Australians Reign Triumphant at 2008 Laguna Phuket Triathlon
Despite the closure of the country’s international airports, some 600 athletes still made it to the Laguna Phuket Triathlon start line to compete in this year’s ‘Race of Legends’. The 2008 Laguna Phuket Triathlon saw an exciting pro competition with 3 x Ironman Champion Belinda Granger (AUS), 2007 Ironman 70.3 World Champion Mirinda Carfrae (AUS) and the 2007 Laguna Phuket Triathlon male champion, Italian born Massimo Cigana in the field.
The race began at the beachfront of the Laguna Beach Resort with the first wave start taking place at 7am with hundreds of triathletes vying for an early lead in the first leg of the Triathlon. The uniquely designed 1.8k swim crossed two bodies of water, through the Andaman Sea followed by a beachside lagoon. First out of the
water was Taipei’s Shen Yen Hsieh with a swim time of 00:23:12, followed by Richie Cunningham 6 seconds behind in 00:23:18.
First pro male off the 55k bike course through Phuket’s tropical countryside was Massimo Cigana in 1:19:55, ahead of Richie Cunningham who came in second in 1:22:16, and in third place Chris Legh (AUS) in 1:23:30.
Laguna Phuket Triathlon veteran Richie Cunningham secured the 2008 Laguna Phuket Triathlon champion title and USD 3,500 prize money in 2:28:19, followed by last year’s defending champion Massimo Cigana in 2:28:30 and Chris Legh in 2:31:11.
In an unusual turn of events both Belinda Granger and Mirinda Carfrae achieved a swim time of 00:25:32, followed by Alexandra Louison (FRA) in 00:29:40. Belinda Granger was the first pro woman off the bike course in 1:31:17, followed by Mirinda Carfrae (AUS) who completed the bike course in 1:35:03.
Aussie Belinda Granger claimed the Pro Women’s championship in a total time of 2:47:11. Mirinda Carfrae placed second in 2:50:02 followed by Alexandra Louison in 2:52:39.
The victory of both Richie Cunningham, who has raced Laguna Phuket 5 times and Belinda Granger, who has now raced Laguna Phuket 6 times has been a long time coming as both have always made the awards podium but never before won the Laguna champion title.
The champion of the Herbalife Corporate Challenge Team Relay was the Inus Herbalife Team 2, winning in 2:29:16. Second place went to Inus Herbalife Team 1 in 2:31:18, followed by The Power of Herbalife Team, finishing in 2:54:27.
The fastest Thai male finisher was Chadarak Chaikomjorn in 2:58:30 while the first Thai woman to finish was Mayuree Maidaeng who completed the race in 3:18:15.
For complete race results please visit the Laguna Phuket Triathlon website at www.lagunaphukettriathlon.com.
The 2009 Laguna Phuket Triathlon is scheduled to take place on 6 December.