The swim started at around 7. 18 am. A lot were still sleeping on the pontoon when the gun went. Some were smart and had made their way to the start line which was somewhat far away ahead. I was in between.
This year it was just out and back once. Surprisingly good conditions. No smell of diesel, no small bugs biting your bodies.
I had a wonderful relaxing swim. Just concentrated on maintaining a long stroke, unlike last year where I thrashed away and was tired on the bike.
Didn't bother trying to draft properly.
Official time was 1 hr 20 min. Improved from last year, came out a little bit in front of Simon and Sam. Jap Sam was in front though.
The swim is not the place to save time.
Of course everyone (Simon, Sam etc) started going by me but not as bad as last year. This time I had done seven 203 km rides. I tried to hang on (no drafting) to anyone. I could stay in aero position (yahoo). The leaders only lapped me at 90 km. They were drafting. Only front fellow working hard.
The moment of truth took place at 120 km. I was only going at 12 km/h on the flats (is this the time I give up). The power gels were no longer helpful. Then only I started taking the bananas from the aid stations. At 140 km I was fully energised again (moral - don't ever give up on the bike). Thrashed my way back.
My old running buddy (G. Supermaniam) was so helpful at T2. I was back very fast. Even my wife was not around. People were sleeping in the tent but I was chasing the cut-off.
It was hot, very hot.
I have Planta Fasciitis since 2002. It means even standing is painful and there is no spring in my steps. Even my "running" is much slower thatn others brisk walking.
Anyway, the first two laps were quite OK. Mix of running and walking. But the running caused my thighs to tighten. I might get cramps and not finish.
So the third lap was just walking. Then I realised I might not make the cut-off.
So started my stupid way of running. I knew I shouldn't stop for medical or anything as it makes the situation worse. So i did my stupid run, could I make the cut off?
Everyone, Yee, Simon, Lopez the early finishers were urging me on.
Aiyo, a tear just came.
I made it man. My lovely wife was waiting, the finishing chute was very good this year. So bright, cameras, the Dato' and the excellent medical people.
The camaradarie with fellow late finishers was incredible.
I've made my injured feet even worse (who cares). Its time to stop cycling for at least a month to let everything heal.
Next year I'm not sure.
Come on Manchester United, you must win the League