Built on the belief that “Anything is Possible”, the original triathlon brand Ironman was founded in 1978 and today stages over 150 Ironman events in more than 50 countries each year including the annual Ironman World Championship (3.8km swim, 180km bike, 42km run) and Ironman 70.3 World Championship (1.9km swim, 90km bike, 21km run).
With more than a million people having completed an Ironman / Ironman 70.3 since 1978, Thailand joins the largest global triathlon series for a second year with the Foremost Ironman 70.3 Thailand which will take place at Angsana Laguna Phuket on Bang Tao Beach.
“Phuket is one of Asia’s top island destinations and an iconic triathlon venue with a pedigree stretching back more than 20 years,” said Wilfred Steven Uytengsu, President of Sunrise Events Inc. and rights holder for Ironman in Southeast Asia.
“We are very excited to again be working with Phuket to host the Foremost Ironman 70.3 Thailand 2017, a race that has already earned a reputation as being one of the toughest and most beautiful courses on the Ironman 70.3 calendar.”
Former regional champions and in-form international Pros will compete for a US$15,000 (about B500,000) prize purse while the 30 age-group qualifying slots available for the 2018 Ironman 70.3 World Championship in South Africa will draw many of Asia’s top age-groupers.
Early sign-ups include Jaray Jearani, Thailand’s top male triathlete and first to compete at the Ironman World Championship in Kona (2011), and Nampetch Porntharukcharoen, the most Ironman-decorated Thai female triathlete and also the first Thai female to compete in Kona (2014).
“Entries are already strong and the international pros are confirming their attendance. While competing in an Ironman 70.3 is no easy feat, we are seeing more Thai age-groupers registering this year and we’re very excited to help grow the sport in Thailand,” added Mr Uytengsu.
Also taking place for the second year is the Foremost Ironkids Thailand at Thanyapura Health & Sports Resort on Saturday, Nov 25.
Welcoming up to 300 kids from 6-14 years old, this will be the second Ironkids event in Thailand this year, the first being held at the International School Bangkok on Sept 10.
Foremost continues to be the title sponsor of Foremost Ironkids Thailand and Foremost Ironman 70.3 Thailand 2017 for the second year running.
“With more than expected interest from junior athletes last year, we are expanding this year’s Foremost Ironkids Thailand into two races: the first race was at the International School Bangkok (ISB) last Sunday (Sept 10) to fulfil the needs of kids in Bangkok, and the second race is at Thanyapura Health & Sports Resort in Phuket on Saturday, November 25,” said Pimjan Vimuktanonda, Marketing Director of FrieslandCampina Thailand, the producer and distributor of Foremost dairy products.
“Foremost Ironkids Thailand is a junior triathlon race for children 6 to 14 years old with the aim of promoting active lifestyles among children. It gives them the opportunity to test the limits of their physical and mental stamina and experience this challenging sport,” Ms Pimjan said.
“Preparing oneself for triathlon calls for continuous training and good choice of food to ensure optimised diets for the body’s needs while also building strength for the competition. Foremost has, therefore, prepared our chocolate-flavoured milk to give away to participating triathletes of Foremost Ironkids Thailand and Foremost Ironman 70.3 Thailand 2017 to help energise them throughout the race because a key to athletic excellence is to keep one’s body fit and active.”
The Foremost Iornman 70.3 Thailand starts with a one-loop 1.9km swim in the waters off Bang Tao Beach followed by a 90km bike ride traversing the island’s northern hills and coastline, and finishes with an energy-sapping 21km two-loop run through the Cherng Talay area.
Well known for its beauty, the course is also challenging and will push Individual and Team Relay participants to their limits.
Opening up the world of triathlon to more people, organisers have added a new event distance this year, the Sunrise Sprint, which comprises 750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run, also at Angsana Laguna Phuket.
“For a triathlete, Ironman is the peak of the sport. Completing an Ironman event is something all triathletes want to do and once you have, it is something you will be proud of for the rest of your life,” said Mr Uytengsu.
“We aim to make Foremost Ironman 70.3 Thailand a ‘bucket list’ event for triathletes all over the world and with the edition of the new Sunrise Sprint this year we aim to make the sport more accessible for people of all abilities,” he concluded.