Thursday, July 7, 2011

June19 - Hoohathlon 2011

A triathlon in our local waters? But where? It's not like we're close to the sea for open water swim? has its ways. What's Hooha?
"Hooha.Asia is a sports portal that connects you with other sports fans around Asia."

As for me, it's TRIATHLON SEASON!!!! Woohoo!!! After running so many marathons beginning of the year, it's time to swim-bike-run. It's wayyyy...not as boring as running. ahahhaha...not that I'm criticising running. It's just that I like to swim, I'm so-so with biking & I like to run. Plus in triathlon, we use different muscles with individual sports compared to running.
Hoohathlon 2011 was held at Putrajaya. Swim at the Putrajaya Water Sports Compleks. Cycle out onto the Putrajaya highways then run around the lake.
Course Map around Putrajaya

In Malaysia, there are 2x -thlon : Triathlon - 3 sports : Duathlon - 2 sports

Distances for Triathlon (swim/bike/run) :-
Mini Sprint - 150m / 10km / 3km
Sprint - 750m / 20km / 5km
Olympic distance (this is wat you see in the Olympics) - 1.5km / 40km / 10km
70.3 Half Ironman - 1.9km / 90km / 21km
Ironman - 3.86km / 180.25km / 42.195km
Ultraman - let's not go that far. Malaysian, Kannan Murugasan is our sole finisher for this distance.

Distances for Duathlon (run/bike/run) :-
Sprint - 5.5km Run - 32km Bike - 5km Run
Individual - 11km Run - 64km Bike - 10km Run

Ok, back to Hoohathlon.
Stuffs that you get for registering : TYR goggles & swimcap, Brooks shirt

In the below review, I'll be giving personal tips as well as review on the race.
Tips : The day before the race, always check what you need for your race. Prepare a triathlon checklist. You can see here for example then personalise it to your preference. Quietly layout all your stuff according to swim-bike-run, then imagine using it before the race, doing the race until the very end. Don't pack too much (unless you are racing really long distances).

Review : Was at the race site with KS at 6am since the website said to be on time. It was still very dark. So
we went round the place locating the registration counter, the body marking, the transition area & most importantly the toilet. This is wat we call "recce".
Tips : If it's your first triathlon, be at race site 1hr before start time. You'll need time to rekkie the site. Depending on the situation, some might recce the surrounding area first, or some might get their stuff ready first in the transition area before reccing the surrounding area. From the transition area, take note where your bike is parked at. If there are many rows, pick a landmark. Where do you swim in, bike out, bike in and run out. Because while u are racing, with your adrenaline pumping, you'll tend to lose ur sense of direction.

Review : Somehow on the website, it was stated that the race was limited to 300pax but seems like only 100+pax registered, by the look at the transition area. But this being it's first race, it was still a good turn out. Located the swim area with its concrete platforms to mark individual 500m. Bad choice because freestyle swimmers don't look in front. Imaging whacking your arms into that.
Tips : Next up is inspecting your triathlon items to put in your basket. After parking your bike, you can either prep your bike first or your basket of items. I'll do my bike first coz after laying down my stuff, it's abit difficult to manuever around the bike. Make sure you had your bike checked before your race. The gears, brakes, the tyres etc. Always turn ur gears to the lowest or "looses" gears. You don't want to start cycling at the hardest gear. Make sure your bike computer is detecting and your water bottles intact. If you have energy gels, make sure they are taped. I tried in the middle of my frame before, but my knees kept rubbing onto it till I got chafing from it. Many racers do not bring along spare tubes with kit as the distance is too short & changing tubes takes time. If you intend to bring spares with you, please learn how to change. Actually, in general education, please learn how to change a tube. You can place your helmet (opening facing upwards), then ur sunnies open & your race belt inside the helmet.

Review : As it was still dark when I went to prepare my stuff at my spot, KS loan me his Energizer headlamp. Hence, the "flashing" at the Hooha videographer in their event video. Check on my swim stuff, bike stuff & run stuff. I usually would stand in front of my area & phase out the surrounding for a few minutes. Imagine myself running in from my swim, coming to my bike, preparing myself out to the cycle, when i come back, what i'm suppose to grab out for my run. Once I'm confident, then I can relax myself, proceed to body marking & joke around with my friends.
Hmm...the water we're going to swim in

Body marking

Tips : This is your nervous point. The walk to the starting point. I guess chatting with your friends would help you calm your nerves. Don't forget your swim cap & goggles. If there's enough time, take a dip into the water for a casual swim. During the race, the time that is the most "kanciong" is the change between swim to bike (T1) then bike to run (T2). This is call "transition". As they are people cheering you on, and your mind is running in all direction. When u swim, u only concentrate on swimming. Same goes with the other sports.

Review : Took a swim in the lake. OMG!!! It's pitch black!!! This is actually scarier than the ocean. not hyperventilate..OMG!!! No buoyancy as well!!! This is harder than I thought.
Tips : If you are not confident in your swim, do not start in front. You'll end up being pushed back, away or worst down. Triathletes during a race are merciless. Take it nice & easy. Don't rush it. There are many different objectives to a race. Race for podium/to beat someone, race against yourself (PB) or race to finish. 1st timers should always race to finish so that you have a time marker.

Review : The ladies were placed with the veteran men. It is usually not advisable (well, men & women in a non-visible pool, hands feet everywhere - u know what i mean). Anyway, a white man (dunno what race) placed himself right in front, in between the ladies. And when the horn sounded, rather than swimming straight, he swam across (bengkok). Stopping about 3-4 ladies at our tracks. Ahem...white men are usually big size. Not a good start. With the knowledge that the platform was concrete, made it even scarier. Dissappointed with my swim coz I breaststroke alot for 150m. I'm not able to compare my race time with my own as I've never timed myself before for 150m swim.
Swim 150m - 0.4.14mins

Tips : T1- Swim-bike transition. Sequence. Run to transition (take off goggles & cap). Racers wouldn't bother washing the salt off their body. Time is off essence. Bike shoes on. Race belt clip, sunnies on. Last is helmet on. Carry your bike off the rack, then push towards the exit "Bike Exit". Officials will tell u where to get on the bike. No cycling is allowed in the transition area. Another thing is do you wear socks? Some experience triathletes don't coz it waste time, hence the dri-fit shoes. But it's your own personal preference. Always remember that petroleum jelly or Vaseline is your best friend against chafing.

Review : Platform exit from the swim is like pushing myself out of the pool. Quick dash towards the transition area, with a short flight of stairs. Shoes, race belt, sunnies & helmet on. Slight incline upon exit. Then out towards the highway.
T1 time : 00.58secs
Bike 10km - 22.35mins
Tips : Bike, you are pretty on your own. You would have train yourself before the race. You can pace yourself, sprint it thru or take your time. It's your own race. Be aware of your surrounding. Always stay on ur left side, unless passing someone. Some races are draft legal. "Drafting" means following someone close behind, catching someone's tailwind. So the person behind doesn't need to use much energy to pedal whilst the person in front is pulling you. If you are a beginner, avoid getting too close to the cyclist in front. Drafting needs time to practice. For a starter, you might cause an accident by accidentally clipping (wheels touching) the front cyclist's wheels.

Review : Cycling is straight forward. Follow the signs. Left side of the road was blocked off for the cyclist. Water station at the U-turn point. I did not take as I had a bottle water with me. I noticed some bikes don't have bottle cage. Interesting. KS said he expected me to return in 18mins. Opps =p
T2 time - 00.40secs
Tips : After cycling a period of time, your forefoot (if using clipless shoes) will tend to numb. Make sure you wiggle your toes before arriving at T2 bike-run transition. You wouldn't want to fall flat on your face when you get off the bike & not able to feel the ground. You'll be told to get off the bike at a line before entering the transition area. Push your bike towards your area & park it up. Helmet off then shoes on. Do not ever sit on the floor to put on your shoes. There are many experiences on your legs suddenly cramping. Grab your cap & gels, then you are off.

Review : I took my feet out from the shoes too early before coming into T2. Didn't put my bike on the rack properly, so my lovely FLX fell on me when I was wearing my running shoes. Poor baby. Then off I went on run. 
Run time : 27.15mins
Tips : Always pace yourself during your run. Your heart should be beating double time right now. Control your breathing. One step at a time. Judge your own pace. Then, finish the race with a bang!! You are now a triathlete!!

Review : Run was hot, typical of Putrajaya. Sorry to say, I didn't have the effort to appreciate the view of the lake. I have yet to bike to run pacing. I still get a terrible stitch on my side. And my breathing would go erratic. I thought the U-turn point was below the bridge, but I was wrong. Still further more to go, towards the dam. This, I never seen before. Zigzagged down towards the u-turn point, then back up again. Water station was placed in between. I would usually grab 2 cups. One to drink, the other to pour over myself to cool down. And then the last 1-2km, I picked up my legs and started sprinting towards the finish line.
Total time : 55.41mins
Raising my arms at the finishing & stopping my time watch
Won first place for my category, Wonder Women.
Wore my Team Independent Racers (IR) jersey.
BBQ buffet line
-spot the greedy pig-
Everyone is hungry after a good race
 Coach KS forcing me to makan to refuel & recover
There's no parting between me & my ice kacang
Goodies after the race
Actually we can make do the another shirt, but since its sponsored
& doesn't affect the registration fee, then ok lah.
iPanema slippers for first 80 entries,
but since total entries were limited, everyone got a pair. Yeah!!!
My prize? RM50 Cash Voucher from AllSportz.
Err...I have no idea what i need. hmmm...
My time split
My cert thru email

Final review : This is a good event to introduce people into triathlon. I get times when pure cyclist or pure runners don't understand why we want to do 3 sports instead of 1. Hooha should make this an annual event.

Publication :


Akmal Dahlan said...

Hi Jenn,

Great review from a participant's angle. There are still a lot of things we need to improve for next year(yes! we r planning to make it an annual event). We will take all your thoughts into consideration to make this event as friendly as possible to participants, especially those who are first timers in this multi-discipline sport event.

Congrats on your 1st placing in wonderwoman category. your timing outdid many men in their respective categories. Impressive!

Glad u had a good time, and we're looking forward to see u next year.

Keep on doing what u do best!

Best regards,
Akmal Dahlan
*the videographer u flashed hahaha*

p/s: i think the word u looking for is "recce"

Jenn Jenn said...

ohh..that's the word...thanks. have changed accordinly.

reconnaissance, reconnoissance [rɪˈkɒnɪsəns] (RECCE)
(Military) the process of obtaining information about the position, activities, resources, etc., of an enemy or potential enemy *hahahha*

gracie said...

I enjoyed and learnt a lot from your race report! You should have heaps of sponsors knocking at your door lah girl - you blow all the competition out of the water! Look forward to seeing you at the PD Tri, but I am glad you are competing in a different (younger) age group than me haha!

Jenn Jenn said...

eh? no lah...still far from it. Just for show. ahhahah... its the training that scares ppl. Ur age group also quite scary coz our Malaysian International Ironman Female KONA qualifier is in ur age group. Anyway, that is not for u to worry about. Just race fun & safe. Me on the otherhand have to be more kiasu.

gracie said...

Kona qualifier... in MY age group? O....M...G... hehe. Ya, you're right, I better just have fun with this LOL. Btw, I am thinking of staying to see the Olympic distance race on Sun - if you know anyone who wants a support person let me know.

Jenn Jenn said...

ahh..lupa u doing the Sprint. err..i dunno bout the support person on OD on Sun. But that's where the most excitement & crowd will be.

gracie said...

Phew! *sigh of relief* So no Kona qualifier in my age group for Sprint then thank god! Well I guess it really doesn't matter. Right now my bike is over 1 hr, swim 30 min and run 30 min, so that puts me in last (the most glamer position hehe). I'm still hafaling your tips. Need to make myself a race belt :p

Jenn Jenn said...

trisports, hmm...not sure about athlete circle, running lab

YK said...

Nice post ! I fell from the bike not bcoz of the numbness on the leg, coz I didn;t see the stopping point and out of sudden the marshal came to block my way, i was unable to unclip and fell , LOL!

next time shall be better prepared. :D

Jenn Jenn said...

Ouch...the marshall shouldn't suddenly run in front of u. It's always dangerous for him as well as u. Anyway, that's where the recce comes in. U can actually plan alot for what to do next when cycling coz ur legs are doing the work.

gracie said...

Ah, ya, thanks! If I have time I'll visit trisports not too far from Kepong.

ting said...

wow...nice blog! ^^