I visited Phuket for the first time back in 2005. Since then, Phuket or actually Thailand plays a major role in my life as I have been in Thailand many times since. I think I've raced Laguna Phuket or Challenge Phuket 7 times already! Every time I have really great time there and I know that I will be back again the following year.
I am always surprised why I keep coming back every year, this race is extrememly challenging :-)
It is so hot, so humid and the bike course is by far the most challenging I have ever done.
I used to train a lot in Asia and found that it's easy for me to acclimatise by the time the race was on. The last two years has been a battle dealing with the heat and humidity, as I arrived in Phuket just 3 days before the race. This has made the race even more challenging.
I have introduced my LIV AVOW bike for the first time here in Asia, I think everyone loved the bike. I felt really good on the course as I feel the Avow navigates technical sections with ease. It's hands down the easiest handling tri bike I've ever ridden.
I came second out of the water second as Jodie Swallow was racing and she was very strong in the water like she always is. On the bike I managed to stay in second the whole time and felt ready to run a solid half marathon, but forgot to think about the heat and so had to slow down to a 'survival' mode. Told Brad that if I will keep pushing I may not finish at all. So I finished 3rd (another podium) behind a crazy fast runner Simone Braendi (she handles the heat like nothing ) and Jodie Swallow.
Happy to finish the season with my 8th podium finish!