Laguna Phuket to Host Inaugural Ironman 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championship
Laguna Resorts & Hotels and World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) are delighted to announce the inaugural Ironman 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championship will be held on 5 December 2010 at Laguna Phuket. The race will be the culmination of WTC's new Asia-Pacific Ironman 70.3 Series and Laguna Phuket is expected to be the permanent home of this Championship.
Phuket was selected due to its proven track record for hosting major sporting events, such as the Laguna Phuket Triathlon (LPT), Phuket International Marathon and the FIVB Women’s Beach Volleyball World Tour.
Plus strong government support, local sponsorship, growing infrastructure and international airport access were all deciding factors for the WTC.
Murphy Reinschreiber WTC’s managing director of Asia-Pacific and long time LPT Race Director said “The decision to host the Series Championship event at Laguna Phuket was an easy one, the resort serves as a destination with broad appeal to athletes in all of our markets, including Australia, Singapore, Japan, the U.S. and Europe, and it is a proven and storied triathlon venue.
” The 70.3 race will incorporate the Laguna Phuket Triathlon’s trademark swim course comprising two-bodies of water including a section in the Andaman Sea, a beach run-over and a section in a lagoon. The bike course will be challenging and spectacular with hilly sections and winding rural roads through rubber plantations and villages. The two-loop flat run will include roads within Laguna Phuket, paved paths and grass golf-course sections.
Athletes will be able to qualify to compete at the Laguna Phuket Asia-Pacific Championship race at some 35 Ironman 70.3 races around the world.
Michael Ayling, Laguna Resorts & Hotels Plc managing director commented, “The management of Laguna Phuket and the government of Phuket Province are truly honoured, extremely excited and proud that Phuket has been selected to host the Ironman 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championship. We feel that the 16 years of hard work and dedication that has gone into organizing the Laguna Phuket Triathlon has been rewarded by the international triathlon community, who recognize that we have the know-how and resources to ensure a very successful Asia-Pacific 70.3 Championship event in 2010 and beyond.”
He continues “The Championship at Laguna Phuket will increase the island’s visibility as a venue for world-class sporting events and create energy and pride within the Phuket community, just in time for the tourism high season. We look forward to the new challenge of organizing a 70.3 race just one week after the traditional Laguna Phuket Triathlon! We plan to create a week of various multisport events to attract visitors from around the globe to stay longer in Phuket to experience both triathlons plus other events and entertainment.”
The international media coverage for the event and destination will be significant with a one hour television programme distributed globally through ESPN International, Universal Sports (USA) and CSPN (China) amounting to approximately 380 million households plus further coverage in Europe.
The Championship race will offer a $60,000 professional prize purse as well 50 qualifying slots to the 2011 Foster Grant Ironman World Championship 70.3 in Clearwater, Florida. Entry and qualification procedures will be made available soon. For information, browse www.ironman.com and watch for the launch of www.ironmanphuket.com.
Laguna Phuket is Asia’s finest destination resort – a collection of deluxe hotels and villas including Banyan Tree Phuket, Angsana Laguna Phuket, Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket, Laguna Beach Resort, Outrigger Laguna Phuket Resort & Villas, Best Western Allamanda Laguna Phuket, and Laguna Holiday Club Resort - all sharing 1,000 acres of tropical parkland and three kilometres of beach frontage with Laguna Phuket Golf Club, Canal Shopping Village, Banyan Tree Spa, four Angsana Spas, Laguna Wedding Chapel, the Quest team building facility, and Latitude, a unique stand-alone function venue.