By THE NATION
Southeast Asia’s longest-standing triathlon race also features “25 For 25 Sprint” (0.5km swim, 18.5km bike and 6km run) on the same day.
LPT Charity Fun Run is being staged in the late afternoon on Saturday (November 23) with an aim to raise funds for Children First Fund to support seven orphanages in Phuket as well as the Kao Kon La Kao Foundation to help hospitals in Thailand.
A pre-race press conference was held on Saturday at the race’s transition area in Laguna Grove, Laguna Phuket, attended by Phuket Governor Tavipatana Phakaphong
Elite pro athletes Michael Raelert (Germany), Ruedi Wild (Switzerland), Massimo Cigana (Italy), Imogen Simmonds (Switzerland), Emma Pallant (United Kingdom) and Australian legend Belinda Granger will compete for the US$20,000 prize purse.
Thai athletes to watch on Sunday include Jaray Jearanai who will defend his status as Thai champion -- since 2011 -- and defending female champion Nichakarn Ruttanaporn.
Tavipatana said, “I’d like to congratulate Laguna Phuket Triathlon for the 26th year of success. The race has helped promote Phuket as the world’s leading sport tourism destination. It is with delight that the race showcases food and fruit from Phuket tourism communities to an international audience. This year, we are also focusing on reducing waste at the race. All are part of Phuket’s strategic policies in sustainable development.”
Anthony Lohsaid said, “This year, we will see 2,200 athletes, representing 51 nationalities, participating in the individual, team relay and sprint categories on Sunday as well as the Charity Fun Run on Saturday. Once again our sprint triathlon category was sold out. Later this afternoon, more than 1,100 runners will help raise funds for Children First Fund through the LPT Charity Fun Run 2km, 5km and 10km categories to support seven orphanages in Phuket, housing more than 400 underprivileged children.”
“I am glad to announce that this year Laguna Phuket Triathlon has been placed in the top 10 in the Best International Triathlon Category of the Challenge Awards 2019, presented by Runner’s World Magazine and Let’s Do This (UK). I’d like to share the pride with Phuket government, our co-host, and everyone who has kindly supported us including all the athletes and spectators,” he concluded.
The conference included an appearance by Ekkarat Phanthip, representative of “Kao Kon La Kao Foundation”, Laguna Phuket Triathlon 2019’s charity partner.
As in previous years, athletes and participants in Laguna Phuket Triathlon during the race weekend are encouraged to donate to Laguna Phuket Foundation for its ongoing local charitable causes such as “Fully Booked!” Mobile Learning Centre, Community Learning Centre, Laguna Phuket Kindergarten, Children First Fund, social enterprise restaurant “Seedlings Phuket” and many more.