Thai tourism and sports authorities in cooperation with Ultra Trail Mont Blanc (UTMB) International group will host a trail race 'Thailand By UTMB 2020' at Doi Intanon, Thailand's highest mountain in Chiang Mai Province.
The race will be held from 30 October to 1 November, which will prove Thailand's potential in hosting a global trail running series. The participants can choose from four distances - the 175km "Inthanon 6", 119km "Inthanon 5", 81km "Inthanon 4" and the 24km "Inthanon 1".
"This is an opportunity for Thailand to show its potential, especially in the situation that the coronavirus pandemic is still carrying on. We've set a milestone to create Asia's top trail running trails in Thailand," said Minister of Tourism and Sports Pipat Ratchakitprakarn during a joint press conference at the Sports Authority of Thailand's headquarter.
Chote Trachu, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, said that the race was part of the Thai cabinet's and Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha's ambition to see every Thai doing exercise. Running is one of the activities that keep people fit and healthy
He said that Thailand had an advantage from climate and spectacular landscapes that offer an amazing experience to global trail runners. Hosting a trail race does not cost a high budget, and it will benefit local authorities who can use the running track for firebreak or patrolling path.
Kongsak Yodmanee, Governor of the Sports Authority of Thailand, thanked all partners for making the race happened. Following a successful test event in February, the UTMB group announced that a trail race in Thailand had joined its global 'by UTMB' race series.
"We've tried really hard back then to push the race," he said. "To organize the upcoming race will not be an easy task. We are required to follow three guidelines, including MOTS guideline for coronavirus prevention, UTMBI's and International Trail Running Association's operation management manual. Our team will do the best for the success of the event."
Saranyu Meethongkham, Chiang Mai Deputy Governor said during the press conference that his province would welcome all runners from across Thailand. Local authorities are working with public health officials to ensure health and hygiene standards during the race, he added.