Sports tourism is on the rise with people become increasing conscious of their personal health and fitness. I took up running to lose weight two years ago and have not stopped since after shedding almost 30kg. Running is now a part of my life and I go for regular jogs at least 3 times a week. Running the same route can get boring though, which is why I also participate in various fun runs and other running events.
Just two weeks ago on 10 June, I completed my first half marathon overseas at Koh Samui at the Bangkok Airways Samui Half Marathon, part of the airline’s Bangkok Airways Boutique Series 2018 which is into it’s second year this year.
The Samui Half Marathon offers runners 3 different categories which include a 5km Fun Run, a 10km Mini Marathon and a 21.5km Half Marathon.
The series of runs aim to promote tourism at 7 attractive destinations in the airline’s route network as well as to respond to the incremental demand of sports tourism in the global market by providing 7 running races all year round which comprises of five Half Marathons in Krabi, Koh Samui, Lampang, Phuket and Chiang Mai, one Full-Marathon in Chiang Rai and one Trail-Running in Trat. More details on the run and how to register are available on the official website in Thai and English.
This is my first time participating in a Bangkok Airways Boutique Series run and the experience was fantastic! The flag off for the 21.5km runners was from 5am in the morning when it was still dark. You will get to run through some scenic spots featuring mountains and water, including a short route in the Samui Navy Base as well as small villages and tourists spots.
While you were sleeping – completed my first 21.1km overseas at the @bangkokairways Samui Half Marathon in Koh Samui, Thailand. The run is part of their boutique series run at various destinations they fly to and if you book your flightvia the airline, you get to run for free! How cool is that! #bangkokairways #samuihalfmarathon2018 #samui
It was nice to run pass small shops in the morning as the sun rises and see the locals smiling or waving you on. I spotted a few monks on their morning route collecting alms and also spotted a herd of cattle along my run. This is a different way to experience Koh Samui and to see more of the island resort beyond just the tourist spots.
At the end of the run, fresh coconut juice, fruits and hot, cooked meals were available for runners who completed their races. This is the first run event I participated in which provide fresh fruits and hot meals for runners!
At the start and finish point pitstop area, there are various activity stations like photo booths and games for runners and spectators to take part in.
The event attracted around 15,000 participants from around the world. For a small island resort like Koh Samui, that’s a sizeable and visible crowd.
Bangkok Airways has also added a CSR initiative to the running series with a “Shoes For Kids” campaign to make the event more meaningful for the community in Koh Samui. The initiative provides opportunity for runners to take part by donating a pair of shoes to kids-in-need living in Koh Samui via online donations. Selected students from local schools around the area were given donated pairs of shoes from registered runners as well as get a chance to learn some running techniques from experts.
Apart for the unique running race in Koh Samui, the island offers great tourist attractions to explore from splendid natures, unique island cultures, unbeatable shopping experience, southern Thai food to great nightlife. Runners can also visit nearby islands or scuba diving at Ang Thong Marine Park, Koh Phangan or Koh Tao pre or post running event.
Interested to take part in the next Bangkok Airways Boutique Series run or to visit Koh Samui?
Bangkok Airways flies non-stop from Singapore to Koh Samui twice daily. The flights are operated by Airbus319 with seat capacity of 138.
For air ticket reservation on Singapore – Koh Samui non-stop service with Bangkok Airways, visit www.bangkokair.com; call Bangkok Airways Singapore Sales Office at +65 6738 0063; or e-mail to [email protected].