committee whether I was still eligible to run? They said yes, and there I ran!
  • Running track was a 2-lap-course, and on (my) Km 4 I saw Cieko (Km 14). He motivated me as I was soooooo damn tired and we even held hand so I could keep his pace. Another participant said “owh you guys soo sweet” We both laughed. Baek baek Cik, ada fotograper snapped kita, susah jelasin ke istri loe ntar…I joked. Yet, Since I was tired, Cieko somewhat faster in completing the rest of his 7K.
  • The MICE is close to airport. As you know, it expected Airport Area should be clear. No high trees, no shades. NOTHING! DIRECT Sunlight. Hahahhaha

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  • Anyway…long story short, I completed the whole track, they give all the finisher, medal and towel but if you check the timing track, it stated DID NOT FINISH!

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Sedih? PASTI!  I didn’t feel this sad when I was in  Bangsaen, and now I’m pretty sad that I didn’t finish my second Half Ironman race either.

But during endurance sport like this, I learn that you never lose, it is either you win or you learn! I learn that, Ironman race probably is not for me, sudahlah…patah arang! Ikutan color run 5k aja paling bener! Ahhahahahah

PS : read better recap here from Evan.

PS again : and if you wonder, the Street Bag will be available on the finish line, while the BIke Bag  were transfred to T2. So participant will pick their bike, together with bike and run bags.

What the three sister hills look like. Sorry i have no idea who owned the pictures.

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