You may not be able to jet down to Phuket to run the Supersports Laguna Phuket Marathon this June, but that doesn’t mean the event has been put on hold entirely. This weekend, from Jun 13-14, you can join the first-ever virtual Phuket Marathon. You might even win some cool swag.
The concept is simple. Run whatever event you prefer (2k kids run, 5k, 10.5k, half marathon or marathon) anywhere you want—the park, your backyard, even your balcony if you must—and submit your time to the race organizers by Jun 19.
The fastest runners won’t be claiming all the prizes, though. The organizers are encouraging participants to take photos and videos of themselves and then upload them to the Phuket Marathon Facebook page to join the dozen or so competitions they have in store. Some of the those include the best family running photo, the best costume, the best pre-race meal and the cutest pet (as an aside, we would be intrigued to see if anyone tries to run with their pet cat).
Winners walk away with everything from two-night stays at the swish Banyan Tree Phuket, Angsana Laguna Phuket and Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket to Seiko watches, Oakley shades and Supersports gift cards.
Anyone who has already signed up for the race can join for free. Everyone else can sign up here by Jun 12 for only B99. That fee is actually a donation to the Kao Kon La Kao Foundation, a charity that supports medical workers in Thailand, so you will be chipping in to the cause, too.
This virtual marathon is one of hundreds that are being held across the world this year, as the pandemic has forced organizers to rethink event management on the fly. From the Boston Marathon to the Comrades Marathon, which might be South Africa’s biggest race, if not its most unique, many races have been canceled for the first time in their histories. But the shift to virtual races has offered the running community a way to stay connected, as well as an outlet for the months of effort athletes often put into training ahead of the events.
The Phuket Marathon—as in, the one in Bang Tao that thousands of runners attend every year—has been rescheduled for Dec 5-6, 2020. You can keep tabs on its status at