You may have run races in the past, but there’s nothing quite like the exhilaration that accompanies the Bangkok Midnight Marathon. Escape from the hot hot heat and notorious traffic jams that the capital of Thailand known for, as you charge through the city at night instead, in beautiful well-lit streets free of vehicles.
Racers are given the privilege of running alongside the glistening skyscrapers and lit-up landmarks and temples of Bangkok, an electrifying city that comes even more alive at night. Runners can choose from three distances: a 42 kilometer full marathon, the 21 kilometer half marathon, and a 10 kilometer mini marathon; all of which start and end at the Phra Nakhon district. All races start at 11:59PM, and each distance has a specific time for finishing the run with the full marathon lasting for 6 hours, followed by 3.5, and 2 hours.
‘Over 10,000 runners from 30 countries race from midnight onwards in the streets of Bangkok, a city that is part ancient and part sprawling, cosmopolitan metropolis.’
Each year, the race theme changes. This year’s exciting theme is “Run with Thai Tone,” a theme inspired by Thai culture, silk, food, and “Thainess” in general; reflected in the bright colors and patterns used in the race shirts, medals, goodie bag, and event posters. All runners get a race pack that includes a race shirt, bib, timing chip, goodie bag, finisher medal and t-shirt, insurance, food and beverages, and an e-certificate.
The race will start at Sanam Chai and will finish at the Giant Swing, both in the Phra Nakhon district of Bangkok as crowds cheer runners on at various areas in the route.
Bangkok is notorious for its bumper-to-bumper traffic, so getting around by car isn’t advisable especially during rush hour. Fortunately, there are many other alternatives to getting around efficiently. The most efficient way of navigating the city is through the underground (MRT) and Skytrain (BTS) railway systems which connect the main business, entertainment, and shopping areas of Bangkok.
For a scenic way of exploring the city, the express boats and river taxis make transportation a leisurely activity, too. Check out these options especially for exploring the many historical attractions located at the riverside.
You might also want to try riding a tuk-tuk, which was once a popular attraction in Bangkok. However, they’re gradually disappearing as more residents opt for more modern and efficient means of transport such as Uber and Grab.
Book a hotel in the Phra Nakhon district to stay close to the race festivities. Finding accommodations here is easy, as there’s something for every budget. From hostels to five-star hotels and everything in between, spectators and runners alike won’t have a hard time finding suitable accommodations. Just make sure to book in advance as hotels tend to fill up early during the time of the marathon.
When people think of Asia, Bangkok is one of the cities that easily comes to mind first. This fascinating city offers a rich array of textures, sights, aromas, and tastes to experience. It almost feels as if the city never goes to sleep, because visitors will always find something to do no matter what time of day it is.
Bangkok’s nightlife is world-class, and the choices are overwhelming! From opulent dance clubs, European-style pubs, and eccentric Thai dive bars, one thing for sure is that you won’t run out of watering holes for relaxing and getting your boozy fix. Test your capacity for heat by savoring the fiery local cuisine.
Bangkok is what it is today because of its religion combined with a long, rich history that has often been tainted by conflict. Learn a thing or two about Thailand by visiting historic sites such as the Reclining Buddha, Grand Palace, and Bangkok National Museum. Shop till you drop at the famous Chatuchak weekend market, and when the City of Angels has worn you out in the most delightful ways, there’s no better way to unwind than getting kneaded in the very country that invented the Thai massage.
The Bangkok Midnight Marathon takes place on August 24-25, 2019.
Feature image credit: Aekalak Rattana
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