Saturday, September 12, 2009
IMMY Race Day - what happens
BEFORE 7.45 a.m.
The Pros start at 7.30 a.m. whilst we at 7.45 a.m., to wait for first light. Its thus quite relaxed for us, used to getting up early every weekend. There's only the numbering to do, most years there's the weighing in too. Setting up the bicycle is probably the most stressful activity. Lots of bantering and tucking in the tummy to take photos with mates.
Loved ones are not allowed into the bicycle area. Its great for family bonding to have them share your race. They are a sight for sore eyes as you race and its such an emotion when you cross the finish banner with them.
There are a few options for your clear spectacles. I troop over to the run transition tent and place them in the run bag. The tinted glasses of course goes in the bike transition bag or u can leave them on the bicycle.
Once you hear the pros' gun go off, its time to go to the pontoon. I think about half are still on the pontoon (to conserve energy I suppose) when the gun goes off. Its of course better to do a little warm up in the water. I personally have to warm up, to loosen the screws in my broken arm.
Here's a "trick" for the short races. If you can find a start spot with no one in front of you, you have shorten your swim time by 5 mins. Its impossible to go around a pack of swimmers in the short races. For the IM, it doesn't matter. Just be close to the start rope when the horn goes.
BANG. 7.45 a.m.
For a few hundred meters just follow the masses but not too close. Its not chaotic like the big races. You probably can't see the little flags (all along the route) to sight yet. I use the two big buildings behind the turnaround to sight. If you are all alone, you are swimming back to KL.
Jellies and sea lice have been commented on in detail. What you have to really watch out for is the stone that is used to hold down the buoys at the turn around. Two of our friends (May Senn & Stupe) kicked it and got a deep gash on their feet. They courageously finished the race, their faces etched in pain the rest of the day and night. May Senn spent some days at the hospital back in PJ. Also don't touch any structure thats under water. Its probably full of sharp shells etc. The water is pancake flat. Just some currents when going out.
The swim back is very pleasant. Everyone is spaced out and the guide flags are clearly visible all the way back. The sight of the eagle and the loud music will pump your adrenalin up. Just stay calm. Someone will help you up the steps at the pontoon.
Grab the bike bag and go in the female tent (you wish).
Don't day dream, get moving. The volunteers can put sunscreen on your back. Vaseline is also available. Its personal preference what you put in the bike bag and what you leave on the bicycle. Leave your swim goggles and cap in the bike bag. Hurry up.
Get an expensive one. They generally don't leak. Thoroughly test them before race day. Clean them with baby shampoo. Add a touch of water or spit (sorry for being crass) and the goggles will be crystal clear for the swim.
Now we swim, cycle and run in the same outfit. The top should not be too tight, else you can't breath. The padding on the pants has to see you through the 180 km but not too thick as it will chaff on the run. There are anti blister socks around. Basically you need to thoroughly test all your race gear. You don't wear something you bought at the EXPO the previous day. Well you could ......... Have vaseline at hand on the bike and run.
Next the bike