My compadre, Vic Viola, and myself arrived in SBMA around lunchtime of March 9, 2013. We headed straight to the Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center to get our race kits. The atmosphere was calm. The redemption system was excellent that we're done in less than 5 minutes.
We then had our quick lunch, checked-in our hotel, and proceeded to Dungaree Beach to check in our bikes.
The sight of fellow TU1 participants fixing their respective arsenals welcomed us. Even though we knew some friends in the sport, generally, I still feel alien and butterflies start to develop in my gut.
We planned to recon the swim route, but I decided to skip. It was getting dark already, and to be honest, I'm feeling nervous.
I swam the route last year (in SubIT, but not as a participant. I just wanna feel the route). I should already have the confidence. But why the jitters?
We stayed to listen to the Race Briefing. We ate dinner afterwards, and headed straight to our hotel.
March 10, 2013. Swim 1.5 kilometers. Bike 40 kilometers. Run 10 kilometers.
Our alarm sounded off at 3:30 AM and did our respective morning rituals. We left the hotel around 4:30 AM. We arrived at the starting line 10 minutes after.
We fixed our transition baskets and we didn't get to see each other until the bike leg. I was so tensed already. Fear started to creep in. I skipped the swim warm up again. I just stared at the water until the race started.
When the coast was clear, I slowly approached the water and started to swim. After a few meters, I stopped. Fellow participants are building traffic. I held on the line, but it was beginning to sink since other participants were also holding.
I swam again, and stopped the second time. Traffic again. I don't want to be kicked my fellow participants. This time, I held on the nearby kayak. I surveyed and marked my direction. I swam, and finally got the groove. I finished and entered transition 1 in 00:47:00.
I was feeling great during first loop of the bike leg. Then suddenly, I'm having tummy issues. I can't find a toilet along the bike route. I need to negotiate the remaining distance, and finished the leg in 1:42:05.
Tummy issues were kept at bay, and thought I could sustain until the end of the race. Near the run turnaround, I had no other recourse but to solve my problem. Good thing there's a nearby portalet, and what a relief!
The episode made me suffer some running minutes. I realized that I need to make up and had no choice but to run under the sun that was shining in all its might. I took some walk breaks in between. I knew that I can no longer make it to the 4 hour cut-off. But that's fine. It was clear to me that TU1 is a training race, and finishing is simply my goal. I completed the run leg in 1:38:45 and crossed the finish line after 4:07:50.
I said a short prayer of thanksgiving. I then walked to recover towards the transition area and met Vic and friends. We were all ecstatic with our finish! We exchanged stories, and were very happy with the whole TU 1 experience.
As we drive home to Manila, Vic and I were in high spirits. We learned so many things in this race. We were inspired to work harder in training, and be more confident in the next triathlon.