In a press conference in Bangkok attended by more than 60 media from Thailand and abroad the Phuket International Marathon 2006 was launched to the public.
The inaugural Phuket International Marathon will be held for the first time on 18 June 2006. Organizers expect more than 2,000 participants for the various races of Marathon, Half Marathon, 10 K Run and 1,5 K Kids Run. More then 500 participants are expected to come from abroad with the majority coming from Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Japan and Korea. However, Europe, America and Australia will also be represented.
Catch up Singapore and Hong Kong
The strong interest shows that Thailand is on the track to catch up to Singapore and Hong Kong in contributing to the running boom in Southeast Asia.
The organizing sport marketing firm Go Adventure Asia has ambitious goals for the event. “We want to make the Phuket International Marathon into the largest destination marathon in Southeast Asia” says Austrian Raimund Wellenhofer, Managing Director of Go Adventure Asia and Race Director. After forming a partnership with a Japanese production company last year he hopes that the event can attract large numbers of Japanese runners similar to the Honolulu Marathon.
Wellenhofer is convinced that Phuket has everything that is required for a successful destination marathon. “Phuket is a holiday destination that can satisfy the highest expectation. It has an excellent tourism infrastructure with ample hotel capacity, an international airport, world-class beaches, restaurants and bars and a broad range of activities.
It comes as no surprise that the tourism industry in particular supports the marathon. Thai Airways International sponsors the event together with Laguna Phuket Resort which also serves as the start and finish area. The Tourism Auithority also supports the event.
Thai Music bands
The fully paved marathon course is located in the quiet northern part of the island taking runners on a sightseeing tour of Phuket’s lush vegetation, past rubber and pineapple plantations and through small villages. Several kilometers will pass Bangtao and Nayang beaches. Along the course Thai music bands will provide support and encouragement for runners.
There will be water stations serving water, electrolytes, sponges and fruits every two kilometers. With expected temperatures expected to touch 30 degrees Celsius and high humidity these stations are expected to be popular with runners.
More than 20 international running magazines will be reporting on the event from Phuket. This will ensure that the event will receive broad exposure and increased awareness overseas. Running and Laufzeit will be at the race to report for the German running scene.
The Phuket International Marathon is a member of the Association of International Marathons and Road Races (AIMS) and the course is officially measured and certified.