My second half-Ironman race at Singapore 21 March, 2010.
My race seemd to be doomed since Friday morning (19 Mar) when I was checking in at the airline counter. I was not allowed to get on board with Sonic team mates because the expiry date of my passport is less than 3 weeks!! As you are a frequent traveler, you know the rules... So, there was nothing I could do at the airport. But a trained triathlete of course is not so easily beaten! I set my goal that I WILL make it to Singapore today or tomorrow. I kept my bike box at the airport baggage storage and headed to Wan Chai immigration department. And hence my race began! After tearing off all my hair and a lot of begging at the immigration department for the whole morning, until 3pm, I was still not sure if I could book the next morning 11:35am flight.. There was no guarantee that the new passport could be in my hands before 10:00am.
After meticulous planning, weighting pros and cons, I decided to drive to the Immigration Department to pick-up my passport on 20 March morning. Then horror of horror?! My car’s battery was dead! Time to change my race tactic – MTR and taxi are as good as any! When I finally got my new passport at 9:35am, here came another race from Wan Chai immigration station to airport. I had to make sure I could check in my bike no later than 10:45am. It was a race that really every minute counts! I had to call my friend who works in the airline to keep my bike at his office overnight and to get my bike stand-by at the check-in counter to save me every precious minute.
Anyway, I FINALLY made it...I got on the Sat 11:35am flight to SG and arrived at the hotel around 4:30pm. Then I unearthed more of my talents J: I rebuilt my bike in record time, while wolfing down a Nasi Goreng (the all important carbo-loading!!) and was able to check-in the bike minutes before the site closed at 6pm. Just to show you that triathletes can truly multi-tasked! I was so grateful to have Bernard waiting for me at the hotel and went with me to check in my bike. Much appreciate all those sms & calls from George, Bernard, Kenneth and Dominic to keep track of my status which made me feel that I was not all alone…And if I forgot to thank my wife for accompanying me to the Immigration Department, then I am a man deader than dead (and my wife added this sentence)!
Here came the real race, which wasn’t going as smoothly as I’d hope. Swimming was no big deal to me as you all know what a GREAT swimmer I am! I was not foaming at my mouth when I reached the shore with all my limps intact.
Biking had a smooth head start then disaster struck again! I had a bike crash at about 75km which cost me at least 10~15mins, I guess, for the medical dressing on my right wrist, elbow and knee. Unfortunately, my watch was hung after the crash...so I had no idea how much time I lost and I couldn't time my pacing for the 21km run. I saw that Bernard’s bike was already hanging at the rack when I got to the T2, wow, sorry Bernard, I really think I was doing no good at all. But after overcoming the visa fiasco then paying double (the replacement ticket), no way I was not doing my best to race!……okay… so I just forged on to see what would happen…….Before long, I caught Bernard at about 5km, then nature called and I slowed down, Bernard caught me back at 8km and I consulted his opinion the best location to take a pee….and his advice was to pick a tree that looks good. He is truly a man of my heart!! (P.S. I bet that tree is now the healthiest in the pack as my pee was so pumped full with powergel!) Probably shedding a few oz helped with my speed.
Because I had no watch to time anything, I was surprised and so excited to see the clock showing 5:35' when I crossed the finishing line. Still thinking, not bad…Not for long, I met Bernard again at the finish, I was surprised again that I got my PB clocked 5:21' indeed with swim 45'46", bike 2:39' and run 1:51'
So here is the truth and nothing but the truth about my Singpaore half-ironman race!