More than 1,000 sailors and member of the public ran, swam and cycled in the inaugural Thai Royal Thai Navy Triathlon.
Navy commander-in-chief, Adm. Luechai Ruddit, opened the Dec. 16 race, the first of five events to be held through Mother’s Day next year to demonstrate loyalty to the monarchy, commemorate HM the late King Bhumibol’s historic sailing win at the 1967 Southeast Asian Games, and honor the Dec. 19 birthday of the “father of the Thai navy”, HRH Prince Abhakara Kiartivongse.
The opening ceremony kicked off with Rear Adm. Apakorn Youkongkaew, commander of the Naval Special Warfare Command, rappelling from a helicopter to the stage on Dongtan Beach to present Luechai with the triathlon flags.
With a salute from naval cadets, the two officers and Chonburi’s deputy governor sounded the starting buzzer for the “iron man” portion of the triathlon.
The day featured four races of different lengths. Navy “warriors” competed in the “full iron man”, swimming 3.8 kilometers, cycling 180km. and running 42km.
The “Olympic Triathlon” bracket covers 1.5km. swimming, 40km. cycling and 10km. running.
The “duathlon” had athletes swim for 5km., cycle for 40km. and then run another 10km.
Finally, the lowest tier was a 0.75km swim, 20km bike race and 5km run.
The winner of each race earned cash prizes with scores rolling over to the next event next year.