Bangkok, 20 November, 2018 – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and strategic partners today announced that the third annual “Krungsri Ayutthaya KIZUNA Ekiden” relay race is scheduled to take place on Sunday, 13 January, 2019, at the Ayutthaya Historical Park in the ancient Thai capital of Ayutthaya.
Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, said: “TAT is proud to continue to extend support to the staging of this unique relay running race for the third year in a row. The event has grown in stature and has become one of Thailand’s signature annual events to mark the long-standing relationship between Thailand and Japan.”
The Krungsri Ayutthaya KIZUNA Ekiden is annually organised by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports with TAT as the special sponsor, while the Bank of Ayudhya joined as the title sponsor of the second edition the “Krungsri Ayutthaya Kizuna Ekiden 2018” which took place on 28 January, this year. The event was first held with great fanfare in March 2017 as the “Ayutthaya “Kizuna” Ekiden 2017 – 130th Anniversary of Thailand and Japan Foreign Relationship.”
The event is also jointly organised annually by Japan’s Mainichi Newspapers and RKB Mainichi Broadcasting, which have organised and sponsored many events of this type in Japan and other countries. It also receives support from the Embassy of Japan Thailand, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya province, Japanese Chamber of Commerce Bangkok, Thai-Japanese Association, Japan Thailand Association, Japanese Association in Thailand, and JETRO Bangkok.
Mr. Yuthasak said: “That the event is co-organised, sponsored and supported by high-profile partners from both Japan and Thailand signifies its genuine purpose to strengthen the bond between the two nations even further.
“The race itself requires a team effort with each team comprising at least one Thai and one Japanese member. This represents the long-standing bond between the people of Thailand and Japan that can be traced back to the Ayutthaya Kingdom, hence making Ayutthaya the perfect venue for the event.”
Ekiden, a type of long-distance relay running race, has long been popular in Japan with the first being sponsored in 1917. The race requires a team effort with each member running a set distance with a cloth sash, or tasuki, which is then handed off to the next runner in the team.
The Krungsri Ayutthaya Kizuna Ekiden 2019 is, as in previous years, limited to 400 four-member teams, totalling 1,600 runners. Each member of the team will be running about 3.4 kilometres each of the 13.6-kilometre distance. The race route showcases the beautiful scenery, cultural and historical heritage sites of Ayutthaya, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Registration is now open on the website until midnight of 30 November, 2018. Entry is 2,000 Baht per team. As opposed to registering in a team format only as in previous years, this year’s runners can apply individually or in a team of two to four runners. The organiser will add runners to complete the team.