Challenge Camsur 2015 - blog

 

The last time I was here at Camsur Watersports Complex I watched the Cobra Ironman 70.3 back in 2011. I wasn't running yet at that time but was already borrowing my daughter's bike to ride with my friends, in fact we rode for about an hour on the bike route the day before Cobra IM 70.3. Challenge Camsur promised to bring back the memories of the start of the triathlon boom in the country by staging the event in the same place where the IM brand started.

Challenge Camsur 2015
A medal with a pendant

The thing I'm most concerned about during race day is the availability of toilet rooms or porta potties, luckily the rooms were enough and the line was short on that morning.

It was a sunny weather but it wasn't hot HOT, just a regular sunny day with a chance of clouds. One thing I noticed was that we're kind of few for such a big event.

When my wave was called, I took off my long sleeved shirt and flip flops, and gave it to my companion before proceeding to the starting line. I splashed some water on my face and made my goggles wet before putting it on.

Swim 1.9K
I started my stop watch before the horn sounded to be assured that my clock was running. It was a two loop swim and I went pretty hard on the first 350 meters or so. The water was delightfully not cold but the visibility was poor. My goggles was displaced a couple of times due to the chaos of us athletes. I was out in 39 minutes though.
Goal - Swim plus T1: 40:00 minutes
Reality: 41:29


neil ong at challenge camsur
In T1 I put on the shoes before my cycling shorts... :P

Bike 90K
I was excited to ride the route with its famed flat surface. I was always calculating my time to correspond with my goal time. I was down by more than two minutes on the first few kilometers so I tried harder than usual to inch closer to my target. After 30 kilometers I was about even with my goal but I lost my chocolate bars on a bump on a train track. Lots of bikers were passing me and every time someone passed me, I would try to counter by riding harder but all of them would fade farther and farther in front of me until I would lose sight of them. There was even an unexpected small peloton that passed by, I tried to chase them to no avail. By kilometer 60 I was pleased to see that I was about 5 minutes ahead of schedule but the road at that moment changed to a not oh so smooth one. The asphalt was gone and my wheels seem to float instead of just roll. The speed dropped for about 15 kilometers before it picked up again heading back to CWC. By the time I exited T2, I was more than 11 minutes behind my target. :(
Goal - Bike plus T2: 2:55
Reality: 3:04:45


The only way I could feel fresh for the run is to change clothes and brush my teeth ;)

Run 21K
After changing clothes on T2, I posed for the camera before going for the run route. There's something I forgot, it's not the bottle, not the face towel... uh oh... it's my chocolate bar! I had no choice but to drink Coca Cola on hydration stations and miraculously I didn't get a side stitch by doing so. Just before the halfway point when my shoes were already soaked in water, I thought my left big toe was bleeding. It was painful but manageable and the good thing was I was actually gaining time on my target. 
Goal - Run: 2:05
Reality: 2:01:07


The FINISH
Challenge Camsur probably had the best finish layout I've ever seen. Approximately a kilometer to the finish line the village huts provided for an interesting scene, one that can't be replicated elsewhere. The run on the side of the lagoon where the swim took place reminded everyone how every athlete hoped at the starting line. And the final push around the wake park lake made us all thankful for what we would eventually accomplish after an awesome day that is Challenge Camsur.
Goal - Total: 5:40
Reality: 5:47

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