Switzerland’s Ruedi Wild, more than successfully defended his “2014 Challenge Laguna Phuket” title when he finished first in 3:54:45 (swim 21:29, bike 2:12:17, run 1:18:21) at the half-distance 2015 Challenge Laguna Phuket (1.9K swim, 90K bike, 21K run), in Phuket, Thailand, breaking his own winning record of 4:02:43 made last year.
Followed home in second place was Belgium’s Bart Aernouts who made his Challenge Laguna Phuket’s debut today. Aernouts was about a minute behind Wild, finished in 03:55:41.
Third overall was Italy’s Alberto Casadei, finished in 3:58:22. All three broke last year’s record. Wild and Casadei both participated in the 22nd Laguna Phuket Triathlon last Sunday (22 November) and finished in the top five.
In the women’s field it was also a Swiss pro Simone Braendli who took home the win, finished in 4:22:42 (swim 23:37, bike 2:33:50, run 1:22:22). Braendli just took victory last Sunday at the destination-race Laguna Phuket Triathlon.
Followed Braendli in second and third were Jodie Swallow of Great Britain (4:23:25) and Laguna Phuket Triathlon’s triple winner Radka Vodickova of Czech (4:30:50).
Staged under the hot Phuket sun, the race saw a strong field of elite pros in the men’s and women’s categories both.
“It was a tough competition today. We were racing in such a strong field of pros,” said Wild
“I am very happy coming back here again and defending my title at my favourite race of the season. I want to thank all the people who support me throughout the year. I’d also like to thank the great organization of the race, Laguna Phuket and Go Adventure Asia. It’s just a fantastic race here. See you again next year!” he concluded.
Braendli faced and overcame a huge challenge on the run course. She said “It’s very hot, making it really hard for us. On the run course, I followed Swallow by 7 minutes and it was not easy to catch up. I never thought I can win here,”
“But I believe that pain is temporary, glory is forever so I just sprint until the end. I’m really glad to be standing here with my friend Ruedi from Switzerland,” Braendli concluded as she stood on the top podium.
From left on podium: Bart Aernouts, Jodie Swallow, Ruedi Wild, Simone Braendli, Radka Vodickova, and Alberto Casadei in the shot with “Laguna” the mascot.
A field of over 600 individual pro and age group athletes representing 41 nationalities and 29 relay teams crowded Asia’s premier destination resort “Laguna Phuket” from the Race Finish at the resort’s beachfront to the Transition Area at Laguna Grove outdoor event venue.
Wowing the Thai crowd were two leading men in their own right; Jaray Jearanai was once again the first Thai finisher. In 4:29:03, he also ranked 14th overall. Artiwara Kongmalai, Thailand’s number one rock star best known for his stage name “Toon Bodyslam” finished his individual race in 6:42:50.
Men Swim Bike Run Finish
- Ruedi Wild SUI 00:21:29 02:12:17 01:18:21 03:54:45.0
- Bart Aernouts BEL 00:23:26 02:12:50 01:16:53 03:55:41.0
- Alberto Casadei ITA 00:21:23 02:12:24 01:22:15 03:58:22.0
- Tim O Donnell USA 00:21:10 02:12:35 01:24:10 04:00:08.0
- James Cunnama ZAF 00:21:48 02:19:22 01:18:40 04:02:14.0
Women Swim Bike Run Finish
- Simone Braendli SUI 00:23:37 02:33:50 01:22:22 04:22:42.0
- Jodie Swallow GBR 00:21:56 02:30:06 01:29:00 04:23:25.0
- Radka Vodickova CZE 00:23:39 02:33:28 01:31:11 04:30:50.0
- Beth Gerdes USA 00:27:19 02:40:50 01:28:50 04:39:43.0
- Katy Duffield AUS 00:26:58 02:36:37 01:33:42 04:40:15.0