The Thailand 70.3 has been running for only a couple of years here and this year was one week after the original Laguna Phuket. However despite being quite a new race, the organisation, race-day marshals etc were excellent. The race hotel (the Angsana) is very nice however you can save money and stay at the Dusit Thani right next door or anywhere else in the Laguna complex. Athlete check-in closed at 3pm, so it is possible to fly out on the Saturday morning from HKG and back on the Sunday night…if you're short on holiday…
To keep things easy, the start, T1, T2 and finish are all in the same location (Xana beach club, attached to the Angsana Hotel). The transition area is very long and runs alongside the beach. I was racked at the furthest away from the exit so I'd have a long run with the bike through T1 and back through transition in T2…maybe it's worth becoming an AWA…
The Tritons group met up to 'carb-load' the evening before, everyone looked relaxed and well-prepared for the next day!
Race morning was a simple rolling start with the swim course a single rectangular loop back to the beach. The conditions were a little overcast and it had rained that morning but the sea was mostly flat making for a relaxed swim. The bike course is a single loop of northern Phuket, very hilly for the first 25km before settling into a fast flat section into T2. You need to be ultra-cautious on the hilly section and take it very slow on the downhills, the marshals were great slowing everyone down to walking pace around some of the more tricky sections.
The clouds held for the run which kept away scorching heat. The run course is two laps and spectator friendly (thanks to all the Tritons support cheering us on!). Aid stations are every 2km along the flat course and were well stocked with sponges, ice, water, coke etc. The finish line is back on the beach and the support was excellent throughout the run.
Fantastic feeling crossing the line where you're greeted with ice baths, massages and a well-stocked buffet….perfect for meeting up with the group and celebrating! Well done to Andreas for getting his Kona slot!
With 70.3 World Champ slots, 30 Kona slots on offer (due to cancelled Hefei 70.3) and Thanyapura just down the road, the field here is competitive across all AGs.
In the end I finished in 4.42 (swim 0.32, bike 2.34, run 1.30) and came 12th in AG…a new PB for me so pleased with the result…now onto Taiwan 70.3 in March 2018 to see if I can go better, hope to see some more Tritons there!