Aside from seeing Phuket, I went there to spectate the Laguna Phuket Triathlon.
The day before I ran the charity 5km fun run so I was in a good mood and excited to see the triathlon. It was the 25th year and they had a sprint distance race as well.
The pro race started at 06:30 on the Sunday and I foolishly set off from my hotel at 06:00. The start line was about 2km away so I thought I was going to miss the start. Thankfully, a guy on a race marshal bike was waiting around on the route and asked me if I knew where to get coffee. I said no, he shrugged and asked me if I wanted a lift to the venue. Yes please! I chatted to him about the 5km race and how it looked like it was going to be a good day.
He dropped my off at the main event, but the start line was on the other side of the lagoon. The race is an odd one -- they do a swim lap in the ocean, cross over a sandy mound and then swim through a lagoon to transition 1. To get to the start line, you got a small boat.
I got to the start line with literally 10 seconds left before the start of the pro men. The pro women and age groupers weren't far behind.
I then walked to the other side of the sand and watched the pro men transition into the lagoon.
I quickly rushed back onto the boat to cross back over the lagoon to watch the transition 1. The race distances were quite odd, so the entire race would only be a couple of hours. Once the pros had left transition, I went back to the lagoon edge to cheer on the age groupers. I knew a lot of people were doing a triathlon for their first time and swimming is hardly anyone's favorite. It made me remember that perseverance is important. Speed isn't important here and for a lot of people, finishing is the goal.
I walked back over to transition to watch the pro athletes and faster sprint distance athletes come into transition 2. I didn't actually know who would be in the race before I was there so it was cool to see people like Bart Aernouts - 2nd place at Kona 2018, Stuart Hayes - London 2012 olympian and Annabel Luxford - an Australian pro, all racing.
Roughly 2 and a half hours after starting, the male winner came through -- Fredrik Croneborg.
And then soon after, the female winner -- Annabel Luxford.
I also caught the interviews with Fredrik and Annabel, and the male and female podiums. I hung around for a bit longer, watching some of the faster age groupers come through and then ended up going home around 10:00.
I really enjoyed spectating the event and I think the organisation was great. Maybe I'll race there one day...
(Excuse the quality of the video audio, I didn't actually plan on publishing them when recording.)