Aaron Buchan

Race report LPT 2023

Laguna Phuket Triathlon 1.8/50/12 2024

In my near two-year stint here, this marked my second participation in the grandest race on Thai soil, drawing international competitors for both training and the actual event. It also signified my third return to racing following a gruelling eight months of rehab from severe spinal injuries, complete with neck disc bulges. No room for excuses, though. This race, despite its significance, unfolded as a debacle for me.

Picture this: a rookie blunder where I sauntered to the start line equipped with the wrong goggles. During the warm-up, they decided to betray me, leaking profusely. Desperation set in as I tried, in vain, to salvage the situation. Time was not on my side, and spare goggles were out of reach. With a rolling start imminent, I took the plunge, quite literally. The leaky goggles persisted, forcing me to halt multiple times in the initial 200 meters to empty and restart. Frustration peaked when, in my attempt to tighten them further, they snapped. Fuming, I swam over to a lifeguard board, a glimmer of hope in my eyes as I asked if they had a spare pair. The lifeguard’s amused smile told me all I needed to know. I took a breather, perched on the board, watching my competitors surge ahead, convinced my race was doomed. Against the odds, I managed to piece my goggles together and soldiered on, albeit still leaking. I had no option but to finish what I started. Blind to my surroundings, I swam alongside someone, letting them guide me back to shore.

Emerging from the ocean into the lake for the final 500 meters, my frustration lingered, but so did my determination. The time lost had robbed me of motivation, and despite a strong cycling leg, my mind had checked out. The run felt like a lonely trudge; I started slow and finished even slower. Yet, amid the disappointment, I gleaned valuable lessons — a testament to my resilience and refusal to surrender.

Reflecting on the past four weeks, a different battle emerged — the decision to return to Australia or remain in Phuket, my home for the last 18 months. The original plan was to head home after my student visa expiration, but a reluctance to leave this vibrant community gnawed at me. Alas, sacrifices are requisite for progress. Thus, the time has come to bid temporary farewell, heading home for Christmas, with the intention of selling my house and permanently relocating to Thailand next year.

To my incredible friends, thank you. This is not goodbye; I’ll be back soon.

A massive thanks to those who had a big impact on my life over the last 18 months

Z- coaching family (too many to list), Jurgen Zack (Coach), Bill O’Leary (mentor and good friend), AA BangTao, Core Nutrition, Need to mention all my other friends in the community (you know who you are)

THANK YOU SO MUCH LOVE.

Aaron Buchan

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