2017 Laguna Phuket Triathlon kicked into high gear and towards good causes

Posted on November 21, 2017

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2017 Laguna Phuket Triathlon also featured an inaugural “LPT Charity Fun Run” (5K & 10K) on Saturday 18 November, with an aim to raise funds for “Kao Project”, a charity run campaign led by rock star and LPT’s fan, Artiwara “Toon Bodyslam” Kongmalai, to support 11 hospitals in Thailand.

 

Recently named “Best Amateur Sports Event of the Year in Thailand”, with silver credential, at Sports Industry Awards & Conference (SPIA Asia) 2017, the 24 th annual Laguna Phuket Triathlon (LPT) will kicked off on Sunday 19 November and comprised a unique race distance of 1.8K swim, 50K bike and 12K run through the scenic backdrop of Phuket province in Thailand. To help celebrate Laguna Phuket’s 30 th anniversary, 2017 Laguna Phuket Triathlon also featured an inaugural “LPT Charity Fun Run” (5K & 10K) on Saturday 18 November, with an aim to raise funds for “Kao Project”, a charity run campaign led by rock star and LPT’s fan, Artiwara “Toon Bodyslam” Kongmalai, to support 11 hospitals in Thailand.

Pre-race press conference was held on Saturday 18 November and graced by Sanit Sriwihok, Vice Governor of Phuket; Tanes Petsuwan, Deputy Governor for Marketing Communications, Tourism Authority of Thailand; Ravi Chandran, Managing Director of Laguna Phuket; Chavanant Senivongse, Manager of Promotions and Sponsorship Dept., Thai Airways PLC, and also paneled by elite pro athletes; Michael Raelert (Germany), defending two-time LPT Champion from 2015 and 2016; Antony “The Tiger” Costes (France); Amelia Rose Watkinson (New Zealand), 2016LPT Champion in women’s field, and Imogen Simmonds from Great Britain – all competing for USD 20,000 prize purse.

The press conference also featured Legends Talk Session with legendary triathlon elites and world champions; Jurgen Zack (Germany), Karen Smyers (USA) and Belinda Granger (Australia), who are invited back to relive their LPT memories and share experiences at Asia’s longest-standing triathlon race, also known as “The Race of Legends.”

This year, we will see around 1,800 athletes, representing more than 40 nationalities, participating in the individual and team relay categories on Sunday as well as the Charity Fun Run on Saturday,” said, Mr. Ravi Chandran, “It is delightful to have seen growing number of Thai athletes participating in our race each year. Planned for 1,000 runners, the Charity Fun Run on Saturday was sold out long before its closing date. This shows rising awareness in personal health and wellness, as well as reflects on high level of concerns for others. People show genuine generosity when it comes to healthy lifestyle and good causes,” he concluded.

The conference included a donation presentation from “LPT Charity Fun Run” to “Kao Project”. Received by Toon’s parents; Anurak and Pranom Kongmalai, as representatives from Kao Project. A whopping amount of 1,000,000 baht from Laguna Phuket was decided on spot by Mr. KP Ho, the Founder and Executive Chairman of Banyan Tree Holdings, who crossed off the originally-planned 350,000 baht and rewrote larger donation in show of support for the great cause.

As in previous years, athletes and participants in Laguna Phuket Triathlon during the race weekend are encouraged to donate to Laguna Phuket Foundation for its ongoing local charitable causes such as “Fully Booked!” Mobile Learning Centre, Community Learning Centre, Laguna Phuket Kindergarten, Children First Fund, social enterprise restaurant “Seedlings Phuket” and many more.

Michael Raeleart of Germany Gets Three-Peat in the Heat at Laguna Phuket Triathlon

On podium from left: Antony Costes, Imogen Simmonds, Michael Raelert Amelia Rose Watkinson, Yvonne van Vlerken and Mitchell Robins

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, 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 on 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 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.

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Posted in: Phuket