yo, Whats hattnin? Hope all is well. I already gave a bit of an inside on how the race went but i think a full fledged blog entry is better suited to describe the race.
Bintan is my last prep race for Hawaii due to its realistic weather conditions simulation and undulating bike course, both of which i face very similar in Kona in ca. 1.5 months time.
Bintan is very close to Singapore and actually just a short ferry ride away. Very convenient but remote at the same time. Beautiful little island with a population that overwhelmingly works in tourism that is the main breadwinner for the island. The local population is very welcoming, hospitable and can cook up a storm. Food is absolutely delish. I love indonesian food.
the trip over from Dubai is a short one. Just one flight to Singapore and bum to the ferry which brings you basically straight to the hotel. I stayed in the Sanchaya, which was very classy but reasonable with a high service standard. plus it was located only 400m from the transition so you gotta love that.
The Sanchaya and its staff made me feel totally at ease and that helped me focus on the race. The race was scheduled for Sunday, which is a rest day for most islanders so therefore the roads were quite empty. Overall the road quality for such a little island was very good.
The race itself had ca. 10 male and 10 female pros of good quality. Total field was 1500 participants and as usual in Asia most of them first timers.
The start was logically scheduled at sunrise to escape the tropical heat and the humidity. But there would be no hiding.
Gun went off for the first at 0600 and the 40 44 had to wait until 0624 to go off. Once off, i felt good straightaway. I swam all the way in the lead and was able to finally produce a good fast swim start. The training is paying off. I had to swim through all the women, the 35 39 and caught some of the tail 30 34, who went 12minutes ahead of me. Swimming through traffic breaks your rhythm a little bit and makes you swim detours, so i think my time does not really reflect the good pace i had. But it was the same for everyone.
The bike felt good right away and i managed to put good power out there in a smooth delivery with a compact advantageous parcel position. I rode really fast and did not spend more than 75% of my energy at any time. Riding alone and past others however does not push you mentally or gives you a marker because nobody is able to keep up and therefore you have to create your own game. But that’s ok. If I had someone with me surely i could go faster with the same amount of exertion. The bike course had a million hills and some technical parts as well. Very good bike course in my opinion as it also was safe which i was surprised by a little bit.
Got off the bike and lapped all of the field including most of the pros so that i was already in a comfortably leading position off the bike. I could have let up there right away but i want to push myself and reach new heights. So that’s what i did. At first during the first couple of minutes I did not feel so good because i mean it was really hot and especially humid. The body just can’t cool down. But then after 2 or 3k i felt ok and marched on clicking of the k’s all of them below 3:40 pace. I run on form and just let that form carry me on. I don’t really do anything or try to force the issue.
The whole weather situation felt very realistic, sticky and humid, hot as well just like Kona. I had overall the fastest run of the day 1:16:55.
In the end i ended up in 4th overall, 40sec behind Freddie Croneborg. I won my AG and overall amateur plus a new amateur course record as well.
Another race that shows to me that consistent long term planned preparation correctly executed is key for good results in races on the highest level.
Some guys from Dubai Jamie Ben and Stef were racing as well and seemed to enjoy it as well. Well done to them and to everyone who finished this tough test.
Time to focus again and prepare some more. Bomboclat. Lot of mercy.