Laguna Phuket Triathlon – Course Review

    Posted On Nov 22 2016

      By Vinnie Santana – Contributor to

      The 2016 Laguna Phuket Triathlon was the event’s 23rd edition and saw 2-time Ironman 70.3 World Champion Michael Raelert defending his title, while first timer Amelia Watkinson took the win among the ladies.

      This was also the first time in  in history, Laguna Phuket Triathlon featured the new and improved “50K Bike Course” to ensure a safer, faster race and – as a result – better race experience along the scenic view of tropical parklands, rubber plantations, pineapple fields, beaches, hills, temples and local villages of Thalang District in the North of Phuket. The route is made visible on

      From safety and technical point of view, the organizers of Laguna Phuket Triathlon have decided to change the bike course, after many years of using the old course. Phuket has grown in its population and development that its traffic landscape has changed rather rapidly in the past few years.

      The only change was on the bike course and other than being slightly short (from 55k to 50k) than previous years, the main change was the direction on the course which is now opposite to what it used to be.

      The new Laguna Phuket Triathlon bike course can be divided in 3 segments that are similar in length, the first one is technical, once out of the Laguna resort, the course takes athletes through the local villages on technical, twisty and narrow roads.


      The mid segment has the triathletes riding on Phuket main highway, then off to the airport road before finally starting to come back to transition also on a larger and faster road. Then the final third is the hilly part, athletes are challenged by hills of all lengths and gradients with very little flat riding until the final 5 km when it gets flat again on the way home.

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      This is what 2016 Champion Michael Raelert has to say about the new bike course

      SWIM (1.8k)

      There were no changes to the swim course, it begins with beach-run mass start, which is always a fun way to begin a race. However, unless you are trying to place in your age group, take this run relatively easy: otherwise you will spike your heart rate and it will take a couple of hundred meters in the water to catch your breath.

      The first half of the swim is held in the beautiful waters of Bangtao Beach. There are usually no currents and waves which makes the first part of the swim relatively easy. Then you run another 100 meters across the beach to dive into the resort’s lagoon. This is a challenge since the ocean water has a higher density than the lagoon (or a swimming pool), so there is a sinking feeling for the first few hundred meters of the next swim section.


      RUN (12k)

      The run course will remain the same as previous year. It is flat and leads runners north through the Laguna Phuket resort complex before looping back past the Wedding Chapel through Canal Shopping Village and finishing at the Laguna Grove. The course will have three aid stations approximately 2km apart that runners pass twice.

      It’s a very straightforward run, mostly on the golf course. The golf course’s undulations are not significant. The only special consideration for this course is the terrain, as the mix of grass and dirt road makes it a bit slower compared with a hard surface.

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      Enjoy your training and see you at the next edition of the Laguna Phuket Triathlon, winner of our award “2015 Best races in Asia” in the Most Challenging Course – Short course, category.

      Related: Laguna Phuket Triathlon 2016 – Best Photos

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