Asia Pacific 70.3 Championships - Trying to get there

Friday, Nov 19, 2010 at 13:32

TriathlonOz - David

For those that have been following my half ironman season this year it may shock you to know that I have pulled out of the Canberra City Half Ironman and have instead registered for the Asia Pacific 70.3 Championships to be held in Laguna Phuket, Thailand. This event is the same distance as a half ironman being 1.9km swim, 90km bike and 21.1 run, so the training has been the same, the major difference will be the heat and humidity.

This was actually decided about 8 weeks ago so I have been busy and have spent a considerable amount of time in getting flights, accom and trip arrangements sorted. But there has been a snag in the plans and here is the short story.

Australian's can travel to Thailand without a visa for tourism purposes. Competing in sporting events is not tourism and so you need a visa. No problem I thought so on the 20th October, got the visa paperwork sorted, received my new passport (old one had expired) and headed to the Perth Thai Embassy to get the visa application completed. Usually takes 2 days according to one of the guys I am travelling with went in two week earlier. Well when I got to the office in the city there was a not on the door stating that the Perth office was closed from the 18th Oct please redirect all enquires Canberra - Great wasted trip to town.

No problems I thought well I spent the next week trying to get in touch with the Canberra office to find out what I needed to do. Finally one day I got through and was told to mail the passport with the fees, paperwork and a return envelope. Sent it out in Express Post envelop and same for return. Over two weeks later (Tuesday this week 16th Nov) the passport arrived in my letter box totally destroyed from water damage. Now I was not happy. I went to the local post office and they were really terrific at getting things moving forward. I needed a new passport and would have to get the visa redone. I started to stress as I have had a lot of problems in contacting the embassy and thought how can this be done in a week as I fly out on Sunday week 28/29th Nov.

Well it is Friday morning and I am expecting the passport to arrive registered post today plus a money order from Australia Post covering all my costs (including platinum bags to send it again, visa fees etc - thanks AP). It is 10:45 and I have not seen it yet but once the passport arrives I can send it off to Canberra in a platinum express bag. As you can imagine this whole incident is effecting me greatly, I could not sleep last night so awoke early and rang the Thai Embassy (3 hours time change) as it closes at 12:30. I was able to get a person on the phone and he was aware of the situation and advised me he will process the application same day and ship it back. So a little stress has been relieved but I will not be happy till the passport is back in my hands with the new visa installed, tough as the new passport is not in my hands yet.

I will keep updates coming as things move forward.

Update 16:00 (4PM) - My passport arrived from the Australian Passport office. I went up to the local post office (the same one that has been so helpful - Hillarys) and went in to get the money order and dispatch the Platinum bag. I was greeted at the door by the staff telling me that the power has failed in the centre and they cannot process a money order. Oh dear it just gets better and better all the time, maybe I should not be going. Anyway I headed out t the next suburb and posted it. So it should arrive at the Thai Embassy in Canberra on Monday. I will be calling on Tuesday to see if it has arrived and been sent back out - hopefully all will go to plan.

Now to get organised for the Donnybrook Marathon tomorrow in the heat. I will be running 12km swimming 1.4 and then riding 50km in the middle of the day with a prediction of 36deg.



If it's not hurting your not tri'ing!
David Martin
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