Stellar performances by Switzerland’s Ruedi Wild and Imogen Simmonds delivered them the glory at the 26th Laguna Phuket Triathlon on Sunday (November 24), Wild in the overall standings and Simmonds in the women’s field.
Finishing first to claim his third LPT championship, Wild crossed the finish line at 02:21:07, less than two minutes before his toughest contender, Michael Raelert of Germany, another three-time LPT winner. In third place was Krzysztof Hadas of Poland, with a time of 02:26:20.
Simmonds clocked 02:33:14 to hoist her first LPT title, followed by Emma Pallant of Britain at 02:39:31 and Australia’s Dimity Lee-Duke at 02:46:12.
The Phuket crowd cheered on a field of more than 1,000 triathletes from 51 countries as they tackled the 1.8-kilometre swim, 50km bike ride and 12km run with US$20,000 up for grabs.
There was also a short-distance “25 For 25 Sprint”. The transition area was at Laguna Grove in the heart of the Laguna Phuket. Participants plunged into the Andaman Sea from the resort’s beachfront under comfortable with mild weather and small waves. The cycling and running became challenging once the Phuket heat kicked in.
“It felt amazing today,” said Wild. “LPT is like home away from home for me. I feel very good here with all the people and great memories from the past, especially winning for the third time after a good performance. I’m really happy and hope to come back again next year!”
Wild said he started with a good swim knowing that Raelert would try to open a gap between him and the rest of the field.