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by Nick Cicerchi

Nov. 23 – Nov. 30th was a fantasy camp for the MaccaX team. Based at Thanyapura Sports Hotel, the stay was a triathlete’s dream with easy access to pools, running track, and most importantly a great group of people to team up to socialize with while on a group ride or over a pint at the bar after a workout.

Sandwiched in between 2 races; the Laguna Phuket Triathlon (LPT)on Nov 23rd and the Challenge Laguna Phuket on Nov 30th, the camp was a perfect chance to have an easy week of technique sessions, have fun with the MaccaX teammates, and hang with the boss, Macca, himself.

Just like the Miami camp from a year ago, and what I’ve heard about other camps, Chris McCormack was his usual self. He was completely hands-on in almost all the sessions, and freely accessible to ask any questions or just joke around with at breakfast, dinner, or after hour’s festivities. All while running the sports hotel at Thanyapura, Chris didn’t skimp on his time spent with MaccaX’ers. For those who don’t know Chris, he was in usual form, constantly joking around and an open book with his stories and Q&A sessions.

From the first morning onward I knew it would be a great week. We caught up with Chris at Laguna near race check-in the day before LPT as the first wave of MaccaX group members started to get settled in Phuket. In the LPT, those of us who raced got the first taste of the brutal Phuket bike hills, many of which had to walk their bikes. We also got to experience the brutal Thailand heat in race conditions, something you can’t mimic outside of being in the environment.

The camp sessions were light on the workload, and focused on technique for race day specific tasks, such as drafting in the swim, transitioning, select form and speed sets.   There were lots of free time to fill in your own sessions and take advantage of the facilities and brain trust on hand at Thanyapura.

One of my favorite and most overlooked aspects of training and racing that we covered was the mental aspect of the sport. As Chris talks about often, we have to think and control our minds in triathlon. Whether it’s optimizing our time, overcoming a fear that’s limiting you from your best results, or mapping out a race-specific plan, exercising the mind appropriately is invaluable. We were introduced to a Mind Training session with a monk and meditation expert on staff at Thanyapura. This was a group meditation session that helped us clear our minds and be present, which is key for triathlon training and racing. Although this was just an introductory meditation session, the very fact that we incorporated this mind training into race week highlighted the importance of mental training necessary to succeed in triathlon and in life.

Most of all, the camp provided a great chance to get together with MaccaX teammates to share stories, learn from each other, have fun, and excited one another with our common goals.   Like minds think alike, and that comes through with this group. It’s hard to imagine, but we were training and racing with some of the triathlon legends we had been watching over the years in this sport; Jurgen Zack, Belinda Granger, and the Boss Himself, Chris “Macca” McCormack. Chris is unbelievably generous with his time and has really created a family atmosphere in the MaccaX community. We were all attracted to triathlon in the same way, and this group allows us to share this common interest in one another, elevating our excitement for the sport and reminding us why we do it.

Even though Chris is busy running Thanyapura, he didn’t skimp out on any aspect of the camp, including leading the transition sessions, participating with us in the swim sessions and group rides, and even racing with us! I still can’t believe he invited me to compete with him on his relay team. I just started in this sport less than 3 years ago, and here I was in Thailand racing with the best in the world.   How my racing with Macca came about is another example of the generosity and care Chris has for his teammates…

One of the nights after a Q&A with Chris, we were hanging out at the bar listening to Chris’s hilarious stories from his peak racing days. I told Chris about my troubles on the run portion in the LPT earlier that week. After flying in from the US and not acclimating to the heat or time zone appropriately, my heart rate skyrocketed on the run in the LPT and forced me to walk a good portion of the race, something that’s never happened to me.

Nick run 2Chris empathized with me having his own issues planning and acclimating to heat in his career, and assured me I would be fine after a few days in Phuket. I told him how I couldn’t race in the upcoming Challenge Laguna Phuket race because I had to ship my bike home, and doubted my ability to perform in a half iron distance race, but that I still feel like I had more to give that week. Without hesitation he said to me, “We need a runner on our relay team. Run with us.” I couldn’t believe it. Not only was this a chance to redeem myself from blowing up on the run in last race, but now I was going to race on Chris’s team?!

Now Chris is a standup character, and I don’t doubt anything he says or commits to, but this was a bit much. I thought there was still no way I’d be able to race with him. After getting to know Macca and knowing he’s a man of integrity, I didn’t think he’d forget about it, but I figured that Challenge had probably assigned him another teammate, or that he was obligated to race with someone else.  If this was the case, I would have totally understood and just been honored that he thought of me. Sure enough, the next day he gave me a race packet and didn’t even make a big deal about it. I still can’t believe it!

Meanwhile, the rest of the team was razzing me and saying, “now you better win!” I can’t lie, but I was a little nervous. I’m used to racing in local community triathlons, and here I was with the greatest ever in the sport, and had to anchor his team by running a half marathon. Now I really needed to perform well. The team kept messing with me, but Chris put me at ease. The day of the race he was so nonchalant about racing that it put me totally at ease. Drinking coffee with him before the race, we talked about all sorts of things not even related to the race. We met many people in the transition area eager to talk to Chris, including one of Thailand’s biggest rock music stars.

Nick RunHanging with Chris on race day reminded me that this was a day to have fun, and that’s what we were there for. It also reminded me that today Chris wasn’t 2x Hawaii Ironman Champion or Executive Chairman at Thanyapura. Today he was just part of our team. He may be one of the best triathletes of all time, but he has very humble roots. Reflecting back on his story, in his early days as a pro, Chris traveled all over the world by himself scraping by financially and socially. He was forced to visit foreign countries and befriend strangers that spoke different languages and had different customs. This resourcefulness, adaptability, and exposure to humanity taught the value of relationships and interaction with others in this “individual” sport. Chris didn’t succeed alone and neither can we.

Bringing this humble, generous, and inclusive mindset to triathlon is what Chris has created with the MaccaX group and his camps. He shares with us the benefits of team atmosphere, inclusiveness, and sharing and learning from one another. Without this team, I wouldn’t have traveled all the way to the other side of the country, meeting friends from the other side of the globe. The camps have exposed us to the enriching experience of traveling and meeting people from all over the world with a common interest. My new friends in MaccaX from Asia, Australia, America, and Europe may not have the same backgrounds, but we all speak the language of triathlon.

Read more from Nick Cicerchi at

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homeandlife3Clint Morrison was at the first Phuket Camp in 2013 and came back to Thanyapura early this year for some training. As he made preparations for the 2014 Phuket Camp, he sent out a call for donations in kind for the Home & Life Orphanage Foundation.

“I’ve got some capacity in my luggage which I’m going to fill with teddys/fluffy toys to take to the children at the orphanage that has a bakery that the Thanyapura Tri Team ride to on Sundays. Just putting it out there if anyone else has capacity they need towels and are more than happy to accept toys for the kids.”

The Home & Life Bakery is a coffee stop on Thanyapura Triathlon Academy’s Sunday long rides. Sales at the bakery go toward supporting the orphanage, and cyclists are more than happy to pick up a cold drink or a muffin before heading out again.

Clint just took it a step further. He also managed to collect from within his own social circle (they ended up having so much stuff donated that there may be a second batch soon).

The camp participants pitched in and made the drive to Phang Nga bearing gifts. While most of the children were at school, Home & Life’s staff and some younger children were present to receive them.


This little girl received a pair of shoes <3
This little girl received a pair of shoes <3
Thank You card from the children
Thank You card from the children

Thanks to Clint for spearheading this drive. MaccaX is proud of you all!

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2014 Super Camp Video …

Fun video Montage from camper Noelle De Guzman who also did a very detailed blog covering the full camp day by day here …

Some love on social media …

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Super Camp Coaches

Chris McCormack – Thanyapura Executive Chairman
CHRIS McCORMACK – Executive ChairmanThanyapura’s Executive Chairman, Chris “Macca” McCormack, is one of the world’s greatest triathletes. He has been crowned World Champion 4 times throughout his illustrious career including 2x Kona Ironman World Championships. He has broken the 8-hour barrier over the Ironman distance 4 times – the only man to break the barrier more than twice. Hailed by ESPN as the “world’s fittest athlete”, Macca has clocked up more than 220 wins during his career as a professional triathlete, with a stunning 76 per cent win rate in his race career events. Chris became the Executive Chairman of Thanyapura Phuket in December 2013.

Jurgen Zack – Senior Triathlon Coach 
Jurgen ZackSmashing world records as an eight-times winner of worldwide Ironman titles, as well as a holder of a European Triathlon Championship Silver Medal, Thanyapura’s senior triathlon coach Jurgen Zack has been a superstar in the triathlete world for more than 20 years. He develops innovative, challenging sessions guaranteed to whip all levels of athletic ability into shape, and is regarded across the globe as an extraordinary triathlete trainer. Jurgen’s determination to get the best out of people while also making sport enjoyable make him a Thanyapura favourite. He is sporting inspiration: his Ironman personal best remains the second fastest in the world at a remarkable 7 hours, 51 minutes and 42 seconds.

Ben Hammond – The Bike Doctor
Ben_thumbnail100x130 Ben Hammond provides professional bike fitting using the world-leading Retül system. Ben will help you find the perfect position for comfort aerodynamics and performance output. Also available are a Platinum service and a lube & tube bike service. Like Jurgen, Ben also offers online triathlon training, featuring customised training programs and individual coaching to help athletes prepare long-term training plans around their key events.

Ricky Phanthip – Assistant Triathlon Coach
Ricky Phanthip Ricky is part of the Thailand National Duathlon Team and has worked at Thanyapura for the past three years. Ricky is dedicated to coaching and bringing out the best in every athlete who comes to Thanyapura. As the Assistant Triathlon Coach at Thanyapura, he works with all ages and all levels of triathlon ability.

Brooke Langereis – Junior Triathlon Coach
Langerwis Brooke hs crop100x130v2Brooke Langereis represents Australia as a professional triathlete. As a swimmer shes has competed in national events in Australia, including 5km open water races, and races for a cycling team called the ‘Racing Kangaroos’. Brooke has competed in International Triathlon Union (ITU) races around the world since the age of 16, and she was ranked the 163rd elite woman in the world by the ITU in 2014. Brooke is a qualified level 1 triathlon coach and holds an Australian Swimming Teacher Certificate. She leads the TRI BIRDS women’s triathlon training group at Thanyapura.

Also at Thanyapura – More Options During the Super Camp

Thanyapura Mind Training for Sport:

The Thanyapura Mind Centre offers teachings in meditation, yoga and related practices to all who seek greater meaning and fulfillment in their lives. The Mind Centre also brings there ancient contemplative practices together with rigorous modern scientific methods, including neuroscience and psychology, Programs at the Mind Centre are open to all and are delivered on a non-sectarian basis.. Through its unique mind-body partnership with the Thanyapura Sports & Leisure Club, the Mind Centre offers cutting-edge Sports Mindfulness training to complement athletes’ physical training. The Centre offers a unique menu of mental training to extend athletes’ physical stamina, while improving focus, resilience and impulse control while maintaining mental “flow”.

Thanyapura Health

Our clinic is led by world-renowned physician, scientist and author Professor Doctor Michael Klentze, Thanyapura Health offers cutting-edge medical programs in the areas of preventive, regenerative and anti-aging medicine. The clinic’s focus is on personalized preventive, regenerative and anti-aging medicine. Our services and programs focus on improving vitality, performance, and slowing the aging process. Because we emphasize the long-term results of our treatments, our medical team not only monitor your health improvement while you stay with us, but also provide advice about how to continue to improve your well-being, anti-aging, prevention, regeneration and healing after you finish your treatment program with us. Whether you want to manage a particular health risk, boost your immunity, manage your weight, de-stress, or generally increase your energy levels and well-being, Thanyapura Health is the best solution for your health. The treatments that might interest you that are on offer at the ‘Thanyapura Health’ clinic include: Physiotherapy, Chiropractic adjustments, sports massage and Family health doctors.

Bike Fitting

The Bike Doctor Ben Hammond uses state of the art Retul bike fitting equipment, where he will fit you properly on your bike. This is a great opportunity to optimize your potential on the bike and ensure a correct fit. Ben will help you find the perfect position for comfort to minimize your risk of injury and getting rid of those niggles, enhance your aerodynamics and maximize your performance.

Private Training Sessions

We offer private triathlon trainings sessions, with one-on-one coaching focusing on one of the three triathlon disciplines, as well as private gym sessions which target triathlon specific exercises.

Equipment List

We recommend you bring your own swim paddles & pull buoys to ensure we have enough availability.


  • All athletes should be self-sufficient on all bike rides with tubes, pump, Co2 canister etc.
  • You won’t need to bring any bike lights
  • We have stock of spare bike tubes available and a number of bike shops close by that you can purchase equipment from if necessary.
  • We have a number of floor pumps available at the Activities desk which are available for pumping tires before a ride.Run
    Having shoes with elastic laces can be a benefit for some of our sessionsNutrition:
    We do have some sports nutrition available through our Sports Performance shop.

    Chris McCormack on the Thanyapura Super Camp:


    Thanyapura Phuket Triathlon Super Camp
    Telephone: +66 (0) 76 336 000


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In an effort to become better endurance athletes, we dedicate a great deal of time to training and racing at a level which continually...