Tomorrow’s IRONMAN 70.3 Thailand in Bangtao Phuket will see an impressive pro field taking part.
With the country plunged deep into a year of mourning for the late Thai King Bhumibol, this year’s 70.3 in Phuket will be a sombre event. Many athletes will likely wear black arm bands as a nod to the locals’ sorrow, and celebrations will be limited. However, the tourism sector in Thailand is still keen to host sporting events and this particular 70.3 has already drawn an impressive athletic crowd.
Ironman 70.3 Thailand Course
The course starts with a 1.9km clockwise swim. There’s a 400m stretch of water, followed by a right turn and another 700m. Then a right turn for 300 m, followed by another right turn for further 400m, and then a quick 100 metres into shore. It’s important for swimmers to watch for the guide buoys to prevent going off course as there are so many turns!
After T1, the 90km bike begins. The stunning Phuket course is special, though, as after just 18km all riders must dismount and push their bikes up and over the pedestrian bridge.Finally, the course finishes up with a beautiful two loops around Laguna Phuket. “Looking forward to a hot and fast ride with a couple of cyclocross dismount bridge crossings to keep things interesting,” said Tim Reed yesterday.
Pros Warming up
Most of the pros spent the day warming up and getting their bodies ready for race day. Tim Van Berkel went for a swim, and whether it’s the warm water or the holiday vibe around Phuket, he said “just throwing the arms over, getting rid of the jet lag. Nice to be back in Phuket.”
There were plenty of high-ranking male pros in Phuket gearing up for tomorrow’s event. Aussie champions Tim Reed, Tim Van Berkel and Matt Burton are set to be on the start line, along with UK pro Stuart Hayes and a handful of other impressive athletes.
Equally impressive is the female pro field, with Aussie athletes Dimity Lee-Duke and Annelise Jeffries gearing up for an exciting race. Lucy Charles and Emma Pallant, both from the UK, and New Zealand’s Amelia Watson are tipped to be in the race for the podium.
Despite the host country’s sombre mood, it’s clear the locals in Phuket have already been incredibly welcoming to all the IRONMAN athletes. Make sure to check back into Trizone tomorrow for a summary of this exciting race.