It’s official. The Bangkok Midnight Marathon 2020 is closed to foreigners. Popular blogger and Samut Prakan school employee 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.”
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!”
Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.
Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.
Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.