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IM China trip memories « Jocelyn Wong's Blog

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IM China trip memories

3 weeks after China, and I’m having some writer’s block on my race report. I figured I should post something…as I’ll be racing again next weekend at the World’s Toughest Half in Auburn, CA (2 hrs drive from home). so for the World’s Toughest Full aka Ironman China, I’ve been compiling my most memorable moments during my trip. enjoy!

Favorite memories of my first trip to Asia
(in no particular order)

- that first !!stamp!! on the passport in Singapore.

- singing…well, performing Madonna’s True Blue at our post-race pro party in the karaoke bar

- the Aussies cursing us “bloody Americans!!” (me and Tim Marr) for requesting too many Madonna songs

- being embraced by the people of China, even though Wo shi Meiguoren!

- seeing TBB with my very own eyes

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- shopping with Donna in the madness of the Chinese mega mall, which had a HUGE billboard of David Beckham on one side

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- eating coconut cookies (bought from the mega mall) on the bike, since “the bike is a restaurant” as coach said

- drinking Chrysanthemum-flavored Gatorade during the race, and realizing what the flavor was after 3 bottles

- seeing my name on the pro start list… as “Jocelyn Sui-Yee Wong”… the first time I’ve ever used my Chinese middle name in a race, and it was accidental!

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- almost throwing up and/or crying (almost!) before the carbo dinner after meeting all the other pros because I temporarily freaked out and thought “what the F@*& am I doing here?!” :(

- new pro friend Amanda Balding giving me a little medium-sized pep talk after witnessing the above incident, after which I felt tons better :)

- actually throwing up uncontrollably post-race: 3-4 times in the med tent, finally getting into a cab after midnight and after 15 seconds yelling “PULL OVER!!”, and at last making it to the hotel lobby but turning 180 degrees at the elevators, speed-walking, then running outside to the bushes for one final hurl. :(

- getting totally busted in Hong Kong for leaving CO2′s in my bike box and getting called off the plane right before take-off. “Miss Wong, please bring your passport as we escort you off the plane…” :(

- staying up all night in Singapore with new pro friends Abi Bayley and her beau Steve: hanging out in the airport (mmm Mr. Bean!) and having a cabbie take it upon himself to give us a tour of the city

- new pro friends. and hearing Doc’s words in my head “You are no longer a groupie”

- seeing a 2:50 bike split after finishing the first loop I had totally held back on, and thinking “well, that’s just a touch slower than I wanted to go, but ok”

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- realizing later that almost exactly a year ago, I would have killed for a 2:50 half iron bike split! (April 22, 2007 I went 3:05 on the bike at the Playtri half iron)

- the little kids in the villages yelling “Jai yo! Jai yo!” (literal translation? “pump gas! pump gas!”)

- the smiles on their faces when I would yell “Xie xie!” or “ni hao!” :)

- the lights coming on and firecrackers going off as I crossed the New Century Bridge toward the end of the marathon. because it was getting dark. :(

- BUT soon, all the lights came on in the city, bright neon lights in Chinese characters…and it was…magical :)

- ugh, having to go #2 during the marathon because it ended up being such a long day, and realizing that it would also be my first experience in a squatter toilet. :( (not a favorite memory, but very memorable.)

- taking my sunglasses off later in the marathon, which evidently made it more obvious to volunteers and spectators that I was Chinese, and hearing the excited whispers and exclamations of “Zhong-guo?” and “Zhong-guoren!” Yes, I am Chinese and I had never felt more proud of my heritage.

- passing the last pro woman walking. and realizing, I was no longer DFL pro AND top 10!!

- approaching the finish line in the dark and having the motorcycle with the ginormous Chinese flag escorting me for 10 or so strides to the fanatical cheers of the crowd, before someone walkie-talkied motorcycle and… probably told him I was American.

- experiencing that a huge smile and thumbs up are universal. :D
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