Hua Hin international triathlon August 2013

September 15, 2013

With over 250 contestants the Hua Hin triathlon is one of the largest triathlons in Thailand, something I did not want to miss even though I still have not recovered from my running injury yet. On August 24th around 2PM the trip to Hua Hin started by car with 2 bikes fixed to the back.I have spend the last months training for this event. Around 6PM we arrived at Black Mountain Water Park where we could take a look at the swimming course and received our starting kit consisting of a t-shirt, timing chip, swim cap, and the numbers for on your bike.

The starters kit for the Hua  Hin triathlon. The start numbers seem randomized since nobody in their right mind will expect me to finish 3rd in my age category.

The starters kit for the Hua Hin triathlon. The start numbers seem randomized since nobody in their right mind will expect me to finish around 3rd place in my age category.

The past week I already woke up around 6AM to get my sleeping rhythm right and it paid off when the alarm went at 5:30AM and I felt fresh and sharp. After some white bread and bananas it was time to drive to the start to get ready to race.

The transition area with my spot right at the front.

The transition area with my spot right at the front.

Around 7AM the race started with the swimming part. Unlike previous triathlons all contestants started in the water and unfortunately not everybody took the request to start more to the back when you are not a strong swimmer too serious. Result was that the first 150 meters I was boxed in between other people and it took quite some time to find a relatively open space where I could catch my swimming rhythm.

Very crowded at the start, with me showing little activity at the top right of the picture. Picture from “321Yell” (if I remember it correctly): www.facebook.com/321yell

Very crowded at the start, with me showing little activity at the top right of the picture. Picture from “321Yell” (if I remember it correctly): www.facebook.com/321yell

After 1,500 meters of swimming I was at about the 22nd place coming out of the water and going into the transition area to switch to the biking. From there on it went quite well even though quite some people passed me by on very expensive carbon bikes; at least I still felt good and had no trouble with the route or the climate. Actually, the route was very well indicated and the organization had made sure there were stewards on each corner to direct you the right way and to stop traffic. But unfortunately I soon paid the price for not knowing the exact route, some people had done this route the weeks before to familiarize themselves with every climb and descent, when we reached a steep hill and I was too late with finding my lighter gears and had to step off and walk to the top of the hill.

Getting out of the water in about the 22nd place. Not bad with well over 200 contestants.

Getting out of the water in about the 22nd place. Not bad with well over 200 contestants. Picture from by “Griz Triathlete”.

One complaint about the biking course was that the kilometer markers were about 10% off meaning that when I passed the 20km mark my bike computer indicated it was only 18km. For me it was not really a problem but some people ride without a bike computer and in that case it was a long ride from the 35km marker till the finish.

After the second transition I could directly stop and hand in my timing chip since I already knew I couldn’t run yet, not even walk this distance. That did give me the opportunity to walk around the finish area and check out all the activities there.

The finish are with a place to get drinks, food, and even an AC tent to cool down.

The finish area with a place to get drinks, food, and even an AC tent to cool down.

All together this triathlon was very well organized and it was well worth the 1,000 baht I had to pay to join it (discounted tariff since I am a student here in Thailand). There were many photographers making pictures of the athletes and the biking course was nicely laid out. I can’t wait till next year when I will try to join this triathlon again and this time I will finish it also!

The results of my effort; unfortunately these results are not published online since I did not finish the race.

The results of my effort; unfortunately these results are not published online since I did not finish the race.

The prize for everybody who finished the race. It looks heavy but the rock is made of plastic.

The prize for everybody who finished the race. It looks heavy but the rock is made of plastic.

The race results are available here:
http://www.huahintriathlon2013.com (under race results)
And many, many pictures can be found here:
https://www.facebook.com/321yell

For questions/remarks you can contact me at: eric@stuckinthailand.com

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