The Bangkok Marathon is one of the most popular distance runs in Asia.
I currently live in Bangkok, Thailand and am also a serious runner . Distance runs (10ks and 5ks) are not as easy to find in Thailand as they are in the US, which is why everyone loves the Standard Chartered Bank Bangkok Marathon so much.
The Bangkok Marathon is held every year in November. In 2008, it will take place on November 23rd. The Bangkok Marathon itself begins at 2 am for those runners who finish in 5-7 hours, as the heat is so intense in Bangkok that many of us fell it’s better to run while it’s still dark. Even at 2 am, the temperatures can easily top 80 degrees and increase exponentially. So, if you decide to run in it, make sure you are hydrated properly. The second marathon start time is at 3:20 am for those runners who can finish in under 5 hours. All races start and finish in front of the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaow, which is one of the most spectacular pieces of architecture in the world.
The marathon also has a quarter marathon (10.55k) and a 5k run, which are very popular with Thai residents and foreigners alike. The quarter marathon begins at 6:45 am, with the 5K (also known as the Fun Run) starting thirty minutes later at 7:15am. These runs are also really fun as the course loops around the Bangkok historic district and through several different ethnic communities, and there are beautiful historical Thai buildings and temples to see. Thais are also very interested in the marathon and the fun run and very proud of their country, so the streets will be packed with spectators cheering you on.
The prizes in the Bangkok Marathon are also very nice. In male and female overall categories, the winner will receive an award of 300,000 baht (currently around $9,375). Second to tenth place winners in the male and female categories will also receive cash awards as well as medals and certificates. In the 10.55k and the 5K, any runner that completes the course under a certain period of time will also get a medal and a certificate. The marathon itself is usually dominated by runners from Kenya, but it would be nice to see a Thai win it this year.
You can register for the Standard Chartered Bangkok Marathon online at http://www.bkkmarathon.com . Fees vary from around $5 for Thai residents (includes Westerners who live in Thailand), to $65 for registrations by non-Thai residents. There is no registration allowed on the day of the marathon so, if you want to run in it, make sure you register by the deadline of November 22nd. The Bangkok Marathon really is a fabulous thing to see though so, whether you run it, do the 10K or the 5K or just go out to watch, you’ll still have a really fun time.