70.3 Asia-Pacific Champs: Cebu: Philippines
70.3 Asia-Pacific Champs this year held in Cebu, Philippines. It was a non event in terms of my race performance but another epic atmosphere and event to be apart of.
Race venue was at the Mactan Shangri-La, there were bomb and dog security checks to enter. Very luxurious inside, huge expo and thousands of athletes already thrilled with the experience and bursting at the seams to race. The event sold out in 28minutes and still had 500+ on the waiting list. Friday held the busiest prerace activity schedule I've ever experienced. Media, Interviews, briefing, opening ceremony, broken bike from transit, drug testing and definitely far too many buffets meals for a taper week.
Race day - I exited the water in 3rd after a not great but could've been worse type of swim. I got onto the bike knowing that if I held my watts I could make up some valuable time. After a couple of kilometers, a little bit of spew and some dizzy spells, it confirmed it really wasn't my day. I debated with myself for quite some time wether to pull pin or just push on and have a training day. The quantity of spectators, the hope that I'd start to feel better anytime soon, the fact I'm so indecisive and had already almost ridden halfway and the incredibly cleverly designed finishers medals kept me going...
The run course was very vibrant. Along a local road with banners and flags hanging from everything possible. Thousands of supporters and kids cheering and chanting. Aid stations every kilometer and stretching out never leaving more than 500m of road without water, ice sponges, cola and anything else you could need.
I finished up in 6th place. Well done to all those athletes, Pros and age groupers who battled the heat and any other obstacles and got to the finish line with a smile.
Post race included what I've learnt is standard for sunrise events, ice baths filled with beer, complimentary massage tent and vegetable flavored ice cream. A good opportunity to give back a little was an organized visit with Sunrise to Marigondon Elementary school to paint a mural as fundraiser. There are 100kids in one class room and school has to be split into morning and afternoon only sessions from 6-12 or 12-6. Alot of wealth disparity around but still such a warm and happy culture. I took my boxes of energy drink down to the local kids who swarmed to the free goods in seconds, unfortunately I only had 48cans and there were at least 70+ kids but on my way back they were all in a line on the street yelling out thank you. Also interesting is there is no access to the beach for locals, every resort owns a segment of beach and the water around it and you have to pay for access.
Amazing event experience, and brief cultural insight, would love to come back next year and would put it at the top of my recommended races list.
I'm forgetting that race performance and moving on with the next one. Everyone has more bad days than good, and that's what makes the good days amazing.
Challenge Iskander Puteri this in Malaysia Saturday!
Thanks again to friends, family and supporters for adding to the journey.
Thanyapura, Balance Sport Nutrition, Training Tilt, Bay Espresso, Fitter, 2XU and Asics