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Bangkok Midnight Marathon 2020 bans foreigners

Jack Burton

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It’s official. The Bangkok Midnight Marathon 2020 is closed to foreigners. Popular blogger Richard Barrow posted the news last night saying… “For some reason, the organisers of this year’s Bangkok Midnight Marathon have decided not to allow foreigners to run. I hope this doesn’t become part of the ‘new normal’.”

Unsurprisingly, the social media outrage was swift…

“Anyone who has lived in Thailand for any length of time should not be surprised by the institutionalised xenophobia. It’s not the fault of the average Thai, just the idiocy from above.”

“A good forum should be set up for all institutions and event organisers/companies that endorse this behaviour so we know who not to support in any format!”

Surely excluding foreigners from competing will devalue the achievement of those participating in the race. Did you win because you were the best… or only because the best were excluded?!

Even the Marathon office’s official Facebook page had these remarks posted on it…

“You don’t allow non-Thais to participate, so why is the banner in English? You only want English-speaking Thai nationals?”

“Unbelievable. I hope that no one will sign up for your race…”

“Why are expats this year not allowed to join the run ? Sorry to say, but this is pure racism not allowing foreigners, expats to participate in this marathon. We own companies here and want to support our Thai staff to run with them. Thailand is under a strict lockdown since April and every foreigner is either here since at least 4 month or was only able to enter under strict quarantine measurement. So if the concern is about Covid, the risk of a foreigner to spread viruses is not higher than by Thai people. – a disgrace to decide based on a race of people. Where does this lead to ? Imagine an international event in a western world, which would not allow Asian races to participate?”

Reaction in the Twittersphere, however, was more muted, with comments like…

“Participants must be of Thai nationality, this has nothing to do with racism. There are also ‘Farangs’ or other ethnic groups with Thai nationality. It’s common to limit participation at sport events to nationality or age groups or genders or at least divide them into categories.”

“More likely paranoia than xenophobia. We all know Thais are afraid of Covid-19, and we all know it was brought into the country mainly by foreigners. The worst pandemic managed countries are in Europe and the Americas. Not difficult to understand why they made the decision!”

Bangkok Midnight Marathon 2020 bans foreigners | News by The Thaiger

SOURCES: Richard Barrow in Thailand | Bangkok Midnight Marathon

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Perceville Smithers

    August 7, 2020 at 3:01 pm

    I don’t know if I would feel this is racism. If it was open to foreigners from some countries and not others then yes, I would. But if Thais wanted to have an event for just Thais then I wouldn’t feel discriminated against.

    • Avatar

      Nongnart Anan

      August 8, 2020 at 9:45 pm

      Sport means equality. They should have a Marathon for whoever live there. Covid does not pick from colours or nationalities. Sometimes some people are just lack of common sense.

  2. Avatar

    Alan Detro

    August 7, 2020 at 3:07 pm

    Expats and foreigners here MUST know who is sponsoring the race and be sure to BOYCOTT their products and services. I certainly will.

  3. Avatar

    Khaja Sarfaraj Mansur

    August 7, 2020 at 4:18 pm

    Disgraceful….. People from other corona affected countries are not animals… Anyway logic or common sense does not apply in Thailand.

    Time will say…. How long Thai can sustain without foreigner especially ‘Tourist’.

    God save Thailand from Corona…. They neither have the courage nor any mindset to cope with corona…… Vaccine for everyone on this earth…if there will be any effective one???? sounds impractical to me….. This world will have to learn to live with Corona….. There is no other way….. Corona is not going to go away any time soon….

    Lots of countries have corona, and they started to accept it by subsiding the fear and trying to do everything with new normal.

    Thailand have no corona but there is still a pandemic in Thai ‘Xenophobia’ or ‘Covid-19 Phobia’. I really feel pity on them because they are scared like hell.

    God Bless Thailand….

    • Avatar

      Thomas

      August 7, 2020 at 4:47 pm

      Amen to this.

  4. Avatar

    George

    August 7, 2020 at 5:22 pm

    Same (no foreigners allowed) with Teelakow’s ‘Ultra Trail Koh Chiang’ in February 2021.

  5. Avatar

    Jean Gan

    August 7, 2020 at 6:54 pm

    The whole world is afraid of covid. People are now afraid of foreigners in every country. Can’t blame Thai people more than humanity.

    If vaccine doesn’t work as expected it could take years for people to accept risk of covid (which I think is really small for most of healthy people).

  6. Avatar

    Delwall

    August 8, 2020 at 5:52 am

    Then , Thailand is sure to be on the podium this time !

  7. Avatar

    simon

    August 8, 2020 at 9:19 am

    I’m not in the least bit offended. Actually, I expect this kind of behaviour from Thais.It’s quite normal.

  8. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    August 8, 2020 at 9:32 am

    Don’t bother about it.
    Foreigners had to pay over a B1000 last year, and I think Thais, B80.
    Without foreigners running they will lose a lot of money. Good.
    The west should give Thais some of this treatment and ban them from running marathons.
    Marathons are staged to make Thais money – from foreigners.

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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.

Road deaths

Bangkok DJ dies in high speed crash on notorious ‘death road’

Caitlin Ashworth

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Bangkok DJ dies in high speed crash on notorious ‘death road’ | The Thaiger
PHOTO: INN News

A well known local DJ died early this morning in a high speed car crash on a Bangkok road bend nicknamed “Curve of 100 Deaths.” Police say his car’s speedometer was found stuck at 200 kilometres per hour.

Police suspect 33 year old Annop Poonsripattana was going around a curve when he lost control of the car due to the slippery road conditions from the rain. His black Toyato Altis was found smashed into an electricity pole around 2:30am today. The impact caused Annop to be flung to the back seat. Police say his skull was shattered and his neck broken.

A security guard at a nearby building says heard an explosion and the electricity cut out. The entire area went black, he says. The so called “Curve of 100 Deaths” is near Ratchada Criminal Court in Bangkok’s Chatuchak district. The guard says many fatal crashes happen on the road.

“This area is highly prone to road accidents. Just last week a mother and her small child were killed here.”

The Ratchada Road curve so dangerous that locals honk when driving through the curve to show respect and to ask for permission from the spirits of those who have died there for safe passage, according to Coconuts Bangkok. In the past, many people have left offerings like zebra statues in honour of those who died in car incidents while driving on the road.

Annop played music at many entertainment venues in Bangkok. He was also a contestant in the Take Me Out Thailand TV show in 2015. An autopsy is being done at the Police General Hospital. Electricians are working to fix the electricity pole and restore power.

Bangkok DJ dies in high speed crash on notorious ‘death road’ | News by The Thaiger

An event with Annop Poonsripattana.

SOURCES: Nation Thailand | Coconuts Bangkok

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Road deaths

1 dead, 2 injured, as out-of-control construction truck ploughs into family car

Maya Taylor

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1 dead, 2 injured, as out-of-control construction truck ploughs into family car | The Thaiger
PHOTO: The Pattaya News

A man has died, and his parents have been injured, after a construction truck lost control and ploughed into their car, crushing the vehicle and killing the 27 year old driver instantly. The Pattaya News reports that the truck also hit 5 other vehicles in the incident, which occurred in the Minburi district of Bangkok.

The truck driver, named as 41 year old Piean Sricharoen, says he was having problems with the truck’s brake booster while travelling from the central province of Saraburi. While attempting to emergency park in the middle lane to check the booster, the truck began to lose its balance, crashing into surrounding vehicles. One witness confirms the account, saying the truck began to sway back and forth before crashing into the victim’s car, crushing the vehicle, and causing a 7 car pile-up.

Emergency workers arrived on the scene and rushed the dead man’s parents to a nearby hospital. The truck driver has been charged with reckless driving causing death and is in police custody.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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Bangkok

Bangkok officials issue advice to motorists to avoid parliament area due to protest

Maya Taylor

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Bangkok officials issue advice to motorists to avoid parliament area due to protest | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Jakapan Chumchuen / Flickr

Bangkok motorists would do well to avoid the roads around the Sappaya-Sapasathan building later today, with a political rally set to take place there this afternoon. That’s the word from officials, who have issued guidance to motorists ahead of the protest in front of the new parliament building, expected to kick off at 2pm and continue late into the evening.

According to a report in Nation Thailand today, the Metropolitan Police Bureau are advising drivers to avoid Kiak Kai Road, in front of the parliament building, as well as a number of other roads in the vicinity.

“On Thursday afternoon, the Free Youth group will hold a political rally in front of Parliament, where a meeting to amend the constitution is taking place. We expect the rally to start at 2pm and last until 10pm.”

MPB chief Pakkapong Pongpetra adds that the following roads are also best avoided:

• Samsen Road (from Bang Kra Beu intersection to Kiak Kai intersection)
• Pracharat Sai 1 Road (from Kiak Kai intersection to Bang Pho intersection)
• Thaharn Road (from Kiak Kai intersection to Saphan Daeng intersection)

Nation Thailand reports that drivers who need to get from Bang Kra Beu intersection to Bang Pho intersection are advised to take Amnuay Songkram Road, to Rama V Road, Techa Wanich Road, Pracharat Sai 2 Road, and finally Bang Pho intersection.

Pakkapong says officials are not expecting any trouble at today’s rally. The rally was announced last Sunday by protesters at the weekend demonstration held around the grounds of the Thammasat University’s Tha Prachan campus and the adjacent Sanam Luang royal parade grounds. The weekend protests attracted around 30,000 people.

“Protest leaders have asked Parliament for permission to hold the rally and have promised to obey the law and not block public roads. The MPB expects the rally to end peacefully, when the meeting concludes at 10pm.”

Despite officials’ confidence that the rally will pass off without incident, security has been tightened around the building. Additional police officers are being drafted in, as well as a security patrol along the Chao Phraya River, and an evacuation helicopter in the event senior parliamentarians need to make a swift getaway.

Meanwhile, motorists in need of further traffic information or roadside assistance can visit www.trafficpolice.go.th or call 1197.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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