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Monday, 28 November 2011

Powerman 2011!

Powerman Malaysia

My first foray in a multi-sport event came in the form of a duathlon, and the event was not an easy one, the name Malakoff Powerman Malaysia really lived up to its reputation. The premier duathlon event in the country has long been touted as one of the best, and the toughest in the world, attracting crazy athletes from all over the globe. This year, it is celebrating its 10-year anniversary, which made it quite an occasion if you were one of the participants.

Ready for its first race! Open-mouthed smile

My decision to participate was largely influenced, or rather inspired, by another runner friend of mine, Syah Kamaruddin. When I first bought my road bike a few months ago (also from a friend, TK Tan), the intention was to complement my running workouts, since I am too lazy to go to the gym and do cross-training. It would also probably in a way, able to increase my performance, which I felt has already reached its plateau. That WAS the intention, until one fine evening, after one of our customary runs at the KLCC Park, Syah came up with this idea for us to do Powerman in Manjung, Perak. To add to that, we would compete in the Long Distance category, which would mean the 11km run, 64km bike, 10km run discipline, solo. Confused smile I didn’t know whether to relish it, or to dread the thought, but in the end, due to the ‘intense’ peer pressure (HAHAHAH!! Nyah-Nyah), I registered anyway. Yes, and so did Syah.

Before the start of the race

Come race day, the only concern was the lack of training I had, especially the amount of time spent on the bike. Nevermind the running, I rode only twice prior to the event, clocking 25km each, for a total of 50km. That’s even less than what I was supposed to do in the event itself! I was only counting on my self-belief, and the will to bring me home and complete the event. To beat the 5 hours cut-off seemed far-fetched. Confidence was high though, no thanks to the anticipation and the company from familiar faces; Syah, Diket, Det, Azmar, Azu, and some new friends like Akmal and ‘Nana Tanjung’. Heheh! Smile There were other familiar faces too; Ruby, Azri, Reza, Yim, Pui San, Cynthia, A-Bou and TK Tan to name a few.

The race flagged off at 7:30 am at the Sri Manjung Stadium. The target was to complete the 11km run within the 1:05 to 1:10 range. That would give me at least another ample 3 hours 50 minutes, plus transition, to catch the cut-off time. My calculation the night before, I must complete the cycling leg within the 2 hours 30 minutes bracket, so that I would have a comfortable time balance to run the 10km, which was the most grueling part. Confused smile

The start of the race, everyone seems chirpy at this time

1sr Running LegFamiliar faces in the running crowd during the 1st running leg

The first running leg took us on a 2-lap rectangular route. I maintained my pace slightly faster than planned, as I drifted together with the other runners who seemed to enjoy the settings of the residential area. There were even food stalls along the course. Perhaps everyone were trying to savour their last bits of enjoyment, before suffering the next 3 hours or so! Nyah-Nyah It ended quite well for me, slightly faster than 1:05. I would be ‘transitioned’ into unknown territory now. My first ever cycling race was just minutes away! Disappointed smile

The early part was okay. Pace was at 28-30km/h. Erwan suggested that I kept the pace at around 24-25km/h, but I felt good. I was already upbeat as this could mean an earlier completion time than expected. The bike route was nice, passing through the Lumut Port, and crossing 3 bridges, with the last one being the scenic Raja Permaisuri Bainun bridge, which provided a significant challenge in its incline as well. We had to complete 2 laps of the course, to complete 64 km.

At the end of the 1st 32km (1st lap), already fighting bouts of cramps at this time

Ah well, it lasted until the 8th km, when cramps started creeping in both my calves. The fact that it was the calves kind of surprised me, as cycling requires a different sets of muscles. So for the remaining 56km Surprised smile, the most I could do was to manage the cramps, and rode at the most manageable pace as much as possible. I stopped at every water stations, mainly not for the drinks, but to get the ‘magic spray’ (which helped a lot!) from the medics. After around 2 hours 40 minutes, through all pain, I completed the cycling leg. And when I walked into the transition area, I was all but spent.

The start of the 2nd running leg, look at my face! Sick smile

The final running leg was ‘only’ 10km, but it was the hardest ever 10km race I had ever ran in. My legs were even worst than jelly! The cramps made it even worse. When I reached the gates on the way out of the stadium, I saw Azu, Alwin (who had already completed, and won the relay category) and Akmal offering the participants a bottle of 1.5 liter iced Coke. There was 1:15 or so left on the clock, so by my reckoning, a slow 6:30-ish pace would bring me home. But the run was so painful, I had to reduce myself to the run-walk-run routine. As during the cycling leg, I had to stop at every medics I saw to get them to attend to the legs. I finished the 1st lap unscathed, and spirits increased, knowing there were 5 grueling kilometers to go. Had a bit of Coke from Azu (as did the other participants heheh!), and there I went.

Coke CrewThe Coke crew, Akmal and Azu Nyah-Nyah

At the start of the 2nd lap of the running leg


In the 2nd lap my legs were getting worse, and on top of that was the searing afternoon heat. So when I say that even with 2.5km to go, I was already contemplating to give everything up, and to just complete even outside the cut-off time. But Cynthia provided me that last bit of hope, that necessary encouragement to finish it. To say that she was not there to bring me home would be an insult. She was that one last push that everyone would appreciate in times of dire need. After fighting cramps, the afternoon heat, the pain, that mental barrier, I crossed the finishing line with the official time of 4:58:34, barely over a minute before the 5-hour cut-off! PHEWWWWWW!!!!! Turtle

The joy and relief of completing one of the toughest Powerman in the world

With Syah
With Syah (and the medal Nyah-Nyah)

with Paul, Cyn, Erni
L-R: Paul, Cynthia, Me, Erni

L-R: Ziff, Akmal, Alwin, Syah, Me, Diket

When I first registered, it was quite an uncharted territory for me, especially the cycling part. Never cycled in a race before, let alone cycle 64km! But on 13 November 2011, no thanks to all of you (you know who you are yeah! Smile), who has provided me the encouragement, and the inspiration, I am now officially a Powerman finisher!! Bring on Powerman 2012!

The coveted finisher shirt, and the medal

* At the time of writing, our friend Cynthia was admitted in ICU in Bangkok Hospital, Phuket. She met an accident while cycling downhill in a triathlon event in Phuket. Prayer goes to her for her speedy recovery. Red heart


  1. Well done Izuan! Terrer lah to complete within 5 hours, in your first cycling event pulak. Aku tak nak buat cycling ni sbb tak pandai tukar tiub, pastu nanti tangan hitam-hitam *tak suker* hahahaha

  2. As I was reading through this post, I went "damn that is challenging", cramps aren't funny. Then reach the part about coke, I went oh damn that reminds me of that damn cold 100 plus at PBIM, feels good. Congrats on completing this. Looks so much fun! Especially doing it with friends ;)

  3. Yeah deo..seksa siot..xle terer bro..seadanye je..hehehe..thanks..

    Takut hitam..adussss!! *slaps forehead,macam nana*

  4. Thanks Mas!siok gila tu coke!!much much much much better than the 100 plus yo!

    Heheh,bah bila lg ko mo beli beskal? :D

  5. Congrats Izuan, u've crossed another bridge, tri???

  6. Congrats Idola! Terer de merer. Deo: Kan? I pun kurenggg sikit nak buat cycling ni sbb tak reti nak pam tayar beskal.

  7. Pergh! Baik punya skema post bro! Aku suka! And tahniah for the outstanding achievement. Semangat kental macam Team Harimau Malaya :]

    And thanks for the making the roadtrip a laughing stock! :D

  8. another title added into the books... power la idola! bila la princess nak beli bicycle ni ;P

  9. Thanks ALL! :D

    KJ: tri??kne blajo swimming dulu Kak June.. :D

    Captain: klo cycling can ensure a sub-4? :P

    Diket: Ahahahahha..cis,skema ko kate??Harimau Malaya kental ke semangat? was a good trip bro!

    Princess: Heheheh..jom2 kite g kedai beskal jom! :D

  10. Uish, jangan, I'm not mentally prepared, kasi prepare for FM dulu. Limpas tu baru decide beskal.

  11. Heheheh..bah2 kasi setel dulu ko pny sukung saja tu dari blakang.. :D

  12. Aku malu dgn kau sbb tahun lepas aku tak meet cut off time.. itu pasal aku lambat2kan letak komen kat sini dgn harapan kau tak perasan pun aku komen. Hehe.

    Anyway, congrats bro. Semangat juang kau cukup tinggi. Tak ramai remaja yg kuat semangat macam ni. Well done!

  13. Tahniah bro! Aku komen ni pun pasal immense peer pressure je heheh

    Mantap bro! You earned that tee. Tahun depan Kita bawak air sirap Bandung plak

  14. N.I.K.: ahahhaahahhaa..canerla aku xperasan bro,klu aku nak kne approve dulu..ko tu xbernasib baek je..klo tak,lagilah bdesupppp!!!

    Syah: sirap limau pon mantap jgk tuh bro!


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