Phuket

Belinda Granger to complete her dozen at 21st Laguna Phuket Triathlon

PHUKET: She’s the darling of global triathlon who has charmed her many fans with a string of gutsy achievements during a 20-year career that has earned her over 15 Iron-distance Championship titles.

But despite these legendary triumphs on triathlon courses worldwide, Australian Belinda Granger rates Laguna Phuket Triathlon (LPT) – the “Race of Legends” – as her all-time favorite. And this year she’ll make her 12th appearance in the event she describes as: “Truly the most amazing race experience on the planet.”

Belinda first raced LPT in 2001 and has returned every year since then except 2004 and 2006. During these years she achieved podium finishes in each race and has been Champion twice, in 2008 and 2010.

She also took on the added challenge of Challenge Laguna Phuket (CLP), placing fourth in the inaugural 2013 event’s women’s field and among the top ten last year.

Her 12th LPT this year has added significance, as Belinda will be vying with fellow World Champions and top pros like Massimo Cigana (Italy), and Till Schramm (Germany) to name a few.

“It’s really hard to believe that this will be my dozenth time racing LPT,” she said. “I knew from my very first time in Phuket that I would make this a race I would return to year after year – the best part is that over the years, many of my family and friends have decided to join me in this annual trip.

“Every year I look forward to returning – the race course, the people, the food, the place – there are so many wonderful memories.”

As well as racing LPT Belinda has been a global ambassador for the event, actively endorsing it to fellow triathletes and fans alike.

Prapa Hemmin, Laguna Phuket Triathlon’s event director and Laguna Phuket’s director of sales – MICE & Corporate Events, said, “Belinda has become a true and valued friend of LPT and we’ve been delighted to see her competing here year after year.

“As well as always being an exciting competitor, she’s also been a fantastic global ambassador for LPT and we’re truly grateful for her commitment to our event.”

Confirmations are awaited from more big names, such as 2013 Laguna Phuket Triathlon Champion, Swiss Olympian Ruedi Wild who secured his 2nd consecutive LPT win last year; LPT’s women’s triple champion, Radka Vodickova, 2013 inaugural Challenge Laguna Phuket’s Champion Rasmus Petraeus, 2013 LPT’s and CLP’s 3rd finisher in women’s field Tamsin Lewis; and Ange Castle, who was in the top ten finishers of 2013, to name a few.

The 21st Laguna Phuket Triathlon (November 23, 2014) is the first world-renown international triathlon race in the Challenge Laguna Phuket Tri-Fest, a 10-day triathlon extravaganza to culminate by the 2nd Challenge Laguna Phuket (November 30, 2014).

The Laguna Phuket Triathlon is Asia’s premier destination triathlon featuring a unique 1.8 kilometer swim, 55km bike and 12km run through spectacular tropical scenery. Over the past twenty years the popular race has attracted thousands of age group athletes as well as triathlon legends Mark Allen, Greg Welch, Craig Alexander, Paula Newby-Fraser, Michellie Jones, Chris McCormack and Chrissie Wellington, to name just a few.

The Challenge Laguna Phuket is part of the global Challenge Family series of events. The half iron distance event consists of a 1.9km swim, 90km bike ride and a 21km run. The event attracts age groupers as well as the best pro triathletes in the world who will be vying for a share of the 25,000 euros of prize money.

Registration for both races is still open at: challengelagunaphuket.com

The Phuket Gazette and PGTV’s ‘Phuket Today’ show, the island’s only nationally broadcast television program (aired daily on True Visions channels HD-79 and SD-107), are proud to sponsor this event.

— Maciek Klimowicz

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