11 March 2011, Phuket will host its first IronKids Triathlon event at Thanyapura Sports & Leisure Club, Thalang on 23 April, 2011, further enhancing the island’s reputation for staging major triathlon, marathon and Ironman events.
IronKids Race Director, Claire Ratcliffe emphasizes the event is not only about the eligible children aged between six and 15 years having a great sense of achievement, but she also wants them to have fun. A second Phuket event will be held on 3 December. Another IronKids event is also held in the Philippines.
“The whole idea is not to win and challenge the kids. It is to give them a sense of achievement at their own fitness level. They don’t have to be athletic to participate. It is about achievement from taking part,” Ms Ratcliffe said.
Children from Malaysia, Singapore, Bangkok and Phuket have already registered.
Jürgen Zäck,, Germany’s eight time world Ironman champion, will help some children prepare for the IronKids. He commented:” It is the same as for adults. Anyone making it to the finish line can call themselves an Ironman. It is the same spirit for the adults as for the kids.”Mr Zäck has joined TLSC to advise TLSC members and local and international visitors in triathlon training, including children.
IronKids participants are divided into junior [6-8 years] intermediate [9-11] and senior [12-15]. Starting at 8am at TLSC to capture the cool morning air, the IronKids will compete over the following courses using the TLSC 50 metre Olympic sized swimming pool, the surrounding roads and a newly laid athletics track.
Two aid stations will be posted at the bike and run transitions and a sponge station at the end. TLSC will also have receptacles for water bottles and other recyclable materials, plus a “toy drop,” Ms Ratcliffe urges children and parents to bring along old or unwanted toys that will later be distributed to four toy libraries on Phuket.
Each child will receive a medal and there will be trophies for the first three finishers in each age group. The seniors will be divided into two groups [12-13 years and 14-15 years]
Every child will also receive a pack comprising a T-shirt, race bib, bike water bottle, swim cap, and cold water drink.
Entry fee is Baht750 for individuals and Baht 1500 for teams of three people.
Mr Zäck has the following excellent advice for children wishing to train for IronKids.
General: Don’t over train because you will lose interest; learn the basic skills of swimming, cycling and running; slow down and have a drink if you need to; important not to put pressure on yourself; parents can train with their children to make it interesting and more fun.
Swimming: Be comfortable about breathing in water; don’t panic if you touch someone; learn to cope with body contact in the water.
Cycling: Learn how to drink the water bottle riding one handed; ride in a group; keep a steady pace; spin the pedals efficiently; don’t always use a big gear.
Running: Learn how to run lightly ‘like a feather,” run on your forefoot if possible; do a variety of runs [strides, hill sprints etc].
TLSC has partnered with World Triathlon Corporation’s [WTC] global youth programme, IronKids, for the event.
IronKids has another connection to Phuket through WTC IronKids Director Michelle Payette, who joined WTC in 2008, and was based in Phuket for nine years, serving as race manager for Ironman Malaysia and for the Laguna Phuket Triathlon. Ms Payette will attend the December event.
Calling all sponsors.
Local Businesses can now sponsor a team of 10 children to race in the event. If these businesses would like to sponsor children, TSLC IronKids can find them a team through the Phuket Sports Authority or they can put together their own team. The Baht 15,000 Baht fee will cover 10 race entry fees, 10 children’s Pool party tickets and 2 adult pool party tickets.
Ms Ratcliffe: “This is an ideal opportunity for local businesses to enter a team of children from their staff.” Teams will be helped with bike hire if they do not have bikes and all children will be invited to the after event pool party.
For more information and sponsorship contact:
Claire Ratcliffe, IronKids Race Director.