ATTEND THE ATHLETE MEET-ING.
Especially in an unfamil-iar venue, you’ll want to haveyour questions answered andany concerns allayed.
toother athletes. With the com-mon bond of triathlon, you’llmake international friendsfor life.
TREAT YOUR TASTEBUDS
with local cuisine.
Favoritespots include Lotus or Tom Yam Gung (Bang Tao Beach),Tawai (Phuket town), Tropica(Patong) or any of numerousresort restaurants. It was mymission to sample Thai greencurry everywhere I ate, eachdish proving more delectablethan the last.
CONSIDER A COOKING CLASS
to hone your own Thai culinarytalent. Laguna Phuket’s DusitThani hotel o
ers four-coursemeal classes; that’s where proBelinda Granger was coachedin crafting her favorite des-sert, mango sticky rice.
Thu, Dec. 1:
Fine-tuned mybike with help from eagermechanics at the expo. Saidhello to the hundred or so cy-clists gearing up for a police-escorted preview ride, led byIronman champion and racemarshal Jurgen Zack. Optedout of the pack and insteadrode only the ﬁnal portionof the course, the famed NaiThon Beach hills—more thanenough to know this would beone tough bike! Meanderedback toward town, gladlygetting a little lost amongthe village’s twists and turns.Found K-Swiss-clad MichaelRaelert, similarly lost buthappily exploring on his bike.Headed back to the beach foranother splash and massage,then cheered athletes com-peting in an open-water swimcompetition on the triathloncourse. Rehydrated withfresh coconut water prior toattending a hilariously enter-taining “sports quiz” triviashow, broadcast live on localradio and featuring the race’sheadlining pros.
Fri, Dec. 2:
Met an age-group athlete from Hollandpreparing to race his ﬁrstever triathlon. Said he soughta positive adventure to markthe close of a personally chal-lenging year. My guess is hecame to the right place! Alsomet 3-year-old Meena, one of the resort’s resident baby el-ephants and a certain allure-ment for my trip to Thailand.Elephants are revered here,their grace and magical goodcharm entrancing everyonethey touch. I watched in aweas Meena, accompanied byher
(trainer) cruiseddown the beach, crashedthrough the waves and body-surfed as only a 700-plus-pound baby elephant could.The day’s enchantment car-ried into evening, when a sun-set cocktail party honoringthe pro athletes was cappedwith a lighted lantern release,signaling good luck.
Asia-Paciﬁc RaceTips From the Pros
Belinda Granger (AUS):
Eitherget completely acclimatized,or just come in blind. This isadvice Brett Sutton gave meand it’s worked for me everytime. If you arrive late, makesure you stay really hydratedon the airplane. And then staya few days afterward so youcan actually enjoy the place.That’s the best part.
Chris Lieto (USA):
It’s reallyonly a month before this racethat it starts to get cold in mostof the U.S. You could do somebathroom heat training toprepare. Once or twice a week,do at least 30–45 minutes. Putyour trainer in the bathroom,bring in a space heater, turn onthe shower, shut the door andride. It gets very moist in there,that’s for sure!
Asia-Paciﬁc RaceTips From the Pros
Emma-Kate Lidbury (GBR):
Really keep on top of yournutrition with electrolytes.Also, you have to be prettycareful with the food—thelocal diet is very spicy and isn’tnecessarily what we’re usedto in the Western world. Try tokeep out of the sun near raceday. You want to get used tothe sun, but stay out of it in themiddle of the day. You’ll getplenty during the race!
H OL L Y B E NNE T T
Belinda Granger’s mango sticky rice Athletes rush into the open-water swim competitionMeena strikes a poseLucky lanterns