Record numbers of runners from around the world are racing to Phuket to “Run Paradise” amid the island’s picture postcard tropical scenery in the sixth annual Laguna Phuket International Marathon on Sunday, 12 June.
International entries since registration opened in October have surged 20 percent from the same period last year – putting the 2011 marathon on course to smash last year’s record of more than 4,600 entries from some 45 countries.
Year-on-year growth since the inaugural 2006 event makes Laguna Phuket International Marathon the biggest and fastest-growing destination marathon in Asia.
The “Run Paradise” tagline is an apt description of the event, which sees runners of all ages on a mainly flat course that takes in rubber and pineapple plantations, beach views, local villages and the tropical lagoons of Laguna Phuket – all in a family-friendly carnival atmosphere.
As well as the full marathon there’s a half marathon, 10.5km run, 2km children’s race and 5km family walk.
And a two-day expo with sponsor booths and fun activities around Laguna Phuket will stoke the carnival atmosphere as runners from around Thailand, the Asian region and elsewhere in the world gather to take part.
Race Director Roman Floesser of organiser Go Adventure Asia, said: “We don’t encourage runners to strive for personal best times, but to enjoy the scenery and the complete race experience. That’s also a reason why we don’t offer prize money – it’s all about participation and having fun.”
Runners are encouraged to take part in fundraising, either for their own chosen charity, or for Laguna Phuket’s community initiative to support local schools.
Early Bird registration is open until the end of March and online registration until 4 June. Hotel specials at all Laguna Phuket resorts and hotels are available for instant booking on the event website. For further information or to register, visit: www.phuketmarathon.com.