Thai newcomer Danchai “Dan” Pankong of Surat Thani was the surprise winner of the Laguna Phuket International Marathon (LPIM) among a record field of more than 4,000 runners from 50 countries who raced a variety of distance courses in the seventh edition of the island’s ever-popular running carnival.
The 29 years-old student, making his debut at Laguna Phuket and competing only his sixth-ever full 42k full marathon, dashed the hat-trick hopes of two-time champion Stephen Paine of Australia, who led the field for almost all the race and seemed certain to be the first treble Laguna Phuket champion..
But Pankong, studying for a Master’s degree in civil engineering at Bangkok’s Rangsit University, built up a steady pace and hung on behind
36 years-old Paine before overtaking with a last-gasp effort at the 37k mark to finish two minutes ahead of the Australian in 02:49:33.
Paine, champion in 2008 and 2009, finished in 02:51:35, followed by Stuart Haynes of the UK in 02:52:54.
The complete LPIM saw record runners this year, with 807 competing the 42K marathon, 918 in the 21k half marathon, 1,161 in the 10.5k run, 702 in the
5k 91.5FM Community Walk, and 500 in the 2k Kids’ Run. Of the 4,088 total, some 1,400 were Thai nationals with around 50 other nationalities represented.
Japan fielded 405 runners and it was a Japanese who took the women’s 42k title; Sonoko Kashio in 03:37:2, with Meta Vincent of Australia second in 03:39:36 and the UK’s Natalie Alderton third in 03:42:15.
The full 42k marathon saw sprightly Hatyai couple Somsak and Yindee Kasiwong, aged 78 and 73 respectively, chalk up a further remarkable marathon achievement with another respectable finish belying their years. The couple, married for 55 years, have completed 80 marathons between them and marked their debut at Laguna by finishing ahead of others much younger in 05:13:03 and 05:13:26.
Also prominent on the 42k course was Australian “Marathon Man” Trent Morrow, completing his 50th full marathon in 04:53:10 garbed in his customary Superman costume as part of his personal global charity challenge.
And a touch of glamour was provided by Miss Thailand World 2012Vanessa “Na Chatra” Muangkod, LPIM Charity Ambassador, who led the 91.5FM Community Walk that launched Laguna Phuket’s latest community effort to raise
THB 2 million for the “Fully Booked” project to operate a mobile library and learning centre for local schoolchildren.
42k Full Marathon
1.Danchai Pankong THA 02:49:33
2.Stephen Paine AUS 02:51:35
3.Stuart Haynes GBR 02:52:54
4.Karl Avery NZL 02:56:53
5.Hamish Nixon CAN 03:10:42
1.Sonoko Kashio JAP 03:37:21
2.Meta Vincent AUS 03:39:36
3.Natalie Alderton GBR 03:42:15
4.Moira Lowe GBR 03:43:09
5. Julie Shelley USA 03:44:56
21k Half Marathon
1.Henrik Jannborg SWE 01:11:22
2.Bryan Marotta USA 01:14:01
3.Frederik Croneborg SWE 01:16:41
4.Jaray Jearanai THA 01:19:27
5. Mark Deslandes AUS 01:23:27
1.Naomi Ochiai JAP 01:26:16
2.Suvaree Deenak THA 01:26:40
3.Alice Sherwin CAN 01:27:26
4.Katja Rabe GER 01:32:54
5.Keiko Umehara JAP 01:33:12
1.Sysavath Thammavongchith LAO 00:36:13
2.Anan Phomsanee THA 00:38:27
3.Bountome Singlokkham LAO 00:39:29
4.Somdee Darnjiramontree THA 00:39:44
5.Pongsak Kongsri THA 00:39:45
1.Pamela Chia SIN 00:43:37
2.Souksavanh Malivanh LAO 00:44:35
3.Orachun Sampao THA 00:47:45
4.Siripat Butjeen THA 00:48:48
5.See-Fah Boonton THA 00:49:49