The last few races were blessed with heavy downpour and wet conditions; Palembang’s heat was totally merciless.
The race for Elite men was on 22nd July 2017 at 7 am. A pontoon start, with a lineup of 35 elite men and 28 U23 men starting together.
There was some shuffling and pulling during the swim leg, but otherwise it was a decent 1500-meter swim. There were several small packs upon swim exit, but it all formed out distinctively during the bike leg; 6 loops and the road was wide with several bends. The 1st pack had 6 men, while the 2nd pack had 5 men. I was in the 3rd pack – which was also the biggest pack, with about 15 or so men. I was pretty happy with my bike leg that day.
The run was a 4 loop of 2.5 km, on a road without trees or shelter. The blazing sun and high humidity was unforgiving. During my first round in the run, I felt really lousy because I had this excruciating palpating pain on my head between my brows. After grabbing and pouring 1-1/2 bottles of water on my head and drinking the balance, the pain got slightly better, and I did surges to bridge the gap. The pain came back even stronger after my 2nd loop run and stayed. My thoughts were focused on my desire to complete the race, so I settled to a much slower pace, hydrating and pouring lots of water on myself at the 2 water stops to avoid crashing out under the heat and sun.
Ice cold towels greeted every athlete at the finish line. There were 3 to 4 athletes that succumbed to the unfriendly weather and DNF, and a good number who crossed the finish line had to be taken to the medical tent due to heat exhaustion and hallucinations, 2 or 3 had to be taken to hospital for IV drips. I’m really grateful and thankful I crossed the finish line, but had to be assisted to the medical tent to rest for about 20 minutes.
It wasn’t the decent time I was looking to do, but I am content that I was among the 2 other Singaporeans crossing the finish line for the Asian Games slot qualification.
Lots of work to do, and reflections to fine tune my game as I prepare for my next race.
THANK YOU Nuzest for your never-ending support and encouragement, it really spurs me on.
It’ll be 3 days of recovery before gradually gearing in again for my next race.
Till the next race, here’s wishing you all a very pleasant week and weeks ahead. Tune in again for more pictures and action in just 3 weeks’ time.