When people think about Thailand, they don’t always think about marathons. Surprisingly though, for an extremely hot country, Thailand has a fair few marathons.
One of them, the Khon Kaen International Marathon is held every year in January and is not only a marathon but also a half marathon, a mini-marathon, a walk, and a fun run.
The Khon Kaen International Marathon attracts runners from all over the world. It is also highly-rated by the runners that run in it, and here’s why.
Location of the race
The Khon Kaen International Marathon starts early in the morning and begins the run through the center of town. Khon Kaen is known as the Gateway to Isaan (a region of Thailand that is rural and pretty poor).
With a population of only 140,000, it’s a pretty small town, but very friendly. Many of the marathon runners love running this marathon because, while running, you get to see life at the local market, monks chanting in the temples, tuk-tuks driving around town with their fares, and a lot more.
The friendliness of the people
Thais are already known as some of the friendliest people in the world. Outside Bangkok, they are even friendlier so many runners report having a wonderful experience running the Khon Kaen International Marathon, simply because everyone is so nice and helpful.
Even people who don’t know anything about running still cheer on the runners, loving the fact that so many people are visiting their little town.
The race is very well organized
Many runners of the Khon Kaen International Marathon report how well it’s organized. The marathon course is marked very well, there are tons of water stations and, if you need a bathroom, someone will be around to direct you to a local restaurant or gas station.
At the end of the Khon Kaen International Marathon, you also get a free Thai massage. Now, Thailand is famous for its massages, so getting a free one is a luxury indeed. Runners say how relaxed it makes them feel after the race, and how well they sleep that night.
Khon Kaen is not a typical tourist place, so accommodation there is cheap and still plentiful. Many hotels exist in Khon Kaen where marathon runners can stay for as cheaply as 400 baht a night.
Even the five-star hotels in Khon Kaen only charge between 1,000 and 2,000 baht a night, unheard of for such a luxurious hotel anywhere else. Many of them also offer special deals for marathon runners.
If you’re interested in running in the Khon Kaen International Marathon, or in the half marathon, mini-marathon, or fun run, check out the marathon’s website.
You can register online for the marathon with the cost for Thai residents of only 600 baht and 1,000 baht for international runners.