Ironman Malaysia

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					Ironman Malaysia

I arrived to Langkawi 9days before the race, because I had to do a visa run out of Taiwan.
Upon arriving at the airport, I found out that my bike was left in Hong Kong. Not what I
wanted to hear. However, the airport was small and claims were easy to be made. They
checked on my bags and found they would arrive later and promised to deliver my bike to
my hotel later that evening.

Upon exiting the arrival hall, there was someone with an Ironman sign prepared to pick
me up and bring me to my hotel. Since I was one of the first to arrive in Langkawi, we
had a nice conversation on the ride there.

The first week, I stayed at one of the overflow hotels called Langkasuka. Although it was
farther from the start, I felt they had the nicest hotel staff and the best rooms for the buck.
They also allowed you to have your bike in the hotel. One of the race hotels. Bayview,
made you leave your bike in a bike check location. Not what I would want to do with my
race bike.

Over the weekend, I went out for a training ride on the course. Since it was so early, there
were no course signs up, so I ended up riding most of the island and only part of the
course. But it was a nice way to see the island. Including roadside monkeys.

On Tuesday, I went for a training swim and was quite frustrated. There was quite a
current in the water. I only wanted to swim half the course and when I got to the buoy for
halfway, I was at 40 minutes, pretty slow for me to be swimming a 1 km in 40 minutes.
On the way back though, it took my 19 minutes to swim back, demonstrating the currents
strength. They claimed on race morning, there would be no current. I sure had hoped
so.( on race day, there was no current)

The rest of the week I rested and did a little training. On Wednesday I went to check in
for the race. It was quite simple. As the expos and such opened. I was very disappointed
by the lack of venues. If I was I need of bike parts or other items. I was unable to find
some things. Unlike an Ironman should be. So, after looking through the small expo, I
went back to my hotel to rest.

On Thursday night, they had their opening ceremonies and carbo loading dinner. It was a
nice evening with decent food. The only complaint is that they only offered water to
drink and had no bars or places to get drinks.

On Friday we had bike check in. Where you had to leave everything in your bike/
running bags and leave your bike overnight. It was well organized, the only downside is
leaving a tri helmet in the bike bag, taking up most of the space.

I rested until the race day and after getting a nervous nights sleep on Friday night, I woke
at 4 am to eat my breakfast of bread, coffee and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I
then picked up a friend and we drove the scooter to the race start, about 2 km away.
After getting my body marking, I then went to check last minute adjustments on my bike,
pump up the wheels and just prepares myself for the day before me. At 6:45, we were
allowed to enter the water for a warm up. I got in and tested the water and then came out.
At 7, I walked down the platform to get ready for the sun to rise and start the race. When
he said 2 minutes to go, I jumped in, but within no time, I saw everyone sprinting past the
deep water starting line, so I had missed the gun. I swam the 1.9 km straight line to the
end bouy and then back. Feeling comfortable throughout the swim and never being
kicked. I finished the swim in 1:18. Upon exiting the water, I grabbed my T1 bag and
entered the changing tent. I was a bit disappointed that I had to ask someone to put
sunscreen on me and they did a poor job at it. Then I ran out the door and grabbed my
bike and went.

After the first 3 km on the bike, you are thrown into a gradual uphill. Nothing like a hill
to start your first ironman with. Upon that, we took a few more turns and were now on
the road that we loop 3 times. I rode at a comfortable pace and managed to average a
30.96 km average over the course despite the average heat of 36 C. Throughout the bike
leg, they had evervits drinks and water readily available. They also offered us bananas
and powerbars for food on the bike.

In the last 10 km on the bike, my legs started to cramp slightly, but I figured I would be
able to run it off, as cramps can usually be done away with. But boy was I wrong.
Coming off the bike, I handed my bike to the attendant and then grabbed my T2 bag.
Went into the tent,, threw on my shoes and asked again for sunscreen and then left T2
after 4 minutes of transition. My first 10 km, I ran through with a heart rate of 170. I was
trying to lower it because Iknew it was too high, so I ended up walking to bring it down.
However, during this 10 km, my legs started to really cramp up on me and to lock up.

After finishing the first 8km in 42 minutes. I was done for. My legs were seizing up and
in complete pain. If I stopped running, my legs would seize up and I would start to black
out. Not to mention it took about 2-3 minutes to painfully start walking again. And if I
ran, my legs would immedialy seize up again. So I was reduced to a walk. I knew I had
about 32 km to go if I wanted to finish my first ironman. So with that knowledge, I knew
I had a long 7 hour walk ahead of me.

I then started to walk as fast as I could, around 5 km an hour to the turn around, then
walked 5 km back. At each aid station, I grabbed some water, coke and power gel and
kept walking. I knew if I stopped, I’d be in pain. During the walk, I cried knowing this
was now how I was supposed to finish my ironman after the long hours of training I had
done, but I also knew I wanted to finish. So I continued to walk through the pain and the

There were doctors who sprayed me with muscle cream, but it was too late, it did me
little or no good. So I just kept on. In my last 3 km. I started to throw up and almost
passed out. But again, after walking for 7 hours. I knew I was not stopping for that. So I
continued on. So overall, my marathon took me 8:19:04. Something I could normally do
in less than 5 hours. But I had crossed the finish line in 15:33:34. I was now an Ironman.

Immediately I went to the medical tent where they tried icing my legs. But they were
cramped and the muscles were in spasm and locked up. After about 15 minutes of painful
icing, I ask them for a pain killer and they gave me a shot of Demerol. Within 30 minutes,
they pain went away.

I took a taxi home that night and finally got to sleep around 1 am after an exhausting day.

The next day, I became a tourist with my new friend, Jeff, who is an athlete with only one
leg and a prosthetic(who beat me by the way). We traveled around the island and then
that night went to the awards ceremony.

The awards started at 8 pm so the VIPS could go to their evening prayer. We had a nice
meal(again, no drinks, only water). Thus concluding my First Ironman experience.