Staff Spotlight: Triathlon Coach Ricky Phanthip

By Su

Meet the Fastest Man in Phuket …

Name:
Ekkarat “Ricky” Phanthip

Title:
Thanyapura Triathlon Coach

Home town:
Paklok, Phuket

How long have you been at Thanyapura?
I’ve been a Triathlon Coach at Thanyapura since 2011.

What motivates you?
Basically I’m a runner – I started running when I was 13 and now I’m 30. I’m known as the fastest runner in Phuket over my distances, 3km and 5km. I’m also known as the King of the Fun Run: so far I’ve had more than 200 wins in local and international races, especially duathlons.

Staff Spotlight: Triathlon Coach Ricky Phanthip

Ricky’s pre-running days in Paklok

I also founded my own running club at the Paklok sports grounds, for kids and adults from the local community. It’s called Born Free To Run, and it’s supported by the Phuket Community Foundation. We hold free training sessions to encourage young people to get involved in the sport and to build up their running performance.

What are a few of your favourite things about Thanyapura?
The weather, the view, the scenery. Everything we have here is perfect here for training for triathlon.

What do you do in your time off?
I get some exercise with people in my community, such as going for a bicycle ride in the morning. I also hang out at the bicycle shop, and chat with bike lovers. Apart from that I rest and sleep because it is important for athletes.

Staff Spotlight: Triathlon Coach Ricky Phanthip

Ricky (left) and his cousin Samart, about 5 years old. They started Muay Thai training when they were 7.

What’s your favourite music?
I like to listen to rock and soft-rock when I’m training, like Linkin Park.

What’s your favourite place to eat in Phuket?
Piang Pai, a great restaurant for Thai food at Bang Pae Waterfall [on the east side of the island]

Where would you like to be in 10 years?
I want to be a well-known triathlon coach, and I want to coach people to give them a better, healthier lifestyle.

Staff Spotlight: Triathlon Coach Ricky Phanthip

Ricky (left) with his first trophy, age 13: “I ran 10 kilometres and I won overall age group under 15. I won 1,000 baht and I bought my very first running shoes. Before that I ran in my school shoes.”

Who is the most inspiring person you have met at Thanyapura?
[Thanyapura senior triathlon coach and 8x Ironman champ] Jurgen Zack. After training with him I can see the development in my performance. He is more than a boss, he is a friend and he does understand the way a triathlete thinks. Jurgen is a bike world-record holder in the Ironman. He always makes think about being a winner: during training he always tells me not to lose.

Where in the world would you like to visit, and why?
Kona [in Hawaii] because it is a dream destination for all triathletes. It is one of the biggest races in the world, and not many Thai athletes have had a chance to go there.

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About the Author

Staff Spotlight: Triathlon Coach Ricky PhanthipTom Topham holds a 1st class honours degree in Sports Science (Human Performance) from Brunel University, England. He also comes from a triathlon background, competing as an age-grouper and holds a level 2 triathlon coaching qualification.

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