LAGUNA PHUKET hopes to turn its ''triathlon twins'' into a fully-fledged sports festival that would attract 10,000 participants over 10 days, says one of the key organisers of the resort destination's big sporting events.
Debbie Dionysius, Laguna Phuket's Destination Marketing Director, believes that Sunday's record-setting Laguna Phuket triathlon, with the first Ironman 70.3 the following weekend, is ''just the beginning.''
''It would be great to have different types of sport on Phuket through an entire week or 10 days,'' she said. ''That is my dream.''
Nine hundred participants are expected to turn out for the Laguna Phuket triathlon, while 760 are registered to compete in the Laguna Phuket Ironman 70.3 the following Sunday.
With a six kilometre fun run sponsored by 91.5 FM Phuket and 40 teams involved, Sunday's fun surrounding the triathlon event is expected to be a great day out for locals as well.
During the week, Laguna Phuket is holding a ''speed golf'' competition, designed to give triathletes and people who enjoy fun events a variation on normal training. In speed golf, the winner is the person who best combines lowest score with fastest time.
Wednesday's innovative golf will be followed by an open-water swimming event on Thursday, another chance for athletes to try something different to vary their training.
With Phuket hosting the fourth Asia Beach Games in 2014, Laguna Phuket is likely to prove a test bed for different ideas - and a recipe for attracting and holding more healthy visitors to the island.
Ms Dionysius said that next time, the Phuket International Academy Sports & Leisure Club's IronKids is likely to be held in conjunction with the Laguna Phuket events.
The Laguna Phuket ''tri twin'' is also likely to be held a little later next year, in early December, to allow more time for fitting out the resorts and the courses after the Loy Kratong Festival.
Sunday's triathlon starts at 7am and combines a 1.8-kilometre swim, a 55km bike ride and a 12km run.