PHUKET: Vsevolod Khudyakov blazed along the 42-kilometer 2011 Laguna Phuket International Marathon (LPIM) course today to set a course record of just over 2 hours and 33 minutes.
“I really enjoyed my marathon and I’m very pleased that I finished so well,” he said.
The ultra-fit Ukrainian probably did not get an opportunity to enjoy the scenic aspect of “Run Paradise”, having started in near darkness at 4:30am and crossed the finish line just after 7am.
Khudyakov almost did not compete this year, managing to sign up with minutes to spare before registration closed on Saturday.
According to the International Association of Athletics Federation website, the 22-year-old engineering student completed last month’s Moscow marathon in a personal best time of 2 hours and 16 minutes.
Last year’s winning time of 2 hours and 40 minutes by Thai runner Charkrit Boonkong would only have secured second place at this year’s event, that position going to Christopher Paulett of the US with a time of 2 hours and 51 minutes.
Thailand’s Lekcome Caradloung finished 3 minutes later, in a time of 2 hours and 54 minutes.
Mari Kauri was the first woman to finish the LPIM full marathon. The Finnish national posted a time of 2 hours and 30 minutes, slightly behind last year’s time of 3 hours and 21 minutes by Thailand’s Thanyathorn Samutnoi.
Great Britain’s Moira Lowe followed shortly after Kauri with a time of 3 hours and 38 minutes.
Australia’s Angela Stevens took 3 hours and 42 minutes to complete the course and garner third place for her efforts.
Julia Thorn completed her 115th marathon in a time of 5 hours and 24 minutes. This is also the fifth marathon she has completed in an attempt to finish 10 marathons in 10 consecutive weekends.
“I am very happy with my run today. I aimed for five and a half hours knowing the heat would have an effect later in the morning,” she told the Phuket Gazette.
Robin Wilson, Laguna Phuket Director of Marketing Communications and Events, expressed delight with the event’s success this year.
“A record number of entries, a new course record and perfect weather – it’s been a fantastic day. Some 45 countries were represented at the LPIM today, reflecting its growing international appeal,” he said.
“The other great aspect of the event has been the awareness generated for the charities involved. Mario Maurer has brought a lot of focus to the fund-raising for Baan Klong Mai Daeng and has been a wonderful charity ambassador, Robin added.
Three contestants from the reality TV show ‘The Biggest Loser Asia’, with a combined weight loss of around 150kg, completed the half-marathon.
The annual Laguna Phuket International Marathon is sponsored the Phuket Gazette and its television arm, PGTV.
The marathon is Phuket’s largest sporting event.
For the full story on the Laguna Phuket International Marathon, pick up a copy of the next issue of the Phuket Gazette, due on newsstands this coming Friday afternoon.
— Neil Quail
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