Vannee, the President of the Tourist Association of Koh Phangan works very hard to spread the good image of the island and help it to become recognised for other things apart from the Full Moon Party.
This year will be the sixth time that the Koh Phangan Full Moon Marathon will of taken place.
It is a healthy celebration event under the Full Moon which Vannee explains ‘is very romantic’.
Of course this takes a lot of planning, to hold the marathon around the Full Moon, we spoke with Vannee to find out more…
When did the marathon start and why?
The first time we started was on the 12th of October 2008, the idea is we want to have some event which is not the party and shows the island in a good image otherwise people think Koh Phangan island is just ‘party, party, party everywhere!’.
But Full Moon is well known and popular so we thought we better do something to do with Full Moon so we came up with the Full Moon Marathon where you can run under the night sky.
We do this event in October as it is low season so we hope to attract more people to the island, in seven years we have made the marathon five times.
So it happens at night…
Yes actually we start running at 12 midnight but this year we will start at 6pm.
Tell us about the route…
It is from Haad Rin to Chaloklum and depends on the person in terms of how long it takes.
We have an international winner from Kenya who takes part and does it in less than two hours. Other people will finish in the morning, so we have to separate the international runners from other countries as the size of the body is different, if we put them all together then no Thai people would win it as they are smaller.
The internationals come especially?
There is a prize for the winner, we don’t have as much as larger places like Samui but we put 20 to 30,000 Baht in and people still want to come for that. Although some people just want a trophy and to take part.
People say Koh Phangan has the most beautiful scenery out of everywhere they’ve run so maybe this is why they come!
What do you do about safety for the event?
We have about thirty people in security, every 5 km we have the security giving fruit to eat, bananas and watermelon and water.
We have the motorcycles from the police and volunteers and the ambulance van follows the runners in case anyone has any pain, they can stop running and we can pick them up, but usually we don’t have that problem.
How far is it?
It’s 42 km from Haad Rin on to Ban Tai and then Chaloklum, then they turn round and come back.
We have a smaller fun run which is 5 km starting at the ferry pier and then to the police station and the city hall then come back, children and families can come for this one!
How can people participate?
Look at our facebook page then we contact you back and also later on we will prepare a telephone number.
Right now we just want people to know that’s it’s happening, I would like to have one thousand people, that would be a great event!
We are always making activities to bring people to Koh Phangan, creating new activities for tourists.
Vannee is hoping to have other sporting events on the island and is also organising an event to be held at Than Sadet Waterfall in celebration of King rama 5 who is the ‘father of tourism’ on Koh Phangan as he loved the island and came here fourteen times.
They are holding the marathon at the end of October but you can show your interest from now.