“I pushed my bike out of the transition area and mounted on but suddenly, I slipped off the pedal and crashed. My finger and a part of my trisuit got stuck on the front wheel. I thought I was doomed for this race…”
Heading to the 2017 Epsom College Triathlon in the neighbouring state of Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia, everything seemed to be going well on race morning as I warmed up and headed for the pool, while examining some parts of the race course.
There was no numbering system at the bike rack in the transition area, so I chose the rack near the bike out. Timing chip on, number stamped on my arm and I was ready for the race. However, as it grew closer to my Under 11 Boys start, my heart started pounding hard against my chest and I gulped down one last mouthful of water. I took my place at the edge of the pool, legs dangling in the water.
On go, I pushed myself into the water and started kicking and pulling. I went as fast as I could and after a few laps, my legs and arms started to feel wobbly, but I continued on.
I swam harder and found the guy next to my lane neck to neck with me as I completed my six laps and pushed myself out of the water. At the bike rack, I put on my glasses, helmet and shoes but found it a little difficult for my feet were wet and had no time to dry them.
I ran out of transition and mounted my bike but suddenly I slipped on my bicycle pedal and crashed. My finger got stuck in my front wheel and a part of my shirt stuck to the bike. I thought was doomed for this race.
But I quickly pulled my finger out, tugged at my trisuit that was stuck, pulled my bike up and started pedalling. However, I realized that my chain had derailed and had to flip my bike upside down to put it back on.
Quickly, I shouted for my dad when I saw him, but when he got near me, I had already put my chain back on. I got on my bike and luckily my dad gave me a little push, otherwise I would not have been able to cycle up the small hill.
Fuelled by frustration and as angry as a raging bull, I pedalled faster and soon overtook the people who had passed me when I fell. I soon caught up with my friend on his lap, and had some friendly banter with him.
There were a few U-turns to negotiate and at last, came back to the hill. Climbing up it was not that difficult but I couldn’t stand up and pedal. I made a final U-turn and headed for the school.
Into the run, I followed the arrows and found two people in front of me. I tried to catch them but as I got nearer, and almost made a wrong turn. Soon I overtook a girl, and there was only one person left to pursue.
After running down the hill and a few turns, I caught up to the boy in front, and overtook him. Finally, I got to the last 400 meter and my parents were there. The boy behind me was catching up, so I ran harder and suddenly my dad appeared and told me to start sprinting.
However, I waited and only sprinted as fast as I could in the final 25 meters. As I crossed the finish line, I collapsed on the floor, my head felt a bit dizzy and felt like I really needed COLD water.
After finishing my race, I went to look for my friend that was in the Under 12 category. He was racing in his first Triathlon, and had one lap more in the run. I waited for him and ran along with him into the final meters and encouraged him, ‘Come on you can do it, sprint, it’s the last stretch’. He started sprinting, so I sprinted with him.
At the prize giving ceremony, when they announced the winners for my category, I was surprised to receive third place! Important lesson learned today to keep calm when the tough gets going, and to persevere.
More about the budding triathlete
Edward Liew – 11 years old, loves to play cards, sing and make jokes to keep people in a happy mood. Determined to be a triathlete just like his dad, Edward now loves running and biking the most.
He started triathlon with Kids of Steel Triathlon and transitioned to train under Team M3X of TRI-AMAteur Triathlon Club, and is looking forward to Sunway International School in 2018.