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Travis Woodford's Blog

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Dealing With Disappointments

October 21st, 2009 by traviswoodford

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One thing athletes have to learn is to deal with disappointments.
Recently my fellow Team TBB team mates had to deal with it at Kona, and I had to deal with it at my race last weekend in HongKong, Disneyland.

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The race started out well, I was in the 1st pack of the swim and felt good, after the U turn I felt the pace getting faster so decided it was best to hook-up with the 2nd pack. We were only 25m away from the 1st pack and approaching the finish when the canoeists who were acting as marshals stopped us and said we had not negotiated the u-turn around the buoy properly( which was bullshit),and ordered us to redo the u-turn around the buoy,what felt like another 300m. The canoeists did not order the 1st pack to redo the u- turn, so when the pack i was in exited the water ,the 1st pack had already started the bike leg.

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(the swim course. the the u-turn buoy point is just round the bend)

I wasn’t deterred, the run to the transition was about 400m and I went off at full speed I reached the transition first and sped off to catch the 1st pack.

During the bike leg , I tried to push the pace to catch up with the 1st pack but they were too far ahead. I entered T2 first and took off on the run. Unlike the previous races, I felt real good and gave the run my all. The results reflected that I recorded a 17+ min for the 5 km run, it was the fastest time I have done all year.
When the race was over, the athletes affected by the redo of the swim and I lodged an official complaint. However all the organisers said they would do was to add a 3min penalty to the time of the top 3.This didnt change any of the positions.
Was I upset with this decision, sure I was, I was robbed of a possible podium finish

When the official results were published three days after the race all the race organisers did was to add a miserable 30sec penalty time to the top 3 finishers…. what a bummer.

What have I learnt from all this??
I have learnt that as an athlete I have to deal with disappointments like this and I know by doing so I will get stronger mentally, as you can only control what you have control of, no point bitching about what should have been….
The best I can do is to get on with it, train harder and prepare for my next race as there will always be another race to look forward to and boy am I looking forward to that one.

Btw,here’s a picture i took of my buddy with best friend…..
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Travis aka HULK

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The Children Of Palembang – Indonesia

October 15th, 2009 by traviswoodford

I have raced in many triathlon races all over the world, the crowd you see at the races are manly made up of the triathletes and their families. Triathlon lags far behind the other spectator watched sports, where the crowds do come out for are to watch the world championship triathlon races.

I was thus so taken aback at the recent race in Palembang, Indonesia. I think it was the 1st time the people at Palembang, the capital city of South Sumatra a Province of Indonesia had witnessed such a sport. The children from villages near the lake where we did the swim were out in full force to watch the race.

At the end of every race they came to every triathlete and mobbed them, it was scene like no other, asking for autographs, wanting to take pictures with you or even simply wanting to touch .

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I was shocked, not knowing how to respond. I didnt win yet here they were crowding around me, when some asked are you from Indonesia and I answered , no from Singapura(Singapore), you could see their disappointment as they wanted to see their own country triathletes in action. Still, the kids continued to shake my hand and they took pictures of me as i walked into the transition area to collect my things.

I am sure in 2 years time when Palembang hosts the 2011 SEA Games they will have an Indonesian triathlete for this kids to look up too.
The children of Palembang made this race a very special event for me one I will remember for a long long time.

Travis aka HULK

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A Picture Of Pain

October 14th, 2009 by traviswoodford

No gain without pain” is the exercise dogma adopted by most top level triathletes in training and in competitions.
I have experienced pain, when i went to Subic bay to meet the Boss for the 1st time in Mar 2008 he put me thru some “tests” like the army recruits have to do to get thru their training. The last test was the worst, a turbo bike session that left me for dead. When I returned again to Subic in Nov, I experienced pain at a new level, working out 3 sessions every day left my legs dead so much so I had difficulty crossing the road to the Grand Seasons after a session on the track. In my trip to Subic early this year it was the interval track sessions that left most of my teammates and me writhing in pain. When I went to leysin it was cycling up that dreaded mountain that caused much pain.

So yes I am used to pain and pain is used to me, but not giving in to pain is another matter.
At the recent race I did in Palembang Indonesia during the run leg my left thigh started to harden and to really cramp up, it got worse as I continued the run. In my head I had to deal with the decision to give up or continue and ‘”HTFU!!!”.
At this point, the thighs of the “HULK” emerged and i found another gear.

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Did I give into the pain… no way! no TEAM TBB athlete would do so, and neither would I, I continued and in the last 1km of the run found that I was going even faster.
I would not have achieved this had I given in to the pain…. “The gain was achieved with much pain

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“Its exam fever time in Singapore”

October 10th, 2009 by traviswoodford

All over Singapore you see the school students doing exam preparations, classrooms are open at night in schools to allow students to have a conducive place to revise, fast food outlets are populated with students all armed with their texbooks, notes and laptops, our airport terminals are also not spared as singapore students like to go there to to do their cramming.
The students are all preparing to take their end of the year exams which will take place in october and november.

Although I have taken a years off school, its no different for me. Infact my “exams” started last weekend with my participation in the Singapore National Road Cycling Championships and this will be followed up with ITU races starting with the Palembing ITU Asian Cup in Indonesia this weekend . I return only to leave again and as I’m off to Hongkong the following week to race at the Hongkong Premium Asian Cup on the weekend of the 17/18 October .

The students in school they will be assessed not only in the individual subjects they take but also how they overall fare, so too for me. My subject combination is Swim,cycling and running and the exam is the sprint triathlon.

The only good thing about not being in school is that I do not have to be in a stuffy classroom, my classroom is the swim pool, run track and the beautiful outdoors, but the pressure to perform is the same, the competition atmosphere is the same although the environment may be different

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The Race Report

October 4th, 2009 by traviswoodford

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The day of the race I was up at 4:30am to begin my race preparation. I did a 45 minute turbo workout to get my sleepy body into shape and had a bit of breakfast before setting out to the race venue.

We arrived at the start/finish point with the sun still not showing its face, the riders taking part in the junior and men’s sports were arriving as our race was to begin at 6:30am.

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I lined up proud in my Team TBB jersey and P2 alongside 18 of Singapore’s top junior cyclist and another 40 or so adults who were taking part in the men’s sports category. The organisers arranged that the 1st lap of the 9 lap race be a rolling start and we began the serious business in the 2nd lap. Even though the 1st lap was suppose to be an orientation to the course the testosterone levels of the riders were high and they started to speed up , when the red flag was shown to officially start the race the riders sped off faster than the F1 cars that graced Singapore 1 week earlier.

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Riding on the viaduct race course proved to be very challenging, the straights were fast and you had to contend with crosswinds the U turn point was very tight and when you are negotiating it at high speed with 50+ riders it became a question of how skilful a rider you are as everyone was crowding into a very small space. Once you negotiated the U turn you had to contend with the climbs which proved very challenging as you had very little road to build up speed to tackle the incline. So we did this course lap after lap and I managed to always stay in the front pack. During the first few laps the riders were seizing the other riders up, deciding who to mark. They did not consider a lone rider like me as a threat worse still I was riding a TT bike against their state of the art road machines. But once I started launching a few attacks then the riders started taking the rider from Team TBB seriously. I enjoyed the chess game that ensued throughout the race. Every lap saw causalities, in fact, there were 2 crashes that occurred right in front of me. I was lucky enough to find my way round these fallen riders and carry on with the race. I was enjoying pushing myself seeing how much I could get out of my P2. The bike performed well but a TT bike is not a road bike and that became very evident as the riders whizzed past me even though I was giving it my all.

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On the final lap the riders who survived were all seizing each other as to who would make the break, after we negotiated the final U turn I took my chance and went for it with everything I had. The other riders were taken aback and were slow to respond. I kept up with the front pack to the final stretch but i couldn’t match the pure sprinting power of a pure roadie. I eventually came in a very credible 4th position out of 19 in the junior category. Overall I came in the top 10 position.

It was a very rewarding morning for me, I did myself and Team TBB proud. I rode with what I had and gave it my all.

In conclusion the P2 is a fantastic versatile bike to ride but it is not a road bike….. just imagine if I had ridden one what what the result then be…..

Travis aka HULK

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It’s Racing On 2 Wheels This Weekend In Singapore

October 3rd, 2009 by traviswoodford

Last weekend Singapore hosted the F1 night street race. Those of you who caught the race were I am sure impressed by the roar of the race cars racing along what must be one of the most spectacular race on the F1 circuit.

This weekend Singapore is hosting another race spectacle that will see the best road cyclists taking to the singapore streets riding the very best road bikes that money can buy. They too will be whizzing by in breath neck speeds in colourful race attire.

How could I give this race a miss, I wanted to take part in last weeks race with my buddy Felipe but both our 4 wheelers were caught in transition so we had to enjoy the entertainment as mere spectators, but this Sunday, I will be racing in the Singapore National Cycling Road Championship.

This race returns after a three year break with a new and interesting race route. The race course has a good mix of climbs, cross winds, exposure, technical turns and rough roads.

I will stand proud at the starting line as I will be representing TBB in the junior category and I will be up against some talented pure cyclists from Singapore

Most of the competitors in my category even though they are junior riders will be riding the latest road bikes the most expensive that their mommies and daddies can buy for them

For me, my weapon of choice for this road race is The Cervelo P2!!!! Yes i know what you all must all be thinking.”what a P2 for a road race?” well with some slight adjustments to the set up of the bike, this P2 is now road race ready!

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I am confident that the bike will perform well.

By using the P2 I want to show the versatility of this bike.

While working in the Bike Boutique Singapore, i see many people who come in interested to buy a bike that is versatile, something that is fast, comfortable, stiff and that looks good. Well thats the characteristics of the P2. I know that they will be many spectators watching and this is the ideal situation to show them the P2’s versatility.

So I look forward to a good race, a versatile bike ridden by a fairly good rider = ???? You have to tune in to my race report blog to find out how I fared…..

Travis aka HULK

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Mission Accomplished

August 2nd, 2009 by traviswoodford

My goal of participating in the inaugural Youth Olympics Games (YOG) to be held in Singapore in August 2010 got off to a good start with my qualification to represent Singapore at the upcoming ITU-Asian Qualifier to be held in Incheon, South Korea during the Asian Triathlon Championships on 28 August.

The selection race didnt go according to plan, as during the swim I encountered severe stomach pains. I was with the lead pack but could’nt keep the pace and once out of the water I threw up, something I would do many times during the race.

I pushed it on the bike to catch up with the leaders on the bike leg but found the going tough. I came within 20 seconds of the leader and was confident I would catch him on the run. But once I got off the bike and started to run I knew it was a mission impossible for me. I used what I had to minimise the time gap.

Although I have qualified to go and race in the ITU-Asian YOG qualifier which was my primary goal I finished the race very dissappointed. I realised that all the hard training I’ve done counts for nothing if you do not perform on race day. No one owes it to you to come out on top you have to do it on your own. Its a pretty difficult pill to swallow but one I have now learnt the hard way.

My focus is now on the upcoming race and making sure I earn the slot……

Here are some pictures of the race

The Much Anticipated Start
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The Painful Finish
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One of the guys I will be going to Korea with
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Hulk

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The Race Of Truth

July 28th, 2009 by traviswoodford

Cyclone Race Series

I competed in an Individual Time Trial this Sunday back home in Singapore . It was a 24km time trial and I thought it would be a good test to see how much I had improved.
I got to the race site early to do a proper warm up. Armed with my Cervelo P2, I lined up and waited for my turn to start. As usual, there were guys fully decked out in time trial gear (…disc wheels, aero helmet etc) that didn’t deter me as i knew i was strong enough after all those rides up the hill in Leysin!

Time Trial Start

Soon enough, the time came for me to start. After a great start I got into a really good rhythm and just crunched the gears. I was pretty surprised as my body was much stronger than I thought it would be.

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I gave it my all and finished in a good time.

Run

Immediately after the race I got off the bike, slipped on my Avi-Bolts and ran off for a hard run. It was funny to see the reaction of the spectators and competitors at the race site as I ran past them. They stared at me with a puzzled look…I heard someone say, ”didn’t that boy just finish his race??” HAHAHA! Anyway I carried on and did a good run.

I came back to race site about an hour later to check the results but, it wasn’t out yet. I was told it would be posted on the web within that day. I came back home and regularly checked the race website, anxious to see what official time I had done and what position I came in.
Finally after much patient (or not so patient…) waiting, the results were out. I came in 1st in my category and 2nd overall for the distance. It was a great training day for me.

I will have an important race this Saturday. It’s definitely gonna be an interesting race, especially when the HULK’s standing at the start line!

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Oh and i forgot to mention, I think this small upgrade to my bike gave me that extra “edge” during the race(check out the seat post!)

Travis aka HULK!

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Hulk Invades Europe.

June 29th, 2009 by traviswoodford

Today, I raced in my 1st ever European race here in Switzerland. I was lucky to get a ride from Erica as she was also racing in this event. We left Leysin at about 4am, as the drive to the race site would take about 2hrs and the race would start at 8am. We reached race site with enough time to spare. I registered myself and started to prepare myself for the race.

The start of the swim was very rough. I managed to get out of the main “battering area” pretty quickly. I positioned myself to the far left of the main pack. We emerged from the water as a pack of about 10 guys. I quickly removed my awesome Blueseventy wetsuit (which kept me super warm and made me go fast) and ran to the transition. It was quite a far run from the water to the transition so I had enough time to get my Blueseventy wetsuit down to my hips.

I entered the transition and quickly ran to my speed machine, my Cervelo P2. Unfortunately it took me a little longer than I hoped to remove my wetsuit and by the time I mounted the bike, the pack was a little ahead of me already. I gave chase, and within a few kilometres, I managed to attach myself to the main pack. It was nice bike course with a little of everything. Some rolling hills, long flats, downhills and some technical turns. I came off the bike and slipped on my flashy Avi-Bolts 2, and ran off.

The run was a 2 lap 2.5km course. I gave it my all in the run. As I made the final U-turn, I looked at the guys ahead of me to see if there was anyone in my age group. I didn’t see anyone in my age group and I ran super hard the last 1km.As I crossed the finish line, I looked down to take out my timing chip but, it wasn’t there!!! It must have come off at the swim as there was a point where there was a guy who kept pulling my leg. It was the same leg my chip was on so it must have been that. I tried to talk to the organisers but they said,”Im sorry, we can’t do anything.” I was pretty disappointed as I didn’t get a rewarded. My name was not even on the results.

Oh well, sometimes unlucky things happen. The only thing you can do is to take the good points out of it. My good points were, I felt very strong throughout the race (something which i have never felt before!), I enjoyed myself during the race as it was a nice course, it was really well organised and it was my first European race.

Travis aka HULK

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I Hate Low WIFI Signals.

June 24th, 2009 by traviswoodford

When your away from home, the best way to have a chat with your family and loved ones is through the internet. Its free and you can actually have a conversation with someone as if he or she is just infront of you.

But this only works with good WIFI signals. Where i live here in leysin, there is a mysterious wifi signal that comes on and off. Sometimes the signals low and sometimes is high.I’ve tried to locate where the signal comes from but i cant seem to find it.

Usually after the last training session of the day, i usually go back home,have a shower,get something to eat than talk to my family back home in Singapore on either skype or msn. It can be very frustrating sometimes when after you had a hard day , you come back home and there isn’t any wifi signal or there is a WIFI signal but its too low to have a conversation with. I than have to walk with my laptop, around the area and look for a signal i can use to have a conversation with my family and friends. I often get stares from the locals. Stares like, “what the hell are you doing with your laptop?”
There was one gentlemen who asked me if i was alright……

Dam i hate low wifi signals!

Travis aka HULK

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