PHUKET, THAILAND – Hundreds of children from all over Asia, from future world champions to those who just want to have fun, converged on the world’s new Ironman and Triathlon mecca, Phuket, on December 3 to contest the Thanyapura Sports & Leisure Club IronKids Phuket Triathlon, presented by True Visions.
Pedal to the metal: an IronKid prepares for the bike leg of the race.
IronKids is one of the world’s fastest growing youth sports movements and provides the perfect antidote to the sedentary habits of the Playstation generation. For these kids, their play stations are the pool, the track and the bike.
A total of 228 children registered for the race, including 126 individual racers and 102 children in 34 relay teams. Most were in it for fitness and fun, but some serious future champions put their elders in the sport on notice.
The brightest star and overall winner was Kuala Lumpur-based Australian Zoe Bowden, 12, the defending champion and one of the world’s fastest triathletes in her age group. Not only did she beat all the older girls from the 13-15 year old category, she also beat the older boys as well, shaving three minutes off her previous personal best to finish in 39 minutes and 23 seconds. She has been tipped as a possible future world champion by none other than TSLC’s triathlon director Juergen Zack, himself an eight-time world champion in the sport.
It was Malaysian domination of the podium places, with Edwin Thiang, also from KL, second, finishing in a time of 40 minutes and 36 seconds. Eight corporate teams of 12 to 14 children were sponsored by local businesses. The corporate awards went to 1st Place Team Quest and the children from Ban Manik School, 2nd place to Lee Marine and the children from Ban Bangtao School, and 3rd place to Team Anantara Club from the Anuban Phuket School.
Zoe special: overall race winner and likely champion Ironman of tomorrow, Zoe Bowden.
Speaking after the race and looking like she’d barely broken a sweat, Zoe Bowden revealed her secret. “I train every single day,” she said. “I mostly run and swim. I don’t often cycle, that was something that I later on developed exclusively for the triathlon”. She said this year’s race was much more competitive than her last race in Phuket. As for the future, her vision is clear: “My ambition is to be a professional Ironman.”
IronKids triathlons are raced over various distances depending on age groups:
– Junior (ages 6 to 8): 50m swim, 3km bike and 500m run
– Intermediate (ages 9 to 11): 150m swim, 6km bike and 1km run
– Senior (ages 12 to 15): 300m swim, 12km bike and 3km run
TSLC’s partnership with IronKids includes races and professionally led training camps run throughout the year, under the banner of TSLC IronKids Phuket and presented IronKids Phuket Triathlon
Phuket has become one of the world’s leading locations for serious ironmen and triathletes, and Thanyapura’s world class facilities have captured the interest of leading exponents of the sport. Globally renowned triathlons and training camps are offered on the island every year, such as the Laguna Phuket Triathlon, Phuket Ironman 70.3, Phuket International Marathonand the FIVB Women’s Beach Volleyball World Tour.
TSLC has the ideal facilities and surroundings to host events and training camps for professional or amateur triathletes, as well as young athletes tackling their first ever multi-sport event. Our 50m and 25m pools offer ideal swimming conditions, while the quiet roads are perfect for young cyclists to learn biking skills. Most running is done on the property or on surrounding tracks in the National Park area. This spectacular location is set to become the “home” of triathlon for young, upcoming triathletes.
The next Thanyapura IronKids Phuket races will be held on 22 April, 2012 and 1 December 2012.
1st place finishers in each age group –
6yrs Boys, girls – Denis Parkinson, Katie Thomson
7yrs Boys, girls – Siam Yapp, Sophia Jelfs
8 yrs Boys, Girls – Muhammad Safiy, Isabella Hoskings
Junior relay Team – Matthew Diamond, Jeremy Jacklin, Tom Crowe
9yrs Boys, Girls – Ben Mcmillan, Chloe Schrijnemaekers
10 yrs Boys, Girls – Muhammad Shafriz, Mayumi Shinozuka
11yrs Boys, Girls – Max Luer, Chelsea Smith
12 yrs Boys, Girls – Dorian Gombos, Zoe Bowden
13 yrs Boys, Girls – Ben Kammungkun, Nuraliah Shamsir
14 yrs Boys – Dylan Nyerges (no 14 year old girls took part)
15 years boys, Girls – Edwin Thiang, Sian Wilson