Challenge Camsur – June 14, 2015
After 2 months of training camp in Thailand, Challenge Camsur was my first race back home.
I went to Naga a couple of days ahead of the race to get familiar with the race course i.e. refresh my memory from 2009 when the Ironman 70.3. had taken place there the last time on a very similar course and at the same main venue the Camsur Watersports Complex. And of course, the Camsur sun was on for the usual relentless heat. On my first day I went out at 7am and it was already hot like noon time. But no complaints here, I totally love that weather! 🙂
It was fun to see all the familiar faces again, locals and some of the pros that usually join the races in Asia. Although I was sad that my two Thai friends, we had expect to join, Ray (Jaray Jearenai) and Mui (Oat Wongtanaponsil) could not be there. Which also meant that the Southeast Asian category was only made up by Filipinos.
When race day finally arrived I woke up to the sounds of rain and was disappointed. What was wrong with the weather in Camsur?! We started together with the Pro Men really early at 5.40am and thank God the rained had stopped and the sun seemed to get out at that time!
The swim were two laps in the big lake and the water was hot and heavy. It kind of felt endless but the cheering after the first lap was really driving and pushed me through the second lap. Finally out of the water and running to T1 I heard Anna shouting 4mins to the first Filipino and 2mins to Ben (Rana), my team mate.
Pushing it really hard out of transition I caught Ben just after the 40km mark. We biked together within the legal distance, some part as well with Mitch Robins.
Ben and I entered T2 together and I got out only a few seconds ahead. We ran together most of the run course. By now, the sun hence heat was on and we were both thankful for the well filled water stations especially for the ice.
After the 10km mark we caught Matt Burton and I ran with him for 5km until he started to push hard and I dropped back a little bit, just to make sure I would not be too tired for the last couple of kilometres. But Ben had slowed down already before, so in the end I could ran comfortably to the finish line and was happy to finish as first Filipino and first South East Asian athlete.
All in all, it was a great day and event and it was amazing to be back in Camsur. Many thanks to the organizers and congratulations to all finishers in this tough and hot conditions.