The biggest Subic International Triathlon event (SUBIT) was held last Sunday with over 400+ participants. What’s new about it was the swim part, which was done at Dungaree Beach, instead of the usual beach at the Boardwalk. This was a welcome change as Dungaree offered clearer waters and a much pleasant swim. The consequence of this was that there would be two transition areas: T1 at Dungaree Beach and T2 at the Boardwalk area.
For the first time, we managed to catch the pre-race briefing and dinner. After getting our race packets and getting some food, Butch, Jerome and myself settled into Legenda to prep our bikes.
We woke up at 3am, had several peanut butter sandwiches, proceeded to bring our stuff to the T2 area, then went to T1 to unload the bikes. The additional complication here was that I had to bring the car back to the Boardwalk area, since I didn’t want to go back to T1 after the race. Good thing JP Dy offered his driver to bring us back to T1 from Boardwalk, which after this whole operation, we got to reach at 6:30 am already. We just had enough time to do some warm up and settle down. Mental note: next time bring a driver.
By this time the elite men had already started their race, followed shortly by the female age group and the team relay. The adult male age groupers started at 7am. Imagine 200 participants trying to paddle and splash their way through in a small area, and so it’s not a surprise why everyone describes this as being in a gigantic washing machine.
I positioned myself at the back, and managed to settle into a comfortable pace just before the turn-around. One thing that worked for swimming in a crowd is that I didn’t have to do as much sighting, since i could follow the swimmers ahead of me and at my side.
I tried to enjoy the clear waters, the corals and some fish life, when I was jolted by the dark abyss that suddenly appeared. Good thing this was already near the turn around, which provided some comfort that I would be back to clear waters again. I was quite happy with my swim, in the sense that I felt comfortable all throughout. Maybe I just need to improve my kick. Mental note: Be serious with the drills.
After 2 swim loops, it was on to T1. My swim time: 43:18. I rinsed myself at the showers, put on my socks, bike shoes, helmet, visor (I decided no gloves this time). Then off to the bike.
The bike route went up the hills almost immediately. I found myself already huffing and puffing in short order, with a couple of athletes overtaking me. Mental note: get some serious hill training. And shed those extra pounds fast.
Halfway through the ascent, it was quite a sight to see the first riders going down at breakneck speeds. The striking thing was that all of them had wide grins, or maybe that was the wind plastering their faces. In any case, the rest of the ride was quite pleasant, the slow ascent being compensated by the fast descents after the turnaround.
As I approached the boardwalk area, I could see most of the triathletes starting their run already. And I still had to make another 10K bike loop! Luckily, I still had a few guys in company so I had better just get on with it.
I finally got into T2. Bike time: 1:49. I changed socks and shoes, had a few gulps, then sped off for the run. Or maybe it was a fast walk. I could not make myself run faster. The hot blazing sun made it worse.
As I began my first loop, I was wondering why it seemed I was suffering more in this race, compared to previous races. Could be the new age group I’m in :-). Most certainly it was the inadequate training. The second and third loops were even harder and it seemed longer, seeing almost everyone finished already. I had to run-walk at the 4th loop, but the thought of nearing the finish made me pick up the pace. My run time: 1:19.
I finished in 3:51, certainly not my best time, but the thrill and fun (ok, more like relief) of finishing was there as it had always been.
Race results here.