Tri-Factor Triathlon 2013


18 August 2013 – After my previous race at Jurong Lake Run 2013, I was supposed to line up for King of The Road 2013, but due to inclement weather, the entire race was washed-out. I had to shift my focus to the Tri-Factor Triathlon which I have been training concurrently for together with my goal of SUB40 10k.

I signed up for Tri-Factor Triathlon late last year as part of my aim to learn how to swim. This race was actually supposed to be my follow-up triathlon race following the MetaSport Series which I couldn’t attend earlier this year.


Arrived at 0900h & parked at Carpark E1, next the Cable Ski Lagoon area to avoid the jam near to the race site. Assembled my bike & proceeded to set up my transition area. Took some time to find my slot in transition, & familiarize with the course layout.


Subsequently, went to do some warm-up while watching the earlier waves flag-off. Was a little dubious about warming up in the ocean like everyone else, as I never done it before in training. Usually, I just do the dynamic stretches & start immediately, hence, I decided to stick with what I usually do, & not try something new on race day.


That’s me in the background coming out of the swim after the 2nd Lap.
Photo Credits: Running Shots

Photo Credits: Running Shots

Was totally spent, but applied the techniques I learnt in the triathlon clinic I attended last month.

Photo Credits: Running Shots

Photo Credits: Running Shots

Photo Credits: Running Shots

Photo Credits: Running Shots

Photo Credits: Chasing Shots

Took a little jog out of the water towards the transition area, while taking deep breaths at the same time. 

Photo Credits: Chasing Shots

Photo Credits: Chasing Shots

Still catching my breath, hence, I could only muster half a smile, a thumbs up & mouth a very soft thank you to the photographer from Chasing Shots. Wanted to say thank you for always capturing my photos from different races, I really appreciate the effort!

Photo Credits: Chasing Shots

I finished the swim in 9m25s, which was a far cry from what I was doing in training, which was approximately half that time for 200m. But I guess I didn’t have enough experience in open water, apart from that one time I attended the open water clinic they conducted.

Proceeded to the transition area & put everything on, & decided to take plenty of the hydration I prepared, which was probably a good idea since after the bike leg, would be a run & I risk getting a stitch if I had consumed it at T2.

Halfway while I was wearing my shoe, I realised that my watch had been stopped. It caused a little bit of a panic as I did not know how long my transition was. But recovered within seconds when I just reasoned with myself to carryon & continue the time when I exit the transition area.

Photo Credits: Running Shots

Photo Credits: Running Shots

Did the bike leg in my targeted time of anything below 20mins for 10km. This was based on average results I noticed from last years race. Very encouraging since I did not have any bike training whatsoever in preparation for this race.

It was all muscle memory the way I cycled. Pushed on the straights, massive exhalation, and conservative on the bends & turns as I was riding fixed. Still managed to overtake a few pro triathlon bikes!

Had a quick transition in T2 as I was already wearing my running shoes, just took a small sip of hydration & went straight out for the run.

Photo Credits: Chasing Shots

Photo Credits: Chasing Shots

This was me after the East Coast Lagoon Hawker Centre, sighting the rest of the run route.

Photo Credits: Chasing Shots

Photo Credits: Chasing Shots

At this point of time, my quads were already burning from riding fixed gear. But I told myself this is it, 2.4km & its all over!

Photo Credits: Chasing Shots

Photo Credits: Chasing Shots

This was on the way back passing the Cable Ski Lagoon. Approximately 500m left, I made a sprint for it.

Photo Credits: Running Kaki

Photo Credits: Running Kaki

Along the straight back to the FINISH, I was clearing my nose & shouting like a mad man, trying to squeeze every last ounce of strength out of my body. Suddenly along side me came another runner doing his last sprint as well. I saw him & shouted, “C’mon FINISH strong!”

Once I crossed the finish line, I was filled with a sense of accomplishment, elation,  that all the hardwork I’ve put in over the last 6months on my road to recovery has paid off. I had the loudest shout, & it probably rattled a few people.

Had a passerby help me take this photo, just before I left East Coast Park. That’s Kina, my fixie, me & her real tight, been hanging out with her since 2011, after I did my first marathon in Gold Coast.

Definitely a proud moment for me. I am officially the first Triathlete in the family. Future generations after me can take this path knowing its been done before.

Not a big fan of the medal though, prefer a traditional round one. The best part is every one gets the same medal, regardless of the distance. But then again, I’ll do this all over again without any frills.

“Try Not Hard” – Love the slogan, think there is some double meaning going on there. 14A

Here are the results: 15A

Reflection: I didn’t really have much of a plan going into this race. All I knew was that I wanted to complete the entire event, safe & sound in one piece.

For the swim I was kind of disappointed with my time as I was doing 5m30s for 200m in the swimming pool just before this event. The results showed 6m01s but I think the actual time is including the T1 which is more accurate as I looked at my watch when I got out of the water, which indicated 9m26s.

The actual T1 + Bike Leg + T1 is a total of 29m05s, this is definitely the right time as I noticed my watch for the Bike Leg, & I came in under 20mins for the 10km ride.

The one that really surprised me was my run, which I came in first at 8m42s for 2.4km. Throughout the run, I didn’t actually feel like I was doing a 8mins pace, maybe the course was short or I was just really exhausted. But what I was impressed with was my strong finish. I ran my heart out in the home stretch, pushing all the way to the finish.

Overall, I felt the Tri-Factor Triathlon was very well organised, & there was room for people of different experience levels, age & gender to participate in. For a beginner swimmer like myself, it would be too daunting to contemplate a 750m open water swim without any experience at all. Hence, the freshman category is a perfect bedding in for beginners like me.

Race Course Advice: For Freshmen category, there is a requirement to swim 2 laps across a 100m lap. When you get out of the water, & run across a beach area, before re-entry, which I feel, it takes a little wind out of you knowing that you have to go in again. But maybe that’s because I am a beginner swimmer. More experience swimmers will not have an issue.

The Transition area is well demarcated, but there are too many idle triathletes within the area in the way of the participants, maybe there should be wider lanes for the transition? But then again, for the number of participants, it was set up really good, with plenty of signage around.

The Bike leg was good as the entire East Coast Service Road was closed to cars, that made the entire route safe. The U-turn point for the 5km could have been better warned with signage as we are approaching the u-turn.

As for the Run leg, more signage or volunteers could be en route to direct, but kudos to the volunteers who were out there. Good job guys, every time I point to my bib, you guys gave clear concise directions, well done.

Photo Credits: Tri-Factor

Photo Credits: Tri-Factor

Next Race:
25 August 2013
ST Run in the Park– 10km
Punggol Waterway

Went to recce the race route last week in preparation for this race. Definitely think the course would be longer than indicated, & there is a stretch of trail on the coast of Serangoon Island. Might be good for those who have trained in trail, but in event of rain, could make for a muddy affair.

The sunrise bridge that the 10km runners & 15km runners use to crossover would be a tight bottleneck, as it is small & narrow, definitely not made for 12,000 participants to cross over quickly, let alone 1000. Also, the flag-off timings for 15km & 10km make for such a clash as the 15km runners & 10km runners would reach that point at almost the same time.

I am not hopeful to get a PB from this run, but it would be a good tune-up for the coming AHM & POSB Kids Run. The hunt for SUB40 10k continues.

2 thoughts on “Tri-Factor Triathlon 2013

  1. Thanks for this great article about your triathlon experience. Next weekend is my first mini triathlon. I was reading about how you felt so tired and I was thinking, thank goodness I’m not signed up for something of your distance. Then I took a look at your distance and realised that the freshman is equivalent to the Cold Storage “mini” – darn.

    Not looking forward to struggling in the water too. Did anyone kick you in the water? Was it very chaotic?


    • Thanks for your comment Paleorina! Glad you are taking your first plunge into triathlon (no pun intended!).

      Had a look at the Cold Storage Intl Triathlon circuit, & yes, it seems like the freshmen distance & mini triathlon are the approximately the same distances. Do note that I am a total beginner swimmer, only learning how to swim in may or June. & I am a breaststroker, so I’m am much slower in the water, hence, I was so tired.

      I attended a open water swim clinic organized by tri-factor, & they had many tips for beginner or first time open water swimmers.

      1. Warm-up: get your arms warmed up. If you have done warm-up laps in the pool before you commenced your actual swim, then do that before in the ocean also. Just do the same thing what you have been doing in training, don’t do anything new.

      2. Lining up at the Start line:if you are a strong swimmer, just go head & line-up right Infront of the tape. If you are not that confident, just start behind. It’s better to stay away from the jostle of the crowd.

      3. Entry to water: run into the water while lifting your knees high above the water current till you are about waist deep, then you can start swimming

      4. While swimming, there will be a constant jostle for space & body contact, from breaststrokers kicking & pulling mainly (guilty as charged!) It will be a a real experience & you just have to ignore it as the visibility is low & they mean no malice when they accidentally kick or pull you. So just focus on your own stroke. If you are struggling, just take a breather & continue.

      If you really cannot continue, put your fist up clinched manner, & attract the attention of the safety kayakers/boats by shouting, they will give you assistance.

      Sighting: Use the Buoys as your markers. For freestylers you have to make an effort to look forward to see the Buoys. As for breaststrokers, it is natural to sight when you take a breath.

      Swimming to avoid the crowd: swim on the outer side of the buoy, & when turning at the buoy, ensure you are away from the buoy as it is a crowd magnet

      2nd half of the swim, you might want to change to a breaststroke to activate your leg muscles for the cycle leg

      Exit: When you exit, use the same technique as the entry, knees high above the current. & take your time to exit as you might feel light headed initially.

      I think that’s all the tips I can think of for the swim. I’ve seen your tri’s course & you only need to swim one lap, which is much better than the 2 I needed to do. Definitely a psychological thing you know that you have to swim as hard as you can & it would be done in one time.

      & your start is at 0800hrs so it’s just right after low tide(0647hrs), my start was at 1000hrs which is halfway towards high tide (12noon). This is much help as the current will be less intense at 0800hrs. I hope all these tips will help! All the best for your triathlon this Sunday!

      Peace, Randall

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