Seeking to qualify for the Duathlon at the upcoming Philippines SEA Games, Jason Loh was racing in the Elite category at the TRI-Factor Asian Championships Series in Clark, Philippines recently.
The 10km run – 40km bike – 5km run race served as a national qualifier for the Filipinos, therefore Jason would be able to step into the maelstrom and gauge himself. For this race, the senior Triathlete in Team TIME set his priority to execute the race well and do his best against the strong field including 2017 SEA Games Triathlon Silver medallist John Chicano.
“The race went well and it was great to have such opportunity to race against all of other country’s best in a draft legal duathlon, kind of experience you’d never get in Malaysia,” said Jason Loh.
The race dynamics changed and became so tactical to race against each other with different individual strength. In the first 10km run, the athletes was quickly separated into few packs after 2.5km.
“There were two chase packs entering the first transition, T1 to close the gap against the leader, John Chicano. Second chase packs with a size about 6-7 athletes managed to catch up with the first chase pack of 4 athletes after about 16km into the 40km cycling leg,” he continued.
Being a draft-legal race has it’s advantages in conserving energy on the cycling route. This also adds to the excitement and synergy to outdo each other in the peloton.
“Lots of surging and breakaway attempted to separate the big peloton on the climbs, but the peloton still managed to hang on. The big group stormed into transition area for a fast T2 and all went down in the last 5km run,” added Jason.
For strong runners, the race is usually won in the run forming the final leg of the race.
“The last 5km run slowly tore my legs apart. I managed to grind through the last bit and finished the race in 10th with a time of 2 hours 1 min. Considering this race course was accurate in distance and was a hilly course, I’m happy with the timing I got, regardless of my placing.” said a jubilant Jason.
Coming into this race, Jason had been facing muscle cramps which forced him to retire from the Powerman Asian Duathlon Championships in Putrajaya early March. However, he is working on his rehabilitation and has set his sights on the SEA Games in November.
“The training load for the next couple of months will gradually increase even more and preparing towards the SEA Games selection in the middle of the year. I’ll be taking some time off from work and spend more time in training and recovery to shape up myself better prior to the selection.”