This is a 70.3 event in the Tri United Series. I arrived at the Transition 1 with my pajama.. well not really a pajama but something that looks quite like it, and a long sleeve shirt to stay warm in the early morning. Everybody was wearing tri suit and I was an odd man out. After preparing my T1 basket and bike, I fell in line on the porta potty, then back to T1 to take off my shirt and finally with only 4 minutes left to gun start I rushed towards the starting line at Dungaree Beach.
I didn't swim with my team's tri suit (Puro Tri), just a double Speedo bottom to go with my Speedo goggles and an orange swim cap provided by the organizer. The swim was pretty much chaotic and slow maybe because of the mass start but it was over in 36 minutes. I survived the swim!
Photo by K.Zapanta SnapShots
Time in T1 was approximately 4 minutes. The first few kilometers went by as anticipated, slow but no sign of fatigue or aches on my injuries. It was actually faster than my goal time for the first 30 kilometers. But you know me, I always end up on the wrong side of the bike and it happened before I get to the 75K turn around point. My neck was hurting really bad and the pain on my upper back wouldn't let up. DNF was knocking on the door but with the distance I covered it's kind of hard to imagine quitting at that point so I kept on pedaling until I reached Transition 2. The ride on SCTEX Highway was worth it though, there were lots of uphills, the view of the mountains was exhilarating and the road closure was calming. I spent some time inside T2 to have a little bit of rest before I went to run... or limp my way to finish line.
with my rubber shoes and pink pedals - Photo by TU3 Official Photographer
At the start of my run I thought I could jog all the way to the finish line with ease but after just a few hundred meters I felt something on my left knee and fact of the matter was I thought I was exhausted so I'd rather finish slow than die trying to look fast. I walked a lot of times and when Chad a fellow age grouper caught me I went to run with him to ask some questions regarding I.M. distance racing as he had just finished 2 such events this year. I am deeply sorry if I disturbed your TU3 race, mate. So there I was in the middle of the road, under the heat of the midday trying to figure out how can I do Bohol 226 if half of that seemed unbearable. Luckily I finished in 6:48. I wasn't disappointed just worried with my neck because I was and still am in the middle of training for a long distance event. I couldn't even complain with my finishing time as half of the field was still suffering under the punishing heat at that time.
So here goes:
The Good: the bike route was such an experience, a scenic expressway all to us
The Bad: my neck was hurt
The Ugly: I'm in the heat of training for my first long distance triathlon and a painful neck is not a good sign
The Race: Tri United 3 70.3 is very well organized and priced just right, the only downside could be the proximity of the finish line to the hotel.
The Time: 6:48 total and 2:32 on the run is something I did not expect but at that moment I felt mighty lucky to cross the finish line
The Best: I was glad to have registered for this race, if I knew then that I would be doing Bohol 226 there's no way I would have joined this. The neck issue exposed my... you guessed it, my neck and the risk of riding a folding bike in an upright position when you know you'll be riding long on a road bike in a very different position
The Lesson: train with the bike you're going to use on race day and get comfortable on the aero bar