Michael Raelert from Germany has won the Laguna Phuket Triathlon for the second year in a row. The women’s race was won by Amelia Rose Watkins of New Zealand.
Dubbed “The Race of Legends”, Laguna Phuket Triathlon is Asia’s longest standing triathlon race featuring a unique race distance of 1.8K swim, 50K bike and 12K run through some stunning scenery in Northern Phuket. The triathlon is now in its twenty-third year and is proving to be just as popular as ever with both Thai and foreign athletes. This year there were over 1,000 athletes participating from more than 40 different countries. For many, this was not their first time at the event.
Simone Braendi from Switzerland, and the defending champion, told the media that the triathlon in Phuket is the best that she has ever participated in. She said that everyone says that if you are serious in competing in triathlons, then you should do the Laguna Phuket Triathlon at least once. This was echoed by two time champion Michael Raelert who said that even if he hadn’t won, he would be back next year to compete again. “I was very happy with the race today. It’s fantastic. Definitely I’ll return. I love it here in Phuket, Thailand,” said Raelert.
Michael Raelert finished first in the 23rd annual Laguna Phuket Triathlon race and successfully defended his title from last year. Raelert completed the course in 02:19:13, breaking his own record from last year of 2:30:14. Following Raelert home in second and third places were France’s Antony Costes (02:21:18) and Brad Kahlefeldt of Australia (02:23:21).
In the women’s field it was Laguna Phuket Triathlon’s first timer Amelia Rose Watkinson from New Zealand with a time of 02:36:29. Following Watkinson in second was World Duathlon Champion Emma Pallant of Great Britain (02:42:30) who was quickly followed by Laguna Phuket Triathlon’s triple winner Radka Vodickova of the Czech Republic in 3rd at 02:43:22.
Watkinson has been training in Thailand since March and the Laguna Phuket Triathlon is her first race in Thailand. “I am excited to be here. The weather is quite nice, not too hot but still with high humidity. I tried to keep pushing, especially on the bike course and those hills so that it’s not too hard on the run leg,” said Watkinson. “I will spend this holidays season back home, and I will return to Thailand next year to train, and definitely defend my title at the next Laguna Phuket Triathlon” she concluded.