Just when you think you're tough enough

Tough Takes

Junior triathlete strives to improve at PowerKids Malaysia 2018

This was my second Powerkids Duathlon race and I was looking towards improving my race, although I’ve moved up to the more competitive 11-12 years category. Starting off Race Day enthusiastically, I checked in my bike in the transition area and proceeded to warm up. After catching up with my M3X teammates to take some photos, we proceeded to listen to the race briefing.

We did not receive timing chips for the race, and the brief mentioned loops we had to do and how we had to get our bib ticked with a marker pen before going our next run or bike loop, as well as having to dismount our bikes before going our next bike loop which was totally injudicious. The emcee kept saying that it was a non-competitive race (meaning there wouldn’t be any podiums placings awarded) however, I thought I recalled that there were podium medals when I signed up for this race.

Shortly thereafter, we headed over to the start line where my teammates and I positioned ourselves at the front.

Counting down to the start, the honk went off and we raced off into what I could and would call the unknown.

At the start, my legs had a certain weak, sluggish feeling on my first 1.2km run. I ran and tried to pace myself as the world raced by and I felt like the world swirled around me.

I was a little I behind the person in first place, but more people ran in front of me as I fell back to fifth. I tried to beat the frail feeling in my feet, and in the last loop, I managed to overtake one of my teammates into fourth place, just before the transition area.

Surprisingly, I saw that the person who was in first place was still in the transition area as I approached. He had ran past his bike therefore losing some time and his placing and later, I was able to pass him on the 3km bike course.

I tried to draft my teammate whom was good in cycling, but failed to as he was very fast. So, I changed plans and decided to maintain a medium speed that could last me throughout the whole bike discipline.

The marking of bibs was messy and the marshall didn’t seem to have a sense of urgency. Despite some fumbles, fortunately no one had overtaken me on the cycling leg, as I made to the dismount line of the transition area. Again, the marshall was rather lackadaisical in checking my bib and marking it. 

Right out of the transition area, I was anxious to get into the final 1.2km run leg, and I could see two of my fellow teammates in front of me. Another teammate, Isaac was leading the race, and boy, he was fast! I continued pacing myself, and saw a couple of my teammates behind me.

Going to the third loop, I sped up to try and close in on third place, but I was getting tired and it was getting harder to breathe as I faltered once again.

At the second last turn, I heard cheers which motivated me to speed up and I started to sprint into the last bend and across the finish line.

Despite some shortcomings, I ended up finishing two places behind last year’s race. However, it was a good day overall, and it’s the experience that matters more. 

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 cycling the most.

Edward who is a Grade 7 student of Sunway International School, started triathlon with Kids of Steel Triathlon and is now training under Team M3X of TRI-AMAteur Triathlon Club.