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Phuket ready to host Foremost IRONMAN 70.3 Thailand

Tanutam Thawan

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Having hosted triathlons for more than 20 years, Phuket is in an enviable position as the leading triathlon destination in South East Asia and the island is set to bolster its sports tourism credentials further when it hosts the 2017 Foremost IRONMAN 70.3 Thailand, Sunrise Sprint and Foremost IRONKIDS Thailand on 25 and 26 November, 2017.

“IRONMAN is a global triathlon brand that is famous for organising world-class events, and we’re very proud the organisers have chosen to host Thailand’s only IRONMAN event in Phuket for the second year. Approximately 1,500 triathletes from more than 60 countries will be taking part and it is events like this that really help the island economy and the local communities in which they take place.” said Mr. Norraphat Plodthong, Governor of Phuket.

An established sports infrastructure, quality roads and idyllic beaches are just some of the reasons Phuket has become a triathlon mecca, welcoming thousands of triathletes from around the world each year to train and compete. What is often overlooked, however, is the island-wide support which is essential to the success of such events, from local government to local communities.

“Phuket is well developed for triathlons and there is a lot of experience on the island in this area. The island’s reputation for hosting spectacular triathlons spreads far and wide, making it a popular destination with triathletes the world over,” said Ms. Dittaya Curtz, Project Manager, Sunrise Events (Thailand).

What is a four-day event starting with registration and the IRONMAN Expo, racing starts in earnest on Saturday, November 25 with the Foremost IRONKIDS Thailand which will see almost 300 kids aged six to 14 years old compete in varying swim/ bike/ run distances at Thanyapura Health & Sports Resort. This will be followed on Sunday, November 26 with the Foremost IRONMAN 70.3 Thailand (1.9km swim/ 90km bike/ 21.1km run) and the Sunrise Sprint (750m swim/ 20km bike/ 5km run).

Following the one-loop 1.9km open-water swim in the pristine waters off Bang Tao Beach, athletes embark on the 90km bike which for this year is a new and exciting route, taking competitors through Cherng Talay and along the island’s west coast and Naithon hills to the Northern tip of the island, where competitors will turn around and race back along the east coast before cutting across the island and finishing at the beachfront transition where they will begin the run. The two-loop 21.1km run course is alongside Bang Tao and Layan beachfronts making for a scenic finale with the finish chute at Angsana Laguna Phuket.

Foremost IRONMAN 70.3 Thailand start/ finish times:
06:20 Male Pros/ Male Asian Elite
06:22 Female Pros/ Female Asian Elite
06:30 Rolling starts for Age-Groupers and Relay.
Swim Cut Off: Each participant is given 70 minutes to finish the 1.9K swim based on a rolling start.
Bike Cut Off: 5 hours and 30 minutes from the last rolling start release (approx. 12:15).
Finish Line Cut Off: The finish line closes 8 hours and 30 minutes after the last rolling start
swim release.

“All the relevant island authorities have been working closely with the organisers to make sure the event is successful. We have engaged with local communities along the route and together with the Police the bike course has been designed so that the necessary road closures will have minimal impact on island residents and Marshalls will be all along the course to ensure safety for the participants,” added Governor Norraphat.

For the almost 1,500 age-group triathletes taking part thirty age-group qualifying slots are available for the 2018 IRONMAN World Championship in Kona, Hawaii and thirty age-group qualifying slots for the 2018 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in South Africa, while the male and female Professionals will compete for a US$15,000 (approx. 500,000THB) prize purse.

“This is our second year of hosting the Foremost IRONMAN 70.3 Thailand in Phuket and the support we have had from residents, authorities and athletes has been fantastic. I would like to thank everyone and encourage island residents to come and see the race on Sunday 26th November,” concluded Ms. Dittaya.

Organised by Sunrise Events (Thailand), the Title Sponsor is Foremost with Major Sponsors FBT and Fox Sports, and support from the Sports Authority of Thailand and the Province of Phuket. Event Partners include Angsana Laguna Phuket, Bangkok Airways, Thanyapura Health & Sports Resort, Gatorade, Pepsi, Aquafina, Bollox, UFC, Cetaphil, Zoot and Kitbrix. Media Partners include Mthai, Phuket Cable, The Phuket News, Phuket Bulletin, AsiaTri and FinisherPix.

Phuket ready to host Foremost IRONMAN 70.3 Thailand | News by Thaiger

 

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Local Thai journalist speaking fluent Thai and English. Tanutam studied in Khon Kaen before attending Bangkok’s Chulalongkhorn University.

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