Sorry that it was a little while since I have updated my blog. I had a bit of bad luck: my phone and R500 was stolen out of my car when I gave a guy a lift. It was a hard lesson to learn when I was just trying to help the guy out. .
I departed for Singapore on the 8th of April. We arrived there after a 9 hour flight. I was so surprised at how everything there was so fast and efficient. The people appear to be so organized! We made our way through the airport very fast and met up with some of the race organisers who were going to take us to the hotel. Again we were so amazed at how organized they were. We exited the airport and it felt as though we had stepped ito a sauna. It was so extremely hot! I have never experienced anything like that. It was just a 15min bus trip to the Roxy Hotel. The hotel was very fancy and pimped out. We checked ourselves in and then went for a bite to eat. The food was great, although a little too much seafood for my liking as I am not a big fan of prawns, oysters and the like.
The rest of the day we spent just chilling and unpacking our bikes. We went for a short run in the afternoon and arrived back soaking wet. We realized that we were in for a very hot, very hard race. Later in the afternoon we went for a swim in the local Bedok swimming pool. I was feeling good in the water and getting ready for the race on the weekend.
We made our way back to the hotel and went for supper. It was a really fancy supper, just again a lot of seafood and rice. It was hard to ignore the dessert table, but decided that we would dig in after the race so that we would have something to look forward to. That night we also went to the racebriefing. The course looked flat and fast. Little did we that it was going to be 39 degrees and almost 90% humidity.
The next day we had a really nice sleep in and we felt rested after the long flight. After breakfast we went to the race venue for a swim and a cycle. I was feeling really good in the water and on the bike so I was feeling quite confident. I was extremely motivated and keen to race hard. Later that day we went for a short run just to wake up the legs. I did my new warm up routine and it felt good. We had a really chilled night- went to bed early to be rested for a hard day at the office the next day.
Race day: woke up feeling a bit stiff so went for a short run just to get the legs going. After the run I was feeling much better. We cleaned up and went for breakfast. We were racing quite late in the day – only at 14h00.
After my warm-up they lined us up for the start and started the athlete’s presentation.
They call out your name and then you make your way to the start line. I felt so cool as they called out “Theo Blignaut: South Africa.
There were about 40 plus athletes from all over the world on the start line and we were all rearing to go. I was standing next to Wikus and with about 1min to go he said to me “hey ou, nou stress ek”. I agreed: it felt like World Champs al over again.
The gun went and I had a good start running into the sea. It was a bit choppy, but I was in the top 15.
About 10m to the 1st buoy I was badly hit and I started to swim for survival. T was one huge crazy bunch and men fighting to get around the buoy. Then to make matters worse I got tangled in the ropes of the buoys. I just started kicking and grabbing, trying to get myself untangled. I finally got free and put my head down and started swim again. I made up a bi of time, but when I started my second lap I was only at the back f the second pack.
I dived in for lap number 2 and now I was swimming really hard and moving fast. Around the 1st buoy of the second lap I made my way to the inside of the pack and started passing the guys in the group. I eventually got to the front and met up with my team mate Wikus. We exited the water together in the front of the second pack. Richard Murray got out the water in the 3rd pack and about a minute back.
Then it was into the transition area where I had a very fast transition onto my bike and out on to the 40km bike course which was very flat and technical. Five Aussie athletes had got away in the swim and had about a one minute lead on us. We were chasing hard but the gap was not getting any smaller because the guys were not keen to do much work with such a hot, hard 10km run coming up. I stayed within the top 5 guys on the bike as I just wanted to stay out of trouble.
At the end of the cycle the whole f the second pack was still together and we headed out on to an extremely hot run. I started out nice and easy as I planned to build into the run, but I was so broken that the pace just stayed the same and it was not that easy! I was running really slowly but I was pushing were hard.
There were 6 water stations on each 5km lap and it was still not enough. One by one athletes were dropping out of the race because they could not cope with the extreme heat. I just kept my legs turning, but I was hurting big time. I made my way onto the 2nd 5km lap and now I was overheating like a VW beetle that had just completed the Dakar Rally!
I managed to get myself within sight of the finish line when Richard came flying past me. He ended up with the second fastest run spilt of the day. I finished 15th, Richard was 14th and Wikus ended 11th.
After the race I sat down next to Wikus. We were both so broken and needed to get to body temperatures down. Wikus eventually ended up in hospital with heat stroke. So did Anthony, the winner of the race. After each having 4 drips they were discharged and we needed to catch our flight back to South Africa.
Thank God that He was with all of us.
That was the toughest race that I have ever done. Next up is Africa Champs on 8 May.
I knew that I would have to eat again before my race so I went out and bought a tub of noodles. Here I am showing how adept I am at using chopsticks.
Keep on 🙂