On the first day of Laguna Phuket Marathon, over 3,000 runners competed in the “sunset” distances which include the 2km Kids Run, 5km Run and 10.5km Run. The next day saw a line-up of 4,000 runners participating in the Marathon and Half Marathon categories.
More than 1,600 runners took part in the Marathon distance alone, making it the largest field of Marathon runners ever at the Laguna Phuket Marathon.
Singaporean Marcus Ong won 10.5km Male, Ling Er Choo finished second in 10.5km Female
The 10.5km category is talent-packed with many of Thailand's best short-distance and long-distance runners, as well as top duathletes and triathletes.
Despite exceptional performances from Thai local runners, it was Singaporean Marcus Ong who triumphed in the 10.5km Male category, crossing the line with a time of 36:24.4 and beating last year's winning time. Behind him were Thai athlete Danchai Pankong with a finishing time of 37:59.0 and Mark Honsa from the Philippines who finished third with 38:32.2.
Having recovered from a recent injury, Thailand-based pro triathlete Immogen Simmonds from the Great Britain dominated the female 10.5km with an impressive time of 39:41.1; she is also the fifth overall runner to cross the finish line. Ling Er Choo (SIN) and Claire Adorna (PHL) finished second and third with 43:56.8 and 47:52.1 respectively.
Thais and Australians dominated 5km, Singaporean Justina Zeng won third place
Phuket native Rattakarn Lamanee, who was the winner of last year’s 10.5km, won the 5km overall crown this year with a time of 17:38.0. Finishing a minute after him was Thirapong Yongthio (THA) with 18:44.3. Samuel Canavan (AUS) finished third with 19:28.7.
In the female 5km category, Australian Hayley Newman emerged as winner with 20:26.6. The second place went to Thirajit Boonsaen (THA) with 23:39.1, while Justina Zeng (SIN) finished third place with 23:47.9.
Japanese took the crowns of Marathons
Marathon runners were flagged off at 4:00 a.m. on the second day, 4 June 2017. Throughout the course they admired the beautiful course and quiet lanes in the North of Phuket, the rolling hills, Sirinat National Park and Bang Tao beachfront.
Japanese Nakajima Hiroki stole an early lead and at the 10.5km split was more than 12 minutes ahead of the second placer. Nakajima extended his lead further and finish in a time of 02:34:57.6, beating last year's winning time by almost three minutes and more than 30 minutes ahead of second place finisher.
David Escolar Ballesteros (ESP) finished second with 03:05:16.6 while Cheng-Ya Sha (TWN) finished third with 03:09:03.5.
In the female field, Sabine Egger-Weickhardt (AUS) led the pack early in the race, but as the temperatures soared Japanese long-distance specialist Inoue Tomomi reigned her in and was the runaway winner in a time of 03:10:34.6.
Twenty minutes later, Ana Ferreira (PRT) finished second with 03:31:06.0, ahead of Martyna Jakobczyk (POL) who finished third with 03:38:19.6.
Thais dominated Half Marathon
Thai runner Danchai Pumkong won the Half Marathon with 01:19:37.6. Danchai also finished second in the 10.5km category the day before. He was the Marathon winner at Laguna Phuket Marathon in 2012.
Rattakarn Lamanee, who led early in the race, finished second with 01:23:51.7, ahead of Thirapong Yongthio who finished third with 01:24:24.4. Both Rattakarn and Thirapong was the winner and runner-up for 5km race on the first day.
Meanwhile, Paralympic marathon champion and world-record holder, Mr Eitan Hermon from Israel placed sixth in the highly competitive 40-49 age group, and finished 13 overall in the Half Marathon.
In the female Half Marathon, Phuket-based triathlete Elle Brookes from Australia won with a time of, 01:38:38.4. Thais Patteera Ruengjai and Benjamas Phujit came in second and third with 01:45:04.2 and 01:45:53.2 respectively.
First launched in 2006, the Laguna Phuket Marathon is now in its 12th year and is operated by Go Adventure Asia.