PHUKET, THAILAND – A total of 85 children ages 4-15 swam, biked and ran to the finish line at Thanyapura Health & Sports Resort, one of the leading training destinations for aspiring triathletes and Ironman champions. The triathlon began at Thanyapura’s Olympic-sized 50-metre pool, continued with a bike ride and a run to the athletics track and grandstand.
The kids raced in individual and relay teams in four categories. Top winners in the overall age categories won a customised race suit.
“The race was good. It was really hot and tough. It ended with the wind, so it was good. The cycling was really tough because of the rolling hills. My long term goal is to qualify for the Youth Olympic Games next year in Argentina. If I can, I’ll definitely join the next race,” said Russell Liew Yuan Wei of Malaysia, 1st place male finisher (0:38:15) in the Senior 13-15 age category.
“It was difficult and also my first time. The hardest thing today was to swim, I felt as if I kept on sinking. Cycling and running were easier,” said Pinthira Thumthitikul of Thailand, 1st place female finisher (1:14:01) in the Senior 13-15 age category.
“This event had great turnout because there were many athletes, especially with more Thai kids competing with international children. The swimming pool and cycling route were safe and beautiful. I’m inviting everyone to get involved in the next kids’ triathlon – IronKids in November,” said Ekkarat “Ricky” Phantip, Head Coach of Triathlon at Thanyapura.
Thai youth from grassroots triathlon club “Born Free to Run” also participated as they propelled themselves to the top three places in their age categories. Coach Ricky started the group. It offers free training for local Phuket youngsters and helps them to become future running athletes.
First started in 2013, the Superkidz triathlon continues to attract young triathletes from different nationalities. Thanyapura runs the Triathlon Junior Development Program (JDP) for kids ages 6 – 15 to prepare future champions for the ITU Triathlon circuit. The program runs from 24 April – 16 June 2017. For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit thanyapura.com/events.
The next major youth multi-sport event, IronKids, will take place on 25 November 2017.