Organisers of the 18th Laguna Phuket Triathlon (LPT) on 27 November and second Ironman 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championship a week later on 4 December, report keen worldwide interest in the new triathlon double bill, with growing numbers of triathletes opting to compete in both events.
This year’s LPT sold out all its 700 slots just 40 days after registrations opened in March and a waiting list is now set up.
The 2011Ironman 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championship, with more than 500 sign-ups, is almost halfway towards its target of 1,100 entries, with more online registrations received every day.
And with more than100 triathletes registered for both events – twice the number at the same time last year – there are signs of growing worldwide enthusiasm for the triathlon double bill.
The inaugural Ironman 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championship joined the long-established LPT last year to create the new week-long Tri-Fest at Laguna Phuket.
More than 140 triathletes who competed in both 2010 events on consecutive weekends soaked up the unique Tri-Fest ambience of training and social events around the resort during the rest of the week.
“The debut of our double triathlon concept with a festival of associated activities was a fantastic success and this is reflected in the enthusiasm for this year’s events,” said Debbie Dionysius, Laguna Phuket’s assistant vice president of Destination Marketing.
“We’ve set a new standard with this concept that gives triathletes worldwide the opportunity to take on a unique challenge of two world-class triathlons on backto-back weekends, while enjoying everything else on offer during the week.”
The 2011 Tri-Fest has activities that include a training camp focusing on recovery and race preparation conducted by Ironguides; open water swim competition; “Meet the Pros” cocktail party; speed golf tournament; Ironman Movie Night; Ironkids event at Thanyapura Sports & Leisure Club; and Tri Trade Show.
Winners of the 2010 LPT were Massimo Cigana of Italy and Australia’s Belinda Granger. The inaugural Ironman 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championship, with a 50-strong professional field, was won by American Tim O’Donnell and Caroline Steffen of Switzerland, both expected to return to Phuket in December to defend their titles.
Triathlon is rated as the world’s fastest-growing participation sport. The LPT is a Destination Triathlon featuring a 1.8km swim; 55km bike ride and 12km run. The Ironman 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championship is the culmination of the World Triathlon Corporation’s Asia-Pacific Ironman 70.3 Event Series, with a 1.9km swim; 90 .1km bike ride and 21.1km run.