HCMC Dining Guide

Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Race

After enduring the most appalling week of weather since I've lived in Saigon it was good to get out of the city for a couple of days. Hours of rain every day and thick sunrise to sunset overcast had left me in a bad mood,  and I was hoping thing would be better in Da Nang.

When we arrived in the afternoon it was overcast but dry. Acceptable. I was with my friend Allison, who would be doing the swimming leg of the triathlon. After we checked into a hotel near the beach Andrea, who was doing the run, met us and we all headed to a restaurant in town where a pre-race briefing was going to be held.

The race was set to start at 7am on Saturday, so we got up while it was still dark out. By the time we got to the start point around 6 the sun was up, but we couldn't see it through the solid overcast. The ocean was pretty rough, and Allison did not like the look of it. The organizers were debating the safety of the swim, and when they weren't even able to set the turn-around buoy 750m out thanks to the waves, they called it off. The triathlon was now a duathlon.

the team - Allison, me, and Andrea

 That meant I was up first on the bike. A 40km course consisting of two 20km laps had been set up - 10km out, 10km in two times. I had set myself the goal of finishing in less than 90 minutes. The first 5km were on the completely flat coast road, but the next were on the rugged Son Tra peninsula, so I had to do a bit of climbing, something I had't had to worry about since H2H. There were only 10 other cyclists, and two of them shot out front on crazy expensive racing bikes, while I stayed in the middle of the pack.

For the first lap I didn't push too hard, and one rider ended up playing leap frog for a while, as I would pass him, or vice-versa, only to be overtaken again a few minutes later. By the second lap the two of us were completely alone, as the front of the pack was just too fast but we were much quicker than the remaining four or five cyclists. For the final 10km I put the hammer down and told myself that I would not let myself be beat by the guy who had been keeping up with me, because he was a little older and a little fatter. After pounding out the last few kilometers I entered the transition, after which Andrea took off on her 10k run. I had finished in roughly 1 hour and 27 minutes, which left me feeling content.

The weather ended up being perfect for the race - the clouds and the breeze kept things so cool that I didn't sweat much, and by the time the rain moved in later in the day we were safely ensconced in our hotel room. We didn't hang around for the result announcement, so I have no idea how we did. It's back to work tomorrow, and it's already rained for three hours today. I hate the rainy season.
finished my job, might as well take a stroll down the red carpet

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