4 Takamasa Makita, JAP

Takamasa Makita, JAP
Position in AG 40-49: 29 // Finish time: 8:04:06
Swim: 1:19:22 // Bike: 3:51:50 // Run: 2:52:54

Coach’s remarks: This is a great report Taka, I had never heard fo this event until you asked my advice and here we are, you suffered around a very demanding Triathlon. Brilliant effort considering how hard you work as a Lawyer mate! Thanks again for sharing this event and your great effort with us Taka

Long distance had never been my thing – marathon/cross country sessions at school were something I would seek to get a doctor’s note, same with swimming, in fact.  Short sprints, ball games, now that was more interesting, and I was better at it – rugby, football, tennis – give me a  ball, racket,  and I was in the thick of action.

So when I retired from rugby a few years ago, felt golf as a new hobby wasnt enough and entered the Tokyo marathon I thought this is something I would try once, just to say I did it…. a few years later, having learned to swim (still cant), and after having moved to Dubai and tried my hand at the Ghantoot races, I thought ok how about an Ironman and decided, I needed some serious butt kick training, and that is when I heard of T2A and Jason …  So when I do stand on the start line in Taupo, March 2012  I will know what “madness” possessed me to be there.

Any how, the race in Cape Town – or more in-land Worcester/Rawsonville to be precise, was going to be part of my training for the IM and my goal was to finish, no matter what time, with a smile.  I had never been to South Africa, so this was an exciting new adventure in that aspect – and while everyone in the T2A team had been racing the week before in Phuket, I was recovering from some nasty bug I caught on a biz trip in Nov,  then travelled solo on the thursay to South Africa into unknown territory. It  was daunting, yes, but highly exciting.

Cape Town, was Amazing – I would definitely go back for another race/golf/any excuse – and despite losing my rental car keys on Day 1, getting a puncture during a training ride in the middle of nowhere on Day 2 and my blackberry not working at all (and people at work frantically trying to reach me), these minor things paled in comparison to the beauty of the city, scenery, the sea everything there.

Registration was saturday – I drove from Cape Town to Rawsonville Prison (yes, really), where the race was to be held – this was a smallish race, less than a 100 people doing the Maximum Jail Break (my chosen distance) and 300 or so doing the Minimum (half the distance) and everyone, including the prison warden, was very friendly.

Met up with Claire, the super organiser who I’d spoken to several times pre-race, light cycle around the prison to get the “lie of the land” then had a casual round of golf, to relax….  back at the magical  wine estate where I stayed, prepared for the race – going through the process several times in my head and was in bed at 8pm after a large bowl of pasta, and slept deep deep, dreaming about the Great White Sharks I saw in the shark cage dive the day before (yes I was a typical tourist, almost)….

The RACE

Getting up in the dark, driving to the race start, racking the bike… all was a bit of a blur. In fact so was the swim (cold, long and visibility 30cm – couldnt see beyond my elbow).

Once on land, and as usual I was one of the last ones out of the water – conditions were again quite tough  – the wind picked up and the sun started to climb…. it was draining. I had packed enough gel, power bars etc, as I knew from the race briefing that there will be minimal aid station for the bike.

I was in a small group right at the back, and trying desperately to stay with the group, but after a couple of hours I was left trailing…. and several people around, behind me started to retire….  not very encouraging, and it became just me at the end… kind of lonely it was, and mentally the end of the bike was the hardest.

When I finished the bike ride, it was quite clear I was dead last –  the short distance guys had finished a long time ago, and the top long distance guys were approaching the finish line, but I recanted my goal – finish, with a smile.  The legs felt good – and though my run time was slow, I felt confident I had enough in my legs to go on further….  but I had to invest in a new bike, and spend a lot more time in the pool/sea.

Temp was rising, but the last few kilometres of  the run was actually fun – everyone was cheering, and since I was a rare “outsider” they remembered me, and the support from everyone was heart-warming.  There was  no way I could stop and walk here!

Goal, finished and I was able to smile – time, over 8 hours, position last… but that didnt matter.

I was happy, felt confident I could do a longer distance, though it will require several more months of hard training and, of course, more pain and longer time. So objective accomplished!

Thank you Jason, for the training programs -words of wisdom and encouragement, thank you team – esp the Colts, whom I have been riding with for the past few months.

Post trip memo – upon my return to Dubai  I went straight to Wolfis and bought a new Scott Plasma, so no more excuses on the bike and I do need to get down to JBR regularly for sat morning swim…

Bring on NZ and IM, Wishing everyone a great year end and  2012.

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