Chiang Mai set for “Muaeng Chiang Mai Marathon 2020” later this month, no foreigners allowed to run causes some criticism online

Chiang Mai –

The Chiang Mai Provincial Office of Tourism and Sports and related authorities have announced on Wednesday, December 9th, “the 15th Mueang Chiang Mai Marathon 2020” competition on December 20th amid the public worry of the Covid-19 coronavirus in northern provinces.

According to the organizers, the event will be held under the New Normal scheme with the supervision of tourism and public health authorities. The number of qualified participants is reduced from 10,000 to only 4,000 marathoners. Some types of competitions, such as a children’s marathon and fancy costumes marathon, and groups of cheering crowds will be refrained from participating in this year’s competition.

Applicants must be Thai citizens only and must never have traveled abroad for 14 days prior to the event date. They must register online in advance and must wear a mask at all times except while running. They are also required to have their body temperature checked at a screening point and check-in through the “Thai Chana” application before entering the field.

The Mueang Chiang Mai Marathon has routes that are 42 (full marathon) and 21 (half marathon) kilometers long, with the same starting point at Tha Pae Gate. Runners are advised to carry and drink from their water bottles provided by the organizers at the starting point and are required to wear a face mask immediately after the run.

The organizers told the Associated Press that although the province is being monitored to prevent the spread of Covid-19 by the Public Health Ministry, this famous marathon needs to proceed as a way to maintain and support a good promotional campaign by the Tourism Authority of Thailand and the Ministry of Tourism and Sports. The marathon also promotes Thai people’s health and well-being in general, according to the authorities.

The Pattaya News notes that the event was mired in controversy over the past several months from the foreign expat community on social media with many upset that foreigners are forbidden from running in the popular event. Organizers, however, despite significant criticism from foreigners online have held hard on their no foreigners stance.

They have stated that it is due to a reduced number of runners being allowed to run and has nothing to do with discrimination, however, some foreigners on social media claim it is because of misplaced concern that foreigners could carry Covid-19 despite having either been in the country during the entire pandemic or gone through a strict quarantine and other protective measures.

Photo Courtesy: World Variety News

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