An impressive group of top professional triathletes from around the world were invited to the tiny resort island of Koh Samui, Thailand for a unique long distance triathlon, the inaugural Samui Triathlon. The inaugural event was to take place last year but a heavy rain storm flooded and wrecked streets on the island and the event was cancelled. The triathlon offered up the biggest prize purse in all of Asia with a $150,000 USD prize purse and featured a 4km Swim, 123km Bike and a 30km Run. David Dellow and Caroline Steffen from the new Alaska teamTBB Philippines group managed to conquer the elements and take the victories. It was a great post birthday related present for Dellow who's birthday was the day before.
Faris Al-Sultan was out in front most of the day with and lead going into the run. Marino Vannhoenacker who was in fifth at one point on the bike, riding solo made up some time as well as Dellow who not long ago won Ironman Melbourne. Al-Sultan who is pretty good racing in hot and humid conditions was caught by Dellow on the run and could never regain the lead. Vannhoenacker moved up to third and finished in that spot.
Steffen or Xena as she is known had an easier time during the race, she took the race from the start and lead all day racing strong in all three disciplines.
It was like beauty and the beast for all participating triathletes, on one side you had this lush, exotic resort island and the other side was extreme hot temperatures on race day. The water was so warm, that athletes were exhausted after the 4km swim; it was about 33 degree Celsius at the start of the race. Once on the bike, if you were able to dodge or pass the chasing dogs or traffic you were fine until you found a first aid station where you pretty much had to stop to exchange water bottles. One the run, athletes had to deal with the nearly 40 degree Celsius temps to reach the aids stations. It was initially reported that you had to bring your own cup to get water at them, but pictures don't seem to show that.
2012 Samui Triathlon Results:
Koh Samui, Thailand - April 22, 2012
|Pro Men Results||Time||
|Pro Women Results||Time|
A picture gallery from the Samui Triathlon
"It was a very hot setting today, with around 35 degrees celsius and a crazy amount of humidity. Those are very challenging conditions for racing, certainly with my weight. I'm a big guy and don't cool down as easily as smaller athletes. The temperature of the water was already 31 degrees, so it was tough from the gun. I thought my advantage of training in warm conditions in Florida would help, but that wasn't the case." - Dirk Bockel
Updates on Twitter were provided by Bockel's wife Alicia.
Race organizers are related to the Embrunman triathlon, the iron distance race that takes place in France.