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Khao Yai Half-Marathon: A Race in the Forest

Are you a runner? Do you love nature? Come run in the peace of the forest: register for the yearly Khao Yai Half-Marathon for the next rendez-vous!

Covering over 230 kilometres, the Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex is part of the area which is at present the national park of Khao Yai in the province of Nakhon Ratchasima (Korat). The site was declared the world heritage site by the UNESCO for its outstanding variety and conservation of species. As the area remains mostly untouched by industry, it is home to a wide selection of flora and fauna and one of the most important natural reserves of the world. It is no surprise that this is a favourite holiday destination for Thai and foreign visitors looking to be in touch with nature.

The Khao Yai Half-Marathon, subtitled “World Heritage Run”, was originally an initiative of the National Park to promote public awareness of the importance of the forest and to encourage eco-tourism. First launched in 2012, the event continues to grow and attracts thousands of participants every year.

2 different courses are available at the race: the half-marathon (21.1 km.) and mini-marathon (10 km.). If racing is not your vocation, there is also the easy run, dubbed “Fun-Run” at only 5 km. The race begins at day break, starting with the half-marathoners. The course forms a loop, covering the area around the foothill of Khao Yai. Runners will gather at the starting point, Chao Pho Khao Yai shrine, where the guardian spirit is widely worshipped by locals dwells.

After the finish line is crossed, a public Tak Bat ceremony will be held, followed by the prize-giving ceremony. Participants are able to watch the regional performances offered at the ceremony, as well as browse through the stalls selling local products and delicacies.

Usually taking place at the weekend, the Khao Yai Half-Marathon is a good excuse to get out of the city. Only 3 hours away from Bangkok, the location is easily accessible by private or public transportation. The event is open to all.