Germany’s Michael Raelert, title holder of the World Championship 70.3 Clearwater in 2009 who recently defended his title at Ironman 70.3 Miami, Florida, has made an impressive comeback at Laguna Phuket today (Sunday 22 November) when he finished first in the premier-destination distance 22nd annual Laguna Phuket Triathlon race (1.8K swim, 55K bike, 12K run.)
Laguna Phuket’s title holder of the 70.3 race in 2011, Raelert came back today and finished in 2:30:14 (swim 23:55, bike 1:20:06, run 43:44).
Followed home in second and third places were Switzerland’s Ruedi Wild (2:32:57) and Stuart Hayes of Great Britain (2:36:17).
In the women’s field it was Swiss pro Simone Braendli who took home the win. Recently took victory at the Challenge Triathlon Walchsee-Kaiserwinkl Walchsee, Austria, Braendli finished in 2:48:04 at Laguna Phuket Triathlon today.
Followed Braendli in second was World Duathlon Champion Emma Pallant of Great Britain (2:52:43) who then saw Phuket-based Australian pro Dimity-Lee Duke finished in third in women’s field (2:56:08).
The courses were particularly hot under the Phuket sun today.
“My practice was to get a bit used to the heat for today was really hot. I am very happy I am concluding my season here this year because I love Thailand and I like Phuket” said Raelert
“Next weekend I’m hoping that I’m doing fine as well. Right now I hope to get a little bit of rest. I get to stay at Banyan Tree, a really nice hotel, so I reckon there will be a lot of good rest for me so that I can do my best and win the race next week as well.”
Braendli also strategically planned her way to tackle the heat, “I arrived last Sunday from Switzerland and had been trying to stay indoors. I did treadmill sessions and swim in Olympic swimming pool, then I checked out the courses, and I tried the bike course three times before the race today.”
A field of over 1,300 individual pro and age group athletes representing 44 nationalities, 66 relay teams and 6K Fun Runners 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.
Most of the pros who raced today’s Laguna Phuket Triathlon will take a rest between their trainings for the Challenge Laguna Phuket race (1.9K swim, 90K bike, 21K run) next Sunday (29 November).
Wowing the Thai crowd were two leading men in their own right; Jaray Jearanai was once again the first Thai finisher (in 2:57:54) while Artiwara Kongmalai, Thailand’s number one rock star best known for his stage name “Toon Bodyslam” finished his individual race in 4:36:27.