One of the most awaited races of the year just went through a major revamp. This year’s Regent 5150 will have significant changes to the swim, bike, and run courses; don’t fret because we will discuss everything in detail in this edition of Practical Race Execution Preview powered by Sante Barley!
Before anything else, some important reminders from the organizers.
Registration and bike check in must be done by Saturday. Special arrangements (including paying a penalty) must be made if you wish to check in past 4pm.
Since the bike course is point-to-point, you will need to prepare your T2 bag (containing your shoes, cap, nutrition etc.) and drop it off at Remy Field.
This is a non-drafting race. Each athlete must give ample space (10m behind the rider in front) or he/she will be flagged by marshals (blue card).
Riding in the middle of the road is also considered a penalty; this is called blocking. This, together with littering and other interference violations will incur yellow cards.
Athletes given blue or yellow cards will be asked to stop during the race as well as report to the penalty tent. Blue cards have a 2 minute time penalty while yellow cards will be asked to stop-and-go. Failure to do so will result in disqualification.
Bikes must be claimed by 1pm. The organizers are not responsible for any unclaimed bikes.
See the Race Schedule at the bottom of the page for more info.
The swim, despite being held in ACEA (again), is not your ordinary course. If you look closely, the direction is now counter clockwise. This means right side breathers will have a slightly more difficult time; conversely, left side breathers will rejoice! Luckily, the calm waters of the course won’t really pose a huge problem in terms of navigation. As long as one is able to sight every 4-6 strokes, it shouldn’t be a problem at all. Just be ready to make some course adjustments since there’s always a possibility of a weak/moderate current in that area. Also, recently, races done here tend to have longer swim distances than advertised. Just be ready to swim an extra 200-300m just in case. Note that there will be a rolling start for the race. This means you will be grouped according to your swim capabilities (below 25mins, 25-29mins, etc.) and released in batches of 5-10 athletes. Please seed yourself properly. You will gain no advantage swimming in an earlier wave since your race time will based on your chip time. This means the clock will start once you cross the start mat. If you seed yourself properly, you will avoid getting clobbered by faster swimmers or holding them back. Needless to say, starting in a different wave will make it more troublesome for other swimmers (not to mention yourself).
Previously, Regent 5150 was infamous for its hilly and technical bike course. In fact, the course was famous for 3 things: the airport runway, the IDESS loop, and Tarlac or Zambales Road. This year, they decided to forego these features and opted for a pretty basic and straightforward setup. The bike course is now composed of two loops along Argonaut highway. Out of T1, you must make your way towards airport road and down to Argonaut highway (riding along that rather steep hill overlooking the airport). Once you make your way to the main road, you‘ll have to handle some crosswinds as you make your way towards the first turnaround near Remy field. The good news is that the course is relatively flat (by Subic Bay standards). As you can see from the chart below, most of the course would be in the 0-2% range with just a handful of short 3-5% grade climbs. To put things into perspective, 1-2% grade is often referred to as (false flats) while 3-4% grades would often have you thinking about selecting your granny gear (small chainring). 5% grade ascents are rather challenging as you’d need to mash your way up and perhaps even stand. Luckily, all hills for this course are short. Just make sure you select the proper gear before you’re stuck in a big gear midway up the hill.
Riding back is a bit more challenging because of the gradual ascent you need to endure towards the direction of the Airport. Once you reach the junction with the huge containers of fuel adjacent to it, make a right towards NCT road. The 2nd turnaround point is not far down the road. Once again, make your way back to Remy field and complete another loop. After 40km of riding, loosen up your running legs and prepare for your 10km run.
The run course may be flat, but it can be quite challenging. Out of T2, you’ll be asked to run along the backroads of the Freeport zone towards the area of Segara Suites. Apart from the rough and uneven surface, the several turns tend to zap athletes of momentum. Once you reach boardwalk, you’ll be greeted with a very flat stretch of road. This is where you should put your game face on and push. There is some shade and wind along the course thereby making it a bit more bearable but don’t underestimate how challenging it can be. It may be the monotony or just fatigue from the bike course, but most athletes really have to consciously make an effort to pick up the pace. Once you reach the end of the road, make your way towards the turnaround point near the lighthouse. Run back towards Remy field using the exact same path and do another loop. The final loop is obviously the most difficult because of fatigue, hunger, thirst, and heat. But believe you me, this is also the most rewarding. After pushing hard for the entire morning, being tempted by thoughts of slowing down or even quitting, that final few kilometers of pain will seem like forever. But like what they say “walang forever” Dig deep and push; put on that smile as you cross the finish line. You’ve made it!