Just completed Kerian International Duathlon (KiD) on 13th Dec 2015.The story of KiD started in end of September when Freddie Ng (Race Director) contacted me to invite me and our Bunanamo team to join this race. Initially I was quite reluctant as I was planning to organize Bunanamo yearly interstate ride to Ipoh on the same date. But Freddie was very persuasive (In fact I didnt know he was at that time and checked out his FB… he was this dude wearing a Superman shirt! Hmmmm…) but I have always been a big supporter of local race organizers… even more so since he told me he plans to organize triathlon races in the future… So I promised him I will participate and invite the Bunnies as well….
Unfortunately 3 weeks before Kerian, I had a bike crash at Selangor Century Ride. My left knee was badly scrapped off, left hips and arms took a beating too and my body felt like it was run over by a truck. I couldnt even run for the first week after the crash…. Freddie being the ever attentive RD contacted me and ask how was my condition… I told him I was injured and very upset, dont think I can race well in Kerian… He told me ‘Oh dear I bet a lot on you winning the race, now I have to bet on someone else to win the race!!’ So much for the attentive and caring RD 😛
Anyway, I travelled with Sue to Kerian and as always she is the best travel companion…. driving most of the way so I can relax and just awesome to chat with.. Upon arriving at Bagan Serai Mini Stadium (really super mini stadium) I was treated like a VIP…. all race kit collection went smoothly and the volunteers were so friendly and helpful…. Freddie even personally escorted me to SY Hotel…. RM88/night and dont even need to register our details!!! after that I found out that they have per hour room charges….. hmmmmm
Woke up at 5am the next morning to prepare for the race… I had a good sleep except for the loud banging sound from the next door the previous night…. did my usual morning ritual of taking my milo + bread + sweet potatoes + bread + banana + coffee…. yes I can eat a lot before races!!! took 1 metasalt + 1 vo2 max and Carbopro + Gatorade too (slowly sipping it as I make my way to the race course)….
6:30am started racking up my race kits at transition at spinning my bike…. making sure all gears and brakes working well… did a few sprints to warm up the legs. Rack bike and easy run to warm up + drills to increase range of motion …. My usual pre race rituals! Took photos with some friends but I was queued up way behind… luckily had some friends queued at the front line and they allowed me to stand beside them to avoid traffic during the race start!
7:15am gun off and immediately I started pushing the pace. The strategy was to finish the first 5km with the front guys so I can have a strong bike group to ride with…. I was pushing near the red zone in the first 5km but luckily the Wednesday SRE session’s with the Buns on the track help a lot as I was able to run above threshold for longer time…. We ran along the Kerian canal offroad most of the way…. it was a simple square shape run and I ran together with a few younger UPNM boys… I could see there was about 15 runners in front of me, wasnt too worried I was planning to push the pace on the bike!
At T1 I had a quick transition just putting on my helmet and pushing off…. on the bike I easy spinned while putting on my Spiuk trishoes while sipping on my Gatorade + Carbopro concoction and washing it down with plain water…. Then I tucked in at aeroposition and started pumping on the pedals hard…. Pedals showed a pace of 40-42km/hr which is on a good pace… I started seeing other riders in front… most of them didnt even bother sitting on my draft…. Then about 5km in I saw Sufiyan… a strong duathlete from the military tri gang…. I shouted for him to sit on my draft and he was so excited he turn in a bit too fast almost hitting me :P…. After a few minutes we pickup another rider who was in my age group…. I told them each of us should work 1 min and maintain speed above 40km/hr…. Took my first gel and felt very comfortable riding in this group…. but speed was dropping and I kept reminding the other 2 riders to go above 40km/hr…. The route was very beautiful… riding beside greeneries and the weather was kind too… good road condition and well marked so I dont think anybody ended up in Ipoh…. reaching the halfway point I recognized the road as we were riding beside Bukit Merah resort lake (I raced there in September)…. I had a lot of fun riding there and just before the U turn… I saw that there was only Jason Loh and Calvin in front of us….. I got kinda excited and told the 2 guys to chase after them…. Then from opposite side of the road I saw the chasing group coming in about 1-2 minutes behind… So I started pushing the pace even harder and at the hill at Bukit Merah I dropped the 2 guys (unintentionally as I was planning to ride together with them to chase the 2 front guys)…. about 10km front the finish line I caught up with Calvin and a quick glance at his race number and I realised he was in a different age group …So I worked together with him to T2….
Going into T2 I heard the Jason’s name announced … then they announced me as in 2nd position followed by Calvin…. I tried my best to have a fast transition… I think it went smoothly except for the part where my socks were soaked so I decided to chuck it away and go sockless…. I dash out from T2 together with Calvin side by side and we chatted a bit on the first 500m…. I knew he was a faster runner (obviously as he had such a big lead from me on the first 5km run) so I knew I had no chance to beat him on the run unless he bonked…. which he didnt 😛
I just tried to focus on good form and to rehydrate myself…. at the turning I glanced back and didnt see anyone in the range of 100m away so I knew I had a good chance of securing first place for my age group as long as I dont bonk…. after the first loop I merge into the guys coming back from the bike…. I just kept running back and at every turning glance back to make sure the few chasing guys did not close the gap…. eventually I saw Karen doing her first loop and as I was passing her she told me after the race I was running so loudly!!! I guess I was really tired at that point and my form was all over the place…. On the last stretch back I had a bicycle escort and as I was passing the finishing line the announcer who knows me well shouted Rupert from Terengganu (hahahaha coz everytime I go race in Kenyir I will race under the Anak Terengganu category).
Soon the other Bunnies came back and Sue did really well… finishing 5th in a super strong category whereby Mariana came in as womens overall champion! Karen did superbly too considering she just raced in Ironman 1 month ago and managed to win in her age group comfortably. Majority of the Bunnies did really well, most of them finishing in top 10 position!
Im very happy with my race result as the win came as a big surprise as my run has never been my forte and duathlon is a runners game. The results showed I had fastest bike split and my last 10km run was 3rd fastest overall (another big surprise), most likely because I am use to running after biking. The organizers did a great job, and running along the canal reminded me of Challenge Roth. Definitely a race I will return to next year and surely the competition will be tougher, so I need to up my game 🙂 After the race I went makan with Muz and Fiza at Ipoh Hor Fun and had coffee, catching up with Karen and Gary too, bragging about my race. A great race experience is not only about the race or results but traveling together with good friends, meeting new people along the way and of course great food!