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After outcry, foreigners will be allowed to run in Bangkok Midnight Marathon

Jack Burton



PHOTO: Runsociety

The Bangkok Midnight Marathon and its organisers were scorched online yesterday after banning foreigners from entering the race, for reasons not made clear. BMM’s Facebook page and social media accounts were inundated with angry comments. The Thaiger, alone, accumulated some 20,000 people seeing the post and around 170 comments, mostly unhappy with the ban.

The BBM – which Thai authorities created 3 years ago to jumpstart sports tourism – introduced its “new normal” race policy for the event yesterday evening that will take place on December 13.

Runners and organisers are expected to comply with social distancing guidelines and adhere to fever checks, screenings and wear masks. What fuelled the outrage was the online registration that only permitted Thais to register, prompting accusations of discrimination. Gregor Rasp, a former running and sports endurance coach who’s lived in Thailand for 20 years, called the policy “misguided.”

“If you follow the news then you know that 99% of recent Covid-19 cases are imported by Thai nationals. And just like foreigners, these Thais have to spend 14 days in quarantine. One is only released from quarantine if he or she tests negative after 14 days.”

The BMM race director issued a statement yesterday apologising for “failing to take into account that there were many expats here who would want to take part in the race”.

“Offending this community is the last thing we wanted to do. We love athletes of all nationalities.”

After outcry, foreigners will be allowed to run in Bangkok Midnight Marathon | News by Thaiger

And yesterday, this non-specific apology…

After outcry, foreigners will be allowed to run in Bangkok Midnight Marathon | News by Thaiger

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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  1. Avatar


    Saturday, August 8, 2020 at 12:08 pm

    This is very bad to not allow foreigners in the race who live here in Thailand. Then to pretend they overlooked the foreigners who live here. I’m afraid to run this race for fear of retaliation. The original statement saying no foreigners, shows they don’t Want me in the race. The retraction is just a formality.
    This is another example that foreigners are not wanted in Thailand.

  2. Avatar


    Saturday, August 8, 2020 at 12:09 pm

    Meanwhile Chiang Mai Marathon allowed only to thai ppl…..

  3. Avatar

    Perceville Smithers

    Saturday, August 8, 2020 at 3:42 pm

    Hard to believe they thought this would go over well. Tourism is too important to the economy and it’d be the wrong signal to send. Would be better to cancel the event if it’s such a concern.

  4. Avatar

    Khaja Sarfaraj Mansur

    Saturday, August 8, 2020 at 4:36 pm

    Thanks to BMM, at least they realized the seriousness of this….. People go Thailand because they love Thailand….. Thai should Take this love as blessings

  5. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Saturday, August 8, 2020 at 10:43 pm

    Gregory Rasp called the report “misguided”
    So it was not the BMM director’s fault right, you gutless pussy?

  6. Avatar


    Sunday, August 9, 2020 at 3:05 am

    Sorry for making you feel bad! You can run, but the price is double! No thanks, have fun!

  7. Avatar

    Torben Retboll

    Sunday, August 9, 2020 at 9:51 am

    They have now allowed foreigners to take part in the marathon, but foreigners must pay more than Thais to take part! The policy is still not fair. This is known as dual pricing. This is discrimination!

  8. Avatar


    Sunday, August 9, 2020 at 5:07 pm

    This is the nature of Thailand with respect to foreigners.

    You are here on temporary visas you pay for at the behest of the the immigration service.

    You will never be accepted as a resident so get used to this as it happens all the time “you dirty foreigner” as we are well known by.

    Get you money out and shut up.

  9. Avatar

    J West

    Friday, December 18, 2020 at 10:54 am

    Looking back, the entire exercise was entirely informative. We know more about the Farang/Thai relationship than ever before. The decision as to buy a condo / invest or make a large purchase or is definitely on the back burner.

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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