Phuket as a Marathon Run Destination
Most people will associate Phuket with beautiful beaches and exotic culture. In recent years there has been a growing appreciation of the island as a fitness destination. This is partly due to the fact that there are so many popular Muay Thai camps on the island that have attracted foreigners who wish to learn this art. There are also many new gyms and health spas popping up everywhere. Those who have been visiting Phuket for a few years are almost certain to have noticed an increase in the number of people out running or riding a bike. It really does seem like the island is turning into one huge exotic fitness park. Another factor that is helping to create this image of Phuket as a fitness destination is the Laguna Phuket International Marathon. This has really helped to put Thailand on the map where running is concerned.
History of the Phuket International Marathon
The first Phuket International Marathon took place in 2006. It became known as the run paradise marathon and the name has stuck. This first marathon saw more than 500 foreign visitors take part from 30 different countries – the event also attracted a number of notable celebrities including the Olympic runner Akemi Masuda. Since the inaugural Phuket Marathon the event has gone from strength to strength. In 2010 there were 5,329 runners from 34 different countries. This means that the event has become the fastest growing and largest destination marathon in the whole of Asia.
2012 Laguna Phuket International Marathon
The 2012 Laguna Phuket International Marathon will be taking place this year on June 10th. This is the 7th year running that the event has taken place, and it is expected to be the best one yet.
Phuket International Marathon Events
The Phuket International Marathon includes s number of different events as well as the 26 mile (42.2 km) race. This opens up the day to even more people – even those who are not particularly fit will be able to join in the 5km walk. On the 10th of June people will be able to enter:
- The full marathon begins at 4:30 am.
- The half marathon begins at 6 am.
- The 10.5km run begins at 6:30am.
- There will be a 5km walk that begins at 8 am.
- A 2km kid’s fun run will start at 9am.
Costs for the 2012 Phuket International Marathon
The entry fee for the 2012 Phuket International Marathon varies depending on when people buy their ticket and the particular event they wish to enter. The prices cited on the official website are as follows:
- Those runners who wish to buy their ticket at the last minute (on the 8th and 9th of June) will need to pay 3,400 THB. If people buy their ticket before the 2nd of June they will only have to pay 3000 THB.
- The half marathon costs 2,700 THB before the 2nd of June and 3,100 after this.
- The 10.5km run costs 2,350 THB before the 2nd of June and 2,750 after this.
- The Phuket 5km Community Walk costs 2,050 THB before the 2nd of June and 2,450 after this.
- The kid’s run costs 150 THB and tickets can be bought right up until the 9th of June.
It is possible to register for the event from the Phuket marathon website.
Location of the Laguna Phuket International Marathon
The race starts and finishes near to the Laguna Beach Resort. Those who are running the marathon will go towards Nai Yang beach before circling back to Laguna Beach. There is a full map of the race available via a link from the official [Phuket International Marathon website](http://www.phuketmarathon.com/images/coursemap_big.pdf – this is a PDF file).
Additional Information about the Phuket International Marathon
There are a number of other additional pieces of advice they may be of benefit to anyone considering entering the race including:
- There is a 7 hour 30 minute time limit for people finishing the marathon.
- All those who finish their races will receive a medal.
- There is going to be some baggage storage facilities provided at the start of the race. This is limited to one bag per participant.
- It is important that people have their number bib on display throughout the race – this will be provided on the race day.
- There will be a medical tent at the start/finish of the race.
- There will be aid stations every 1.4 to 2 km along the route where people can get refreshment.
- Toilets are located every 5-6 km along the route.
- There are kilometer markers all along the race route.
- There will be fruits and noodles available at the finish of the race so that participants can have a small snack as they cool down. There will also be a massage tent open to participants.
- Only those who are older than 18 years of age will be allowed to enter the full marathon.
- Participants need to be over 16 years of age to enter the half marathon.
- Anyone over the age of 12 can enter the 10.5 km race.