Bangkok, 14 February, 2020 – Thailand’s range of sports events is set to grow further with the addition of Spartan, claimed to be the world’s largest obstacle course race (OCR) and endurance brand, to the lineup as of June 2020.
The Royal Thai Army, in conjunction with the Sports Authority of Thailand, Tourism Authority of Thailand, Athletic Association of Thailand, Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau and Move Asia, has been awarded three-year rights (2020-2022) to host Spartan Races in Thailand.
The 2020 Spartan Thailand Race Season will start with the first event in Huai Tung Tao, Chiang Mai on 12-14 June, followed by Krabi on 11-13 September and Songkhla on 6-8 November. The races are expected to attract more than 15,000 competitors from all over the region.
Mr. Tanes Petsuwan, Deputy Governor for Marketing Communications, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), said that the Spartan Races will help give Thailand more prominence on the global sports circuit and enhance its brand image due to their massive exposure via TV and social media. He estimated that the events in Thailand would generate a cash flow of over 350 million Baht.
He said TAT had suggested distribution of the events across three host provinces as part of the long-standing policy to spread the benefits of tourism to the provincial regions. Each of three provinces is renowned for their stunning natural beauty and numerous natural attractions, which will appeal to both the competitors and spectators.
Mr. Tanes added, “Thailand is entering the sports and tourism era. Now, the Royal Thai Government, with the support of the Sports Authority of Thailand and TAT, wants to help visitors discover other facilities where tourists can enjoy sporting activities. These include 5,000 boxing rings, many with Muay Thai training centres, over 300 world-class golf courses, over 50 diving clubs, and a growing network of urban and rural cycling lanes located all over the country.”
Gen. Teerawat Boonyawat, Army Chief of Staff, Royal Thai Army (RTA) said the Spartan Races are in line with the Army land project, which is designed to promote tourist attractions in the military bases and make good use of them for sports, adventure, learning and training.
“We have a common goal. The RTA is ready to host this leading sporting event and welcoming the competitors, both Thais and foreigners. During the event, the RTA will give all the support ranging from routes, first aid stations to security.”
Mr. Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya, President of the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), said that the Spartan Races have been increasing in popularity across the world. More than 594 events have been staged in 40 countries with over six million participants so far. The racers are willing to pay to join the events, vying for the prize and the ranking points.
“Together with other government sectors, TCEB paid six million Baht to buy the rights to host the Spartan Races in Thailand for three years. We hope to get a database and also gain know-how on hosting a world-class sports event,” he said. “This year alone, we hope to attract about 15,000 competitors with foreigners accounting for 30-40% of them.”
Mr. Kongsak Yodmani, Governor of the Sports Authority of Thailand, said that despite being new to the Thais, the Spartan Races are getting more popular around the world. Interestingly, it may be included as a demonstration sport in the Olympic Games 2024 in Paris and become a full-time Olympic sport in the future.
“This is a good opportunity to introduce the sport in Thailand. So, we will give them all the support we can. We want to be the hub of the Spartan Races in Southeast Asia and expand our cooperation to the Asia-Pacific region as host of the Asia-Pacific Championship hopefully sometime over the next three years. With this, it will definitely promote the country as one of the world’s major sporting event hubs.”
Meanwhile, Pol. Maj. Gen. Surapong Ariyamongkol, Vice President and General Secretary of the Athletic Association of Thailand, said that running trails are among the prominent cross-country races promoted by the Association and included in many major tournaments. He added that the Association fully supports the Spartan Races, as they would play a key role in attracting young Thais to compete, train and join the national team in the future.
“Most of the competitors in the Spartan Races are runners or triathletes. The Races are not only about physical fitness, but also strategic planning to overcome all the obstacles and to reach the finish line as fast as possible.”
Mr. Boonperm Intanapasat, Managing Director of Move Asia, promoter and official licensee for the Spartan Races in Thailand, said that the Races in Thailand will meet all the international standards, as all the obstacles have to be approved by a team from Spartan Headquarters.
The inaugural race to take place at Huai Tung Tao Lake, Chiang Mai, will feature three types of races: Spartan Super (10 km), Spartan Sprint (5 km) and Spartan Kids (3.2 km). The Spartan Super on 13 June is also the 3rd race of the 5-race 2020 Spartan SEA Regional Series. This will also be a great opportunity for the racers to start their Spartan Trifecta 2020 journey.
To find a Spartan Race in Thailand visit https://www.spartanrace.co.th/