Malaysia isn't your typical race venue but this race was a great option if you want something different! It's an early season race but not so early that you can't be ready in time.
Putrajaya is a lovely clean city housing all the Government members, it was surprisingly green everywhere, especially the race HQ venue which was set amidst gardens by the side of a vast lake.
The lake, which forms the swim, is warm all year round - it was actually 30 degrees on race day so was really hot! But it will always be a non-wetsuit swim here. As it started early the heat wasn't so bad until half way through the bike course, although air temperatures of 36 degrees and 60% humidity can really affect you if you're not acclimatised.
I spent 10 days training in Thailand prior to the race, so if you are coming from anywhere outside of this climate I suggest an acclimatisation period is the best prep!
The bike course was surprisingly undulating - it wasn't steep but just plenty of gradual undulations on large, wide highways, which meant that incrementally it felt harder than I expected and clocked a total ascent of nearly 2,000ft over the course.
The run was INSANELY hot so hydration is key here, as is electrolyte consumption. I had salt sticks on the bike, with solid food, and electrolyte gels on the run. I had to stick ice down my trisuit and put cold wet sponges all over me at every aid station. It's intense but manageable if you can cope in heat and humidity.
Not a PB course for Westerners, purely because of the heat and humidity which makes for really tough conditions, but it was one of the most interesting and different races I have competed in. Loved it, and will definitely be back to do more racing in Asia, it's fantastic to travel the world while racing!