Pattaya Tri Superleague: Thailand
First Race of my Asian Season and a winGreat way to start my Season in Asia!
Pattaya Tri was such a spectacular experience, one of the most hyped triathlon events I’ve ever attended.
Quite a busy trip having only arrived in Phuket the day before, repacking our bikes, getting back on a plane to Bangkok followed by a 3hr van ride.. Bangkok traffic definitely trumps Auckland.
Race location was unique, held in the city of Pattaya, one of Thailands nightlife and farang monger capitals. By law clubs and bars are required to close at midnight but can pay the fine to stay open -which everyone does- apparently the Governor is big on sport and this money goes directly towards community involvement.
Friday was Visakha Bucha Day, a public holiday which enforced a liquor ban, so on race morning when transition opened at 4.30am the beach and streets weren't covered with intoxicated people.
The water conditions better suited to a surfing comp, saw our race start delayed 30mins. The swim course although a very confusing sort of capital L shape involving lots of weaving, was marked out with lane ropes the whole way and had a jet ski holding a flag ride the course before the start. Still a very choppy 1.5km swim I struggled to find any rhythm and exited the water in 2nd place behind a team swimmer.
Onto the 55km bike, we had a cobble type section and a fair few pot holes and speed bumps to navigate at the start but the rest of ride was on fast and smooth highway. Policemen lined the street every couple hundred meters, as the Princess was racing they had their backs facing us if she was in close vacinity. With my quantity of cycling lately I was pretty confident to push the bike leg quite hard, I was out by myself the entire ride and managed to get a 4.30min lead off the bike.
I ran conservatively on the way out making sure I'd have enough in the tank to push the pace on the way back along the coast if I needed. The hilly bush section around the middle of the 13km run really tested me, as humidity increased I was squeezing ice sponges over my head at every aid station and even paused at a couple to make sure the electrolyte drink was going in my mouth not down my front.
I was stoked to cross the finish line in first place, with a 10minute lead to second place. Truely awesome atmosphere at the finish
It was interesting experiencing the local culture race day evening and to see transformation of the streets we'd raced on that morning!