If you haven’t heard of the term “Virtual Race”. You are probably living under a rock. VR (Virtual Race) is a self-motivated competition that is organised online where you will have to complete a certain distance by running/walking on a date and time of your choosing, anywhere in the world. It is currently on the rise in popularity around the world as it is much more recline than your average fun runs. The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is organising ASEAN Together Run 2019 to promote domestic tourism within ASEAN countries through the concept of “Run & Travel through VR.
This was what Mr Tanes Petsuwan, Deputy Director of Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) had to say:
“Running is now enjoying growing interest and is a favourite sport of people around the world. In particular, Thailand has 12 million runners, or 17.4% of Thai population. For ASEAN, the total population is 652 million people. If counting only the countries that running is popular among their people, which are Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore, there will be over 55 million active runners in ASEAN.”
He also highlighted that:
The three most visited ASEAN countries to Thailand are Malaysia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam totalling over 5,628,156 tourists. It is a group of countries that can facilitate easy travels in a short time and having similarities in culture, food and languages,”
What better way to explore an unknown country than to participate in this VR. Not only can you immerse yourself within the atmosphere of a new area, but also able to clock in some distance for the race. This concept of “Run & Travel” is a way to create a network of ASEAN runners while promoting tourism in any ASEAN countries. Plus, if everyone managed to work together and accumulate a distance of 652,190 kilometres, all the proceeds will be converted as donation to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
The Virtual Race (VR) are divided into 5 different categories:
- 5 km: For those who are interested in starting their fun run.
- 21 km: For those who start falling in love with running and want to develop their potential to the next level.
- 42 km: For those who overcome the limit and want to keep running activity.
- 100 km: For those who run for passion and want to be a tough runner.
- 200 km: For those who want to be a full runner and stepping into a full race.
Different levels have different cut-off timing effectively from 18th September 2018 – 8th August 2019.
The ASEAN Together Run 2019 will feature a special medal design that Mr Alongkorn Jiamanukulkit, Managing Director of Raceup Work Co. Ltd. and Race Director of ASEAN Together Run 2019, is proud to showcase as a reward for completion. The medal is designed in such a way that it is aligned with the slogan of ASEAN as One Vision, One Identity, One Community. There are 5 different pieces to be assembled together. To grab all 5 pieces, the participants would have to travel to different landmark around ASEAN countries.
Examples such as:
- Thailand: Grand Palace
- Indonesia: Borobudur
- Singapore: Merlion
- Malaysia: Petronas Tower
- Philippines: San Agustin Church
- Brunei: Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque
- Vietnam: Ha Long Bay
- Laos: Patuxay
- Myanmar: Schweda Kong
- Cambodia: Angkor Wat
Mr Alongkorn also mentioned that:
Each participant will receive a piece of medal after the end of the race. Each piece can be assembled together to complete the whole medal by receiving the center piece from TAT once the participant runs in, at least, one of ASEAN countries outside the country of residence and also has one run in Thailand.
There are the packages available for application:
- Package A (350 Baht) – participant will receive a medal
- Package B (550 Baht) – participant will receive a medal and a race T-shirt.
- Stand a chance to win a special “Run & Travel” package including a runner’s card of Thailand’s famous marathon together with transfer, accommodation and many more goodies.
In conclusion, this is a good opportunity for anyone to roam free and easy around ASEAN countries, At the same time, be fit and fiddle. Not only you are helping yourself, but don’t forget that you are also helping the UNICEF.
Registration is open.