Looking for your next big marathon? Head to Yangon in Myanmar this January and kick off the new year in style with a run around the historical city.
New year, new me? We've heard that line a few times. Stick to your new year goals this year and go run a marathon in January, Yangon Marathon to be precise.
What better way to see the striking sight of the gold Shwedagon Pagoda and the tranquil Inya Lake than a 42k run around the city? Yes, Yangon has its very own marathon and even the most reluctant of people will be tempted to join the thousands running around the city this January.
Now in its 5th year, Yangon Marathon is rapidly becoming Myanmar’s biggest running event with an estimated 6,000 people taking part in 2016. Runners come from around the world for what is described as a ‘key highlight in the global running calendar’. And who can blame them, it’s not every day you get to run past the historic ruins, spiritual temples and picturesque nature of the ‘Garden City of the East’.
The marathon has come a long way since its first event in 2013, where only 1,000 runners attended. The event now offers multiple options which include a full marathon, half marathon, 10k and a 3k fun run/walk. With something on offer for all levels and abilities, the entire family can get involved - even the lazy couch potato of the family could manage a 3k fun run.
If you need a little more motivation, how about the chance of winning £2,000? Granted you’ll have to win the entire marathon to scoop up this prize, but it’s worth a try. Second prize receives approximately £1,500 and third prize receives around £750. Half marathon and 10k top three finishers also have the chance to win big money, so what better time to dust off those trainers and start running. What’s more, the prize money is given to male and female participants separately, so the top three male and top three female runners in each race will receive prize money.
The race begins at Thuwunna National Indoor Stadium at 5 a.m. Participants must visit the stadium in the days leading up to the race to collect their race pack which includes a race bib, event goodie bag and an event t-shirt. In 2017 the race will take place on the 8th January but spots for local and international visitors have already sold out. If you’re in the area at the beginning of the year cheer on the runners from the side-lines and keep an eye out for the 2018 event dates if you feel inspired and want to run the race yourself.
Of course, fundraising is at the heart of the event, with organisers, First Myanmar Investment (FMI) and Yangon City Development Committee encouraging runners to raise money for youth charities. In 2016 funds raised were distributed between education projects such as the Aung Za Bu Youth Development Centre, the YCDC Non-Profit Child Day Care Centre and the Su Taung Pyae Youth Development Centre where children live and study.
And to top it all off you’ll receive a race medal at the award ceremony, with full marathon finishers also receiving a finisher t-shirt. Stay close to the action in the centre of Yangon so you can explore the city after the event concludes at midday.
With all this on offer, sticking to those new year goals doesn't seem too hard now does it?
*We do our very best to verify the dates of our events but please check with the official event provider before booking your flights. We would hate for you to be disappointed!