Walking into the transition area with my bike, I knew that it'll be my call whether to win this game for the 3rd time or not. 2 months of structured training, 2 months of horribly busy academic assignments, 2 months of super tight schedule. Those are the sacrifices of a student-cadet-athlete, I knew it so well. It's never easy, but not impossible. This year will be my very last year racing as a degree student, I was about to complete the whole cycle started by me being a dumb and naive athlete 5 years back, and wrap it up with me looking back what I've achieved over this 5 meaningful years.
When Kannan gave me the mic, I declared that I'll take this race easy. That means the competition for Duathlete of The Year is now open to all. BUT, secretly I want my team mates to win it. So I have my emergency plan. Just in case the juniors aren't in good form, I will have to win it for my university. That's why I trained for the past 2 months despite wanting the juniors to be the next champion. What's the point of winning all the time and not having a successor? Champion will rise and stars will fall, even gold medals will fade.
This is an individual sports, most people think it's won by the best athlete. Actually this sport is a BIG team sport manned by the team mates, family members and club advisor, represented by one athlete who will run to the finishing line. My family, attended all the MUDS series for years! My previous 2 victories was won by having selfless team mates working so hard to shelter me, we trained together and supported one another, last but not least we feel the joy of winning together. wearing the same jersey, there's no reason to feel jealous.
So I told the juniors
"U guys do yr best, as long as there's no non-upnm athlete at my front, I won't attack"
Flagged off and all athletes started sprinting, the first run was average pace compare to last year which was a lot more lungs torturing. Come the bike leg, Tarmizi and Lim was leading the pack. I was smiling at the back while enjoying the scenery. Although I'm taking it easy, I want Tarmizi and Lim to race comfortably for the next 2 leg, so I need to get podium finish to thumb the other contenders down. I looked back and saw no body at the back, so I rode with my own sweet pace. It was my best ride at Bukit Cinta! =)
My mum and dad was standing by the road side cheering for me while keeping me updated with the rankings and all. They must be wondering what the hell their son is doing, why is he less competitive today. =p Amirul, Aiman and I were together when we started the final run. Aiman went pass us, then I was shouting at Amirul urging him to follow me so that history can be repeated where both of us crossed the line together, like last year! =) Then Melody and Adele will have a hard time to decide whether whose leg is longer so he'll be the winner =p He was too lazy and kept saying he is old already, so insisted me to move on. I completed my run with Krishna, we exchanged a few words and had a great time catching up with each other while running. when come to narrow tight corners he will let me pass first, come next corner I let him pass first. What a gesture of sportsmanship was that! =) we ran the same pace till the finishing stretch, then he went the wrong way and I shouted at him to come with me. He looked a bit confused and I didn't know what happened after that. I crossed the line seconds before him.
End of Game
Finishing 4th, will all my juniors faster than me. My dad asked me a simple question, "Are u happy with the performance?" My answer is of course a big "Yes". I felt the sense of accomplishment because all the top podium finishers are my team mates! with 2 more legs to go, both Tarmizi and Lim must be very eager to bring back the trophy. =) Keep up the good work man! I went 2 loops extra on the run supporting the other runners, I offered them water and help to be their pacer, I shared some running tips too. =) During the prize giving, as usual we had a great laugh with our UIA friends. They're just crazily funny and simply crack a joke out of nowhere, out of nothing. Arif, Nadea, Anis, Ain Ramli and so many more raced this morning. Next week I'm expecting more UIA jokers to come and make this event more happening! =) jepah and meeghol muller, I'm waiting for u =p Honestly, I don't even know this guy "Meeghol Muller's" real name. I call him Amirul, his weird facebook name has made me confused. may be his real name is Amirul Mula or something. coz "Meeghol" must be Amirul, "Muller" sounds like Mula.
After race, my parents helped me to collect my lap top from low yat. I was tired and feel very grateful for them helping me with it. Now I can continue doing my final year project. Tomorrow I'll run 10km Bukit Besi challenge for my battalion, just wanna score some points for my battalion.
I had a really great time today, looking forward to enjoy the next leg in UPM =)
Video made by IIUM X-team =)