The Laguna Phuket Triathlon markets itself with the tagline, The Race of Legends, and has a history that dates back almost 30 years.
Previous winners of the race, based at Thailand’s Laguna Phuket resort, include the likes of Jan Frodeno, Paula Newby-Fraser, Craig Alexander, Michellie Jones, Michael Raelert and Belinda Granger, and so there have certainly been plenty of legendary names of the sport who have included the event on their triathlon C.V. over the past three decades.
This year’s race saw two new names added to the role of honour in its 29th edition, with British athletes Kate Waugh and Max Stapley topping the podium in this hybrid distance (1.8km / 55km / 12km), non-drafting event.
Women’s race – Waugh’s run of success continues
In one of the most stunning swim courses in the sport, there was a quartet of athletes separated by just a few seconds at the conclusion of their 1.8km opener, with Waugh, Julie Derron (SUI), Alanis Siffert (SUI) and Sophie Malowiecki (AUS) heading towards their bikes together more than two minutes clear of the rest of the field.
Waugh and Derron, as they have demonstrated this year, are two of the strongest riders in WTCS racing and they took those skills and applied them here, pulling well clear on two wheels and ensuring that it would be a run race between the two to determine the 2023 champion in Thailand.
It’s been a breakthrough year for Waugh, headlined by her second place at the Pontevedra Championship Final and overall Super League Championship, and that run of success continued here, as she was able to pull clear of the Swiss athlete and top the podium.
Men’s race – Stapley in control
There was a ‘Max’ feel to the swim, with Max Stapley and Max Studer (SUI) – both WTCS regulars – leading the way through the water, and building an advantage of almost two minutes over a chasing group of three, which comprised Antony Costes (FRA), Guy Crawford (NZL) and Joel Woodridge (AUS).
It would be Stapley who stamped his mark on the race on the bike, with the second quickest bike split (just 11 seconds shy of the 1:24:43 of Rudi Wild), but notably that gave him a three-minute buffer over the fleet-footed Studer, with the 12km run ahead.
The Swiss athlete set the fastest split on the final discipline by some margin (40:03), but with Stapley completing a well-rounded race with a 41:50 (again, second quickest of the day), that still left him a relatively comfortable winning margin of more than a minute, and at the head of affairs throughout.
Laguna Phuket Triathlon 2023 Results
Sunday 19 November 2023 – Laguna Phuket, Thailand
1.8km / 55km / 12km
- 1. Kate Waugh (GBR) – 2:46:05
- 2. Julie Derron (SUI) – 2:47:46
- 3. Sophie Malowiecki (AUS) – 2:52:13
- 4. Dimity-Lee Duke (AUS) – 2:54:59
- 5. Alanis Siffert (SUI) – 2:58:44
- 1. Max Stapley (GBR) – 2:32:54
- 2. Max Studer (SUI) – 2:34:10
- 3. Antony Costes (FRA) – 2:53:33
- 4. Joel Woodridge (AUS) – 2:36:47
- 5. Rudi Wild (SUI) – 2:38:48