Winning Three Consecutive Championships under the Phuket Sun
Today (19 November) Germany’s Michael Raelert, finished first in the premier-destination distance 24th Laguna Phuket Triathlon (LPT) race (1.8K swim, 50K bike, 12K run) with USD 20,000 prize purse. In 02:19:32 hours, Raelert once again successfully defended his title from last year which makes him Laguna Phuket Triathlon’s three consecutive champion (2015 – 2017) – the first in LPT history.
Followed Raelert home in second and third places were France’s Antony “The Tiger” Costes (02:20:29) and Mitchell Robins of Australia (02:23:06).
Also defended her LPT title in the women’s field, Amelia Rose Watkinson from New Zealand finished first, in 02:35:01 and broke her own record from last year race.
Followed Watkinson in second was Imogen Simmonds of Great Britain (02:41:47) who then saw her follower, Netherland’s Yvonne van Vlerken, recently broke the full distance’s nine hour barrier the thirteenth time – a world record, in 3rd, timed 02:45:24.
Phuket was hot today, making the race a little challenging. “I had a good swim and then Antony Costes pushed really hard on the bike. I was struggling on the run, maybe we were running a little bit too fast. After the first lap (of 2), I can make a little break but the last 4K was brutal. I was thinking about just sit down under the shade (laugh). I don’t know how I kept going. Now I am happy to win,” said Michael Raelert,
Raelert also shared his view on the sport of triathlon, “good thing about sports, especially triathlon, is not the professionals and age-groups getting to the finish line and be proud of themselves, but the community of it – how it brings people together, the local, the international athletes, the expats, all the people come together for one thing in common, that is sports,”
“Laguna Phuket Triathlon is all about the experiences. I fell in love 7 years ago when I first came here and I will come back. So I’d recommend athletes to come here, do what you love – the triathlon – and enjoy the friendliness of the people, exciting atmosphere, the food and all the experiences Phuket and Thailand have to offer.”
Wowing the Thai crowd were defending champions in the men’s and women’s fields; Jaray Jearanai was once again the first Thai finisher (in 02:36:47) and Nichakarn Ruttanaporn, in 03:11:08. Both broke their own LPT record from last year.
A field of over 700 individual pro and age group athletes, as well as relay teams, representing more than 40 nationalities crowded Asia’s premier destination resort “Laguna Phuket” from the Race Start at the resort’s beachfront to the Transition Area at Laguna Grove outdoor event venue.
The race today followed inaugural LPT Charity Fun Run, hosted yesterday (18 November) to celebrate Laguna Phuket’s 30th anniversary. Participated by 1,000 5K and 10K runners, LPT Charity Fun Run raised 200,000 baht for its charity partner “Kao Project” to support 11 hospitals in Thailand. The amount was changed at the press conference yesterday by Mr. KP Ho, founder and Executive Chairman of the resort who decided to donate the total of 1,000.000 baht to the cause.
Results: 24th Laguna Phuket Triathlon (19 Nov)
Men Swim Bike Run Overall
1 Michael Raelert(DEU) 00:22:58 01:10:32 00:43:58 02:19:32
2 Antony Costes (FRA) 00:22:58 01:10:32 00:44:50 02:20:29
3 Mitchell Robins (AUS) 00:23:10 01:13:42 00:44:13 02:23:06
4 Alberto Casadei (ITA) 00:23:00 01:13:49 00:45:03 02:23:58
5 Fernando Toldi (BRA) 00:22:56 01:15:04 00:46:26 02:26:43
Women Swim Bike Run Overall
1 Amelia Rose Watkinson (NZL) 00:25:15 01:19:21 00:47:53 02:35:01
2 Imogen Simmonds (GBR) 00:26:19 01:22:28 00:50:22 02:41:47
3 Yvonne van Vlerken (NLD) 00:28:30 01:22:56 00:51:22 02:45:24
4 Kate Bevilaqua (AUS) 00:26:56 01:28:21 00:53:57 02:52:08
5 Robin Pomeroy (USA) 00:25:17 01:24:52 00:59:41 02:52:51
Results: LPT Charity Fun Run (18 Nov) – 10K
1 Osamu Inako (JPN) 00:40:32.2
2 Thanwa Ubolkarn (THA) 00:40:57.8
3 Praphai Saomok (THA) 00:41:05.2