Action Asia Events is the first and only trail running company that has been allowed to hold a charity running project in Doi Inthanon National Park, Chiang Mai. The MSIG Thailand Action Asia 50 Zero Edition is supported by the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
The zero-edition test run was only open for 100 runners to raise funds and awareness to support the villagers of Doi Inthanon and the National Park. The run was free of charge with a minimum donation of US$10 per person. 100% of the charity donation went towards tree planting and construction of water dam in the local Hmong and Karen village area.
Three Categories with Different Elevation
There were 3 categories in the MSIG Thailand Action Asia 50 Zero Edition: the 50km distance with 2200m total elevation gain and 2200m elevation loss, the 20km distance with 950m elevation gain and 950 elevation loss as well as the 10km distance with 400m elevation gain and 400m elevation loss.
Support from the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Hong Kong (TAT-HK)
The MSIG Thailand Action Asia 50 Zero Edition is supported by the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Hong Kong (TAT-HK), the oversea office of the Tourism Authority of Thailand to be specifically responsible for the promotion of Thai tourism with respect to the Hong Kong market.
Ms Sarima Chindamat, Director of the TAT-HK, expressed her satisfaction after finishing 10km race,
It is an honour to get a chance to work with Action Asia Events and Doi Inthanon National Park in supporting the organisation of this event. It’s really useful for not only participants to get healthy and well-trained, but also to give benefits to the local community and support the sustainable tourism development, since we are involved in the local community by protecting the nature, planting trees, and constructing the water dam.
As for the course, Chindamat praised the scenery and she enjoyed the route. She thinks that the charity donation of this event is beneficial for helping the villagers. Runners come to the event to enjoy the scenery and run, and at the same time, give something back to nature and the local community nearby.
Thais Dominated the 50km Race
The overall men’s champion in the 50km race was Pornmongkol Phoothong, a local trail enthusiast who crossed the finish line with a timing of 6:12:35. He said,
The course is really awesome with such beautiful views all around. I liked the section between checkpoint 4 and checkpoint 5 the most with such challenging beautiful view sections looking up at the rock face. It is a cool event because it provided a chance for us to make donations and support the villagers on the hill. And I will definitely be participating in the race in December.
Meanwhile, Bangkok resident Woraphan Kijsawasdi won the women’s 50km champion with the finishing time of 9:37:15. She said,
It is a little bit challenging because the beginning 20 km is only going up-hill. It’s not quite normal in Thailand since we don’t have such big mountains so much. The course is very beautiful, and my favourite part is the mountain which looks like a tiger on one of the highest points. I donated more than 10 dollars to the village and I know you have the “No Cup Policy” in the race, and I couldn’t agree more with that. I would recommend people coming to this place to leave with their rubbish, for the aim of protecting the environment for the villages.
The Race Attracted Newbies in Trail Running
Sarah Adyniec, the winner of women’s 20km race, from the United States finished the course in 2:52:09. Sarah has been living in Thailand for 6 months and only starting trail running 4 months ago. She mentioned,
Because there are not many mountains from where I’m from, I really enjoyed this course as a change of scenery. Trail running has become my passion now and I love being in the mountains. As for this course, I like uphills more, since that’s where I felt strongest and downhills is something I need to work on. The scenery and weather today was amazing, which made me have to stop several times for taking pictures of the mountains and villages. As the first trail race in my life, I am really proud that we could be able to donate to the villages around, and I would like to try the 50km race if I have chance in December.
Jason Tam, a runner from Hong Kong who participated in the 20km category, joined the first trail running race in his life. Tam said,
Since the weather here is humid, it made the route more difficult to adapt to, especially in the beginning. However, the scenery is wild and comfortable on the peak with suitable temperature. When I ran through the village, I saw how the locals live here. No matter how many donations we made for them, it is always my pleasure to help them.
First Edition to be Held on 17 December 2017
Michael Maddess, Director of Action Asia Events, commented on the success of the event,
We are honoured to be supporting Doi Inthanon villagers with a focus on the construction of water dams and tree planting through this MSIG Thailand Action Asia 50. The zero edition was a great success and we look forward to hosting the main event in December and bringing many more runners here to participate through the beautiful National Park and do more to support the local villagers.
The MSIG Thailand Action Asia 50 First Edition will be held on 17 December 2017 at Doi Inthanon National Park, Chiang Mai. Details will be announced soon.
The zero-edition fundraising event is possible due to the generous support of presenting sponsor MSIG Insurance (Thailand) Public Company Limited and supporting partners Tourism Authority of Thailand, Doi Inthanon National Park, Outdoor Channel, Hoka One One, Tri Action, OtterBox, Action X Store and Action Asia Foundation.