Nehemiah Raj – Port Dickson Triathlon 2020 Junior Category Race Report
My race was on the 29th of February 2020 . I was well prepared with the right nutrition and training for this 300m swim, 8 km bike and 1.2km run.
The race this year was slightly different than last year’s race because the swim was double the distance I was in a new age group, plus it is difficult to get the exact measurements in the sea, the bike was the same as in the previous year.
Before the race started, I stood at the back of the entire group . When we ran into the sea, I got caught at the back and had to battle my way through the group, it was very tough but I just kept on going. I was 7th when I came out of the swim but I could have come out before that if I had a bit more confidence in myself and started in front of the group at the start. I did quite a good run to the transition as I had learned not to burn out too much on the swim and jog to the transition area instead of sprinting there. The sand was very hard to run on and every step I took made me feel heavier like it was quicksand.
As I arrived at the transition area, I was doing alright. I got my goggles, earplugs and my swim cap off chucked, them in the basket and put on my helmet. Once I took my bike and started running, it got a lot more difficult though. It was like my legs were made out of steel and they did not want to move, more like it couldn’t move. I kept pushing but I was so disappointed when I got on the bike. Although I had a good transition, it wasn’t enough for me to catch up and it was as if my body just lost all of its power and steam to continue riding and I was cycling at 27 KPH! I have never experienced cycling that slow before in a race and I was expecting at least an average of 30 to 31 kph .There were 4 boys riding ahead of me and I pushed hard to catch up with them, which I did.
We were riding together for some time but there was one thing that I had not expected at all, when they went into corners, they slowed down alot. Maybe they were being cautions because of the sand. I did not think that something like that would affect me but it did as I was not able to sprint out of the corners easily and started loosing the group toward the last few corners.
I lost a few seconds as I used cycling shoes instead of triathlon shoes, when I put on my shoes, it took a bit more time but it didn’t really matter at that point. I had successfully done another smooth jump off the bike but when I had arrived at my respective space to put on my running shoes, my foot slipped and I lost another few seconds on that.
As I ran out of the transition I had no goals or anything that I wanted to achieve because I was just so tired and could not think properly. I sprinted for the 1.2km and I didn’t do too bad with an average pace of 4:30 per km and a max speed of 3:40. I had completed the run at around about 5:20 to 5:40. I was focused and blur at the same time. I managed to hold my posture while running but was completely blur about what position I was in or what was my timing. I did have a watch on while I was racing but I just completely ignored what it was saying until I finished my race.
I came in at 7th for my category and 7th overall in the 13 to 14 age group. I was quite proud of that achievement and I was happy with my transitions. I used my new bike for this race and maybe I was not used to the bike and that cost me a few seconds. The boys in front of me were only about 10 seconds ahead of me when I finished which probably meant that I could have done better if I had corrected all of my mistakes. But now I know that I will hopefully not make the same mistakes again and that I will do better next time.
This was a really good learning experience for me and I had gained a lot of knowledge from this event.