Laguna Phuket International Marathon Participants up One Hundred Per Cent
The fourth Laguna Phuket International Marathon, presented by Nike, is scheduled for Sunday 14 June 2009 at Laguna Phuket. Over 4000 participants, including 1500 international runners from approximately 40 countries are expected to take part in this year’s event. Since the inaugural event in 2006 there has been an impressive one hundred per cent increase in entries from 2038 in 2006 to an anticipated 4450 in 2009. The organisers Go Adventure Asia are also delighted that the level of entries forecast for this year is up ten percent from last year.
Despite the global economic crisis and the slowdown in international tourism, the increase in athlete numbers demonstrates that participatory events targeting international audiences are an effective mechanism to drive tourism in these complex times. Raimund Wellenhofer, Race Director of the Laguna Phuket International Marathon strongly believes in long term, sustainable growth. “When we envisioned a marathon in Phuket as early as 2004 we knew that success would not happen overnight. We have worked continuously over the last five years to promote the event to a worldwide audience. We have established relationships with travel agents around the world, regularly attend major international marathon expos to promote our event and use emarketing to communicate with our target market. We are excited to see that this hard work is now starting to pay off.”
Ms. Pinnaratana Dasanabyaggha, marketing communications manager of Nike (Thailand) Ltd., comments on Nike’s support for the event: “Nike is proud and honoured to be the presenting sponsor of Laguna Phuket International Marathon, which is one of the largest marathon events in Southeast Asia. Running has always been a top focus at Nike because it is the origin of our brand. We are strongly committed to delivering innovations that help runners unleash their full potential. As part of Nike’s support for this marathon race, we are organizing a series of four weekly training runs, featuring expert advice on preparation for a marathon. We strongly believe that the knowledge and experience shared in this training will help runners improve their
performance at the 2009 Laguna Phuket International Marathon and other future races. In addition, Nike also supports runners under our sponsorship to take part in this marathon event, including national squad runner Amnuay Tongmit and female marathoner Patcharee Chaithongsri, who most recently won the 2009 Kentucky Derby Marathon in Louisville, USA”. She continues “We feel certain that experiences gained from this marathon will help all runners push back their limit in running. And to offer runners an experience of our innovations, Nike will showcase the ‘Nike Free 5.0’, a training shoe that allows natural, barefoot-like movement while offering protection and traction of a lightweight performance shoe at the Laguna Phuket
International Marathon two -day expo. We will make it available for runners to try at the expo. Nike hopes very much that our support for this marathon will inspire more and more Thai people to stay healthy and strong through regular exercise.”
A series of events will kick off on Friday 12 June starting with a two-day expo featuring sponsor booths and a number of activities including a welcome pasta party at Laguna Beach Resort the evening before the event and a farewell party on race day. Race day on 14 June will comprise a 42k Marathon, a 21k Half-marathon, a 10.5k Run, a 2k Kids Run and a 5k Walk.
Participants in any of the races at the 2009 Laguna Phuket International Marathon are also encouraged to take part in fundraising for charity, whether it is a charity of their choice or Laguna Phuket’s preferred cause, a rural school in neighbouring Phang-nga province called Ban Klong Sai. To highlight the event’s charity angle, Laguna Phuket will offer interested competitors the opportunity to visit Ban Klong Sai School and see how the money is being spent on Saturday 13 June. The fieldtrip will include opportunity for participants to get involved with the students, teachers, and community in efforts to increase the school’s sustainability.
Niyom Tassaneetipagorn, Laguna Phuket’s Senior Assistant Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Community Relations says “A trip to Phang Nga province is an ideal opportunity to see the more traditional way of life in Thailand particularly when tied with this sustainable development work within a rural school, where a little assistance goes such a long way. This project is a golden opportunity for athletes to really experience the most from their marathon efforts.” Online registration is now open until 5 June 2009. For further information about the event or to register, please visit www.phuketmarathon.com.