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Running in and around Thailand

TOP RACES

1. River Kwai half marathon

Maybe the oldest and the most famous international race in Thailand. 1,500 runners take part in this beautiful location 50km past the bridge on the River Kwai starting at the River Kwai Village Hotel. Book early, the hotel is always full. Middle of September

2. Thai Military Bank run

A few years ago many races used to be held out at Larb Sip Et (the home of the 11th Royal Infantry Regiment on Phahonyothin Road out near the airport), now the TMB mini & half-marathon is one of the very few. This is a superb location for racing, well away from any traffic, well managed by the soldiery, and flat and fast. Middle of March

3. Thai-Sikh mini marathon

A very large crowd always turns out for this well organised event which starts in the middle of downtown Bangkok (Little India) and ends with wonderful trophies and lots of food. Middle of December

4. UN Day 10km run

The biggest race in Bangkok, maybe 10,000 runners this year. Organised by Amazing Field, attracts many international runners, even the entry form is in English. Starts and finishes outside the UN building on Ratchadamnoen Nok Road. End of October

5. Tri-Force Academy Super-Half-marathon

The Tri-Force Academy (j.p.r.) is a superb location near Khao Yai about an hour's drive North East of Bangkok. There are usually 10Km, 16Km and 32Km races, and it is timed to be just right for a final test before the Bangkok marathon at the start of November or late October. You can stay on the base for about 100 baht, as there are not many hotels nearby. End of October

6. Pattaya marathon

A well organized and well attended event with big prizes which attracts some talented foreign runners and quite a big crowd. Nonetheless a lot of the route is rather boring, along the main inland road and it can be uncomfortably hot. Middle of July

7. Angkor Wat half-marathon

Of course this is not in Thailand but it is such a beautiful and spectacular racing opportunity, and so easily accessible from Bangkok. The race starts and finishes in front of Angkor. A good crowd of foreigners always turns out for the race, but beware, it is very hot. Beginning of December

8. Chombung marathon

Chombung is a very small town 100 Km's due West of Bangkok, past Ratchaburi. In the middle of January every year they have a very well attended 10Km, half and full marathon. Watch out for the monkeys towards the end of the race. Try to stay at the Ratchaburi Country Club, or you can take a tent and camp beside the race start area in the middle of Chombung. Middle of January

9. Bangkok marathon

Bangkok is not a sensible place to run a marathon, the heat, the humidity and the pollution are all much too high. Nonetheless several thousand people do this run every year including many, many foreigners, and it certainly must be counted a unique experience. In the past the route has been partly very attractive - alongside the King's Palace and over the river, and partly sheer lunacy - dodging the 10-wheel trucks belching fumes on the Nakorn-Chaisi Road. Since 1997 the route has been changed to avoid the worst of the traffic, running on the new expressway, but retaining the attractive part by the palace and the river. End of November.

10. Thailand Temple marathon

Starting in 2002 this marathon takes in many temples and other cultural sights around Samut Songkhram. Organised by the good people from the amari Watergate Hotel and sure to become a regular event on the Thai calendar. They have their own web site www.thailand-temple-run.com. Middle of March

11. Singapore marathon

The Singapore marathon is a very special event, costing only $S10 to enter, you can choose - during the race - whether you run a full marathon, 3/4 marathon, 1/2 marathon or 1/4 marathon. Very generous sponsorship by Mobil - very nice gifts and of course excellent Singapore organization. But, be warned, if you plan to run over 4 or 5 hours, then you will be battling the shoppers and the traffic lights on Orchard Road towards the end of the race. First or second Sunday in December

12. King's Birthday mini-marathon

December 5th is the King's Birthday and a very special day in the Thai calendar. Every year there is a very well organised and well attended 10.5Km run starting in Lumpini Park, which is called the Thunwa Maharaj quarter marathon. 5th December

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