A bumper edition of the second Foremost IRONMAN 70.3 Thailand saw almost 1,500 triathletes turnout for the iconic half ironman distance race and the newly introduced Sunrise Sprint today (26th November) on Phuket island, a mecca for triathlon in Asia with a history of triathlon events dating back almost 30 years. With 31 Pros from around the world on the startline, it was all set to be a highly competitive race and the athletes didn't disappoint with two first-time IRONMAN 70.3 winners claiming their respective crowns: Marcus Rolli (GER) took the men’s Foremost IRONMAN 70.3 Thailand 2017 title while rookie Pro, Imogen Simmonds (CHE), took the female title.
Female winner Simmonds, who is only 24-years old, also led her race from the bike stage and over the two-lap run course managed to extend her lead and claim the win in a time of 04:16:49, almost five minutes ahead of eventual second placed finisher Eimear Mullan (04:21:38), and third placed Dimity Lee Duke (04:22:54).
For the Thai athletes, it was Phuket's favourite son Jaray Jearanai who delivered a masterful performance to be the first Thai finisher and overall winner in the male 35-39 age-group and with this win Jearanai claims one of the age group qualifying slots for the IRONMAN World Championship in Kona, Hawaii in 2018.
As for the Thai females, Nichakarn Ruttanaporn was the first Thai finisher in a time of 05:09:20 – a new Thai middle distance record – and third overall in the 25-29 female age-group. With the most full distance IRONMAN finishes of any Thai female, Nampetch Porntharukcharoen crossed the line in a time of 05:31:31 while Thai celebrity Yossavadee “Yo” Hassadeevichit finished in an impressive 06:40:00.
Meanwhile, in addition to the Foremost IRONMAN 70.3 Thailand, the newly added Sunrise Sprint event got underway at 08:00.
In the men’s race it was Dennis Kruse from Germany who took the top podium place crossing the line in 01:00:23 followed by Saryu Onishi from Japan and Steven Gailliaert from Belgium who finished with times of 01:03:21 and 01:05:36 respectively.
In the female category, Sam McInnes from Great Britain took first place honours completing the course in 01:12:15. On Ki Chan from Hong Kong was second in a time of 01:15:43 while Becky Bruhwiller from Switzerland finished third in 01:17:53.
For more information, visit www.ironman.com/thailand70.3.