Recently named “Best Amateur Sports Event of the Year in Thailand”, with silver credential, at Sports Industry Awards & Conference (SPIA Asia) 2017, the 24th annual Laguna Phuket Triathlon (LPT) will kick off on Sunday 19 November and comprise a unique race distance of 1.8K swim, 50K bike and 12K run through the scenic backdrop of Phuket province in Thailand. To help celebrate Laguna Phuket’s 30th anniversary, 2017 Laguna Phuket Triathlon also features an inaugural “LPT Charity Fun Run” (5K & 10K) on Saturday 18 November, with an aim to raise funds for “Kao Project”, a charity run campaign led by rock star and LPT’s fan, Artiwara ‘Toon Bodyslam’ Kongmalai, to support 11 hospitals in Thailand.
Pre-race press conference was held on Saturday 18 November and graced by Sanit Sriwihok, Vice Governor of Phuket; Tanes Petsuwan, Deputy Governor for Marketing Communications, Tourism Authority of Thailand; Ravi Chandran, Managing Director of Laguna Phuket; Chavanant Senivongse, Manager of Promotions and Sponsorship Dept., Thai Airways PLC, and also paneled by elite pro athletes; Michael Raelert (Germany), defending two-time LPT Champion from 2015 and 2016; Antony “The Tiger” Costes (France); Amelia Rose Watkinson (New Zealand), 2016LPT Champion in women’s field, and Imogen Simmonds from Great Britain – all competing for USD 20,000 prize purse.
The press conference also features Legends Talk Session with legendary triathlon elites and world champions; Jurgen Zack (Germany), Karen Smyers (USA) and Belinda Granger (Australia), who are invited back to relive their LPT memories and share experiences at Asia’s longest-standing triathlon race, also known as “The Race of Legends.”
“This year, we will see around 1,800 athletes, representing more than 40 nationalities, participating in the individual and team relay categories on Sunday as well as the Charity Fun Run on Saturday,” said, Mr. Ravi Chandran, “It is delightful to have seen growing number of Thai athletes participating in our race each year. Planned for 1,000 runners, the Charity Fun Run on Saturday was sold out long before its closing date. This shows rising awareness in personal health and wellness, as well as reflects on high level of concerns for others. People show genuine generosity when it comes to healthy lifestyle and good causes,” he concluded.
Thai athletes to watch on Sunday include Jaray Jearanai and Nichakarn Ruttanaporn, defending Thai champion titles in the men’s and women’s fields. The crowd can also expect to cheer on Thai celebrity triathlete Yossavadee Hassadeevichit at the race.
The conference included a donation presentation from “LPT Charity Fun Run” to “Kao Project”. Received by Toon’s parents; Anurak and Pranom Kongmalai, as representatives from Kao Project. A whopping amount of 1,000,000 baht from Laguna Phuket was decided on spot by Mr. KP Ho, the Founder and Executive Chairman of Banyan Tree Holdings, who crossed off the originally-planned 350,000 baht and rewrote larger donation in show of support for the great cause.
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.