2007 Hawaii Ironman World Champion Chrissie Wellington, the biggest surprise winner ever and the first Brit to win in the history of the
Ironman World Championships, and Samantha McGlone, who came in a close second to Chrissie in Hawaii on 13 October, will be battling it
out on the race course at the 2007 Laguna Phuket Triathlon on 2 December.
The Triathlon will be Samantha's chance to avenge herself against Chrissie, who won Hawaii in the 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile
run, with a time of 9:08:45. Chrissie has been a professional triathlete for just over a year, had only entered one Ironman race before Hawaii,
the 2007 Ironman Korea, and won the title on 26 August. Samantha was a rookie at the Hawaii Ironman as well, and finished in 9:14:04.
Samantha is the 2006 Ironman 70.3 World Champion as well as being the reigning two-time champion of the Laguna Phuket Triathlon.
Samantha will have a bit of an advantage on Chrissie at this year's Triathlon being a two year veteran of the race, while this will be Chrissie's
first time at Laguna Phuket. However, changes in the race course may help provide leverage for Chrissie. The new swim start, which has
been changed to 7am, will be on the beach at Laguna Beach Resort and will have two wave starts. The first wave start will be open to all
non-relay team swimmers. The second wave start, scheduled for 7:10am, will be for all relay team swimmers and any individuals who opt
into this less crowded wave.
Minor changes have also been made to the 55k bike course, which leads competitors from Laguna Phuket to the north of the island over the
tough Naithon hills, past tropical jungles, rubber plantations, beach front and local villages.
2006 Laguna Phuket Triathlon champion Reinaldo Colucci has had a strong year with recent wins at the Ironman 70.3 Singapore, the
Triathlon de l'Alpe d'Huez 2007 and the Mekong River ITU Asian Cup, as well as placing second at the Ironman Brazil. He is currently trying
to qualify for the Olympics in 2008, representing the Brazil Triathlon Federation, which may make him unable to return to the Laguna Phuket
Triathlon to defend his title this year as other Olympic qualifying races may take place at the same time.
Other professionals who will be competing for the
US$ 20,000 pro prize purse at the 2007 Laguna Phuket Triathlon include Massimo Cigana
(ITA), 2005 Ironman World Champion Faris Al-Sultan (GER) and Mirinda Carfrae (AUS).
Apart from an exciting pro race, race organisers also anticipate one of the largest fields ever at the 2007 Laguna Phuket
Triathlon as this year is the third consecutive year that entries to the individual race have completely sold-out.
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