In 02:21:39 hours, Croneborg claimed his title less than 2 minutes before his toughest contender Bart Aernouts (Belgium), who recently took second place on the podium at the World Championship in Kona. Followed in third was Per Van Vlerken of Germany, timed 02:24:02.
Also racing with bib number 1 to honour his four-time LPT title was Massimo Cigana of Italy who came in fourth at 02:27:00 as the crowd cheered on a field of more than 1,000 triathletes, represented 50 countries in the unique destination distance of 1.8K swim, 50K bike and 12K run, with US$20,000 prize purse.
In the women’s field, world champion and LPT first-timer, Annabel Luxford from Australia finished first, in 02:39:50. Followed Luxford in second was fellow Australian Dimity Lee-Duke (02:42:08) who then saw her follower, Hungary’s Anna Eberhardt in third, timed 02:46:21.
The race’s transition area located at Laguna Grove in the heart of Asia’s premier destination resort, Laguna Phuket. The race start on the resort’s beachfront was comfortable with mild weather and small waves of the Andaman Sea. The bike and run courses became challenging when the Phuket heat kicked in.
“I was second on the podium before at LPT, so it feels really good to win today,” said Croneborg who has been training in Phuket for years,
“I know every corner of the race course and it really helped to have been familiar with the bike course on which I had to push hard today. I had a good swim leg and tried to keep the other guys away on the run course,” he concluded today’s performance with his signature big smile.
Wowing the Thai crowd were defending champions in the men’s and women’s fields; Jaray Jearanai was once again the first Thai finisher (in 02:34:26), breaking his own record from last year and claiming his eigth consecutive LPT win (since 2011), and Nichakarn Ruttanaporn, in 03:11:58.
In the “25 For 25 Sprint” category, newly launched this year with the race distance of 25km (swim 0.5km, bike 18.5km and run 6km combined) to celebrate LPT’s 25th anniversary, Phuket-based British; Oliver Trott (in 01:02:21) and Sam Mcinnes (01:12:11) finished first in male and female categories.
The race today followed LPT Charity Fun Run, hosted yesterday and participated by 1,500 runners in the 2K Kids, 5K and 10K categories. LPT Charity Fun Run raised baht 250,000 for Children First Fund in support of seven orphanages in Phuket, housing more than 400 children.