The 17th Laguna Phuket Triathlon and inaugural
Ironman 70.3 Asia Pacific Championship are highlights of a unique
week-long endurance sports extravaganza set to the popular Thai
island a mecca for professional and amateur triathletes worldwide.
The annual Laguna Phuket Triathlon on Sunday, 28
November 2010, will kick-off a calendar of sporting and social
activities leading up to the Ironman event a week later on Sunday,
5 December 2010.
“As Thailand recovers from the effects of political
turmoil earlier this year, events such as this are crucial to
rebuilding tourist confidence,” said Laguna Phuket Triathlon event
director Debbie Dionysius. “Close to 1,000
international entrants are expected for each event and global
attention will be focused on Phuket. This will be a sporting and
tourism showcase of the best that Thailand has to offer the
Activities staged throughout the
week will allow entrants to rub shoulders with professional triathletes - some of whom have entered both endurance events and
will be at Laguna Phuket for the whole period.
schedule of fun sporting activities, training sessions,
entertainment and social events is planned to provide all entrants
with opportunities to mix with the professionals.
The Laguna Phuket Triathlon is dubbed “The Race of Legends”, due
to its ability to attract and challenge the world’s best
These have included the
likes of Simon Lessing, Craig Alexander, Paula Newby-Fraser,
Michelle Jones, Samantha McGlone and Chrissie Wellington. The 2009
event was won by Olympic triathlon gold medalist Jan Frodeno of
Now Laguna Phuket has ramped-up the
challenges of its triathlon course to meet the increased demands
of an Ironman 70.3.
“The Ironman 70.3 Asia-Pacific
Championship will be a turbocharged version of our triathlon
course,” said Debbie Dionysius.
For the first time
the bike course will run into the picturesque and undulating
northeast coast, courtesy of a purpose-built bike ramp across
Highway 402, the island’s main north-south traffic artery.
The new bike ramp is being built on an existing pedestrian
bridge, after Laguna Phuket and the World Triathlon Corporation
gained approval from the Phuket authorities.
ramp traverse will be a spectacular highlight adding a cycle-cross
element as athletes will be have to dismount and push their bikes
up the ramped foot bridge,” said Debbie Dionysius. “We expect this
to be a great attraction for spectators and a photographic
signature of the event.”
Ironman 70.3 swim will be a distance-adjusted version of the
triathlon’s trademark two-bodies of water trademark course, with a
section in the saltwater Andaman Sea followed by a beach run-over
into a freshwater tropical lagoon.
The run course
will be contested over loops through and around Laguna Phuket
resort itself, including the golf course, as well as over off-road
The enthusiastic reception given to
athletes by Phuket residents is another quality that makes the
Laguna Phuket Triathlon memorable for competitors. Hundreds of
young students line the roadsides near their schools waving flags
and cheering on the cyclists.
And the Thai
character of the event is personified by the presence of an
elephant – an icon of Thai culture – which greets leading
contestants at the finishing line and poses for photos with the
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