Germany’s Michael Raelert, former Ironman 70.3 World Championship, made an impressive comeback at Laguna Phuket this weekend when he finished first in the 22nd annual Laguna Phuket Triathlon race.
Winner of the classic race in 2011, Raelert finished the 1.8km swim, 55km bike and12km run event in 2:30:14, with a swim of 23:55mins, the bike in 1:20hrs and the run in 43:44mins. Following home in second and third places were Switzerland’s Ruedi Wild (2:32:57) and Brit racing stalwart Stuart Hayes (2:36:17).
In the women’s field it was Swiss pro Simone Braendli who took home the win in 2:48:04. Followed Braendli in second was Hayes’ fellow Team Dillon athlete – and recent World Duathlon Champion – Emma Pallant (2:52:43) who then saw Phuket-based Australian pro Dimity-Lee Duke finish in third (2:56:08). Pallant’s fellow Brit Imogen Simmonds took fifth in 3:05:33.
“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.”
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 raced in the 22nd edition of the race, which has been won in the past by Mark Allen, Greg Welch, Craig Alexander, Paula Newby-Fraser, Chris McCormack, Michellie Jones and Chrissie Wellington.
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Michael Raelert (DEU) 2:30:14
Ruedi Wild (SUI) 2:32:57
Stuart Hayes (GBR) 2:36:17
Massimo Cigana (ITA) 2:39:15
Alberto Casadei (ITA) 2:39:40
Simone Braendli (SUI) 2:48:04
Emma Pallant (GBR) 2:52:43