The 25th annual Laguna Phuket Triathlon (LPT) will kick off on Sunday 18 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 celebrate its status as Asia’s longest-standing triathlon race, 2018 Laguna Phuket Triathlon also features an inaugural “25 For 25 Sprint” (0.5K swim, 18.5K bike and 6K run) on the same day. Already a sold-out race in its first year, the Sprint’s combined distance of 25Km was meant to echo LPT’s 25th anniversary, the year it is launched. 2nd annual LPT Charity Fun Run is being staged in the late afternoon on Saturday 17 November with an aim to raise funds for Children First Fund (CFF) in support of 7 orphanages in Phuket, housing more than 400 children.
Pre-race press conference was held on Saturday 17 November at the race’s transition area in Laguna Grove, Laguna Phuket, and graced by Prakob Wongmaneerung, Vice Governor of Phuket; Kanokkritika Kritwuttikorn, Director of Tourism Authority of Thailand, Phuket Office; Kittiphong Sansomboon, Director Brand and Marketing Communication Department, Thai Airways PLC; Ravi Chandran, Managing Director of Laguna Phuket; Rachwin (Koy) Wongviriya, LPT “Run for Fun, Run for Kids” Charity Ambassador, and also paneled by elite pro athletes; Bart Aernouts (Belgium), Annabel Luxford (Australia), Emma Pallent (United Kingdom) – all competing for USD 20,000 prize purse, and triathlon legend, Belinda Granger (Australia).
Thai athletes to watch on Sunday include Jaray Jearanai who will defend his 7 consecutive-years status as Thai champion (since 2011)
“This year, we will see 2,600 athletes, representing 50 nationalities, participating in the individual, team relay and sprint categories on Sunday as well as the Charity Fun Run on Saturday,” said, Mr. Ravi Chandran, “I am glad to announce that our very first sprint triathlon race was sold out, to be participated by more than 260 triathletes in its inaugural year. Later this afternoon, more than 1,500 runners – a breaking record from last year – will help raising funds for Children First Fund (CFF) in the Run for Fun, Run for Kids’ 2K, 5K and 10K categories to support 7 orphanages in Phuket, housing more than 400 underprivileged children,” he concluded.
The conference included a donation presentation from “LPT Charity Fun Run” to “Children First Fund”. The baht 250,000 donation was presented by Ravi Chandran and received by Rachwin (Koy) Wongviriya, LPT Charity Ambassador with children from this year’s “Run for Fun, Run for Kids” programme also joining the ceremony.
“Today, I am immensely inspired by the champions and pros from around the world, hopefully in the near future I’d get to become a triathlete myself,” Rachwin, a seasoned runner, said during the press conference, “I’d like to thank all the runners and triathletes for participating in the race to inspire healthy lifestyle and, simultaneously, support the good cause for children in Phuket.”
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.