Sarima Chidamat, centre, director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Hong Kong, poses with Michael Maddess, left, race director of Action Asia Events, and Matthew Grose, senior vice president of MSIG Insurance (Thailand).
Sarima Chidamat, centre, director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Hong Kong, poses with Michael Maddess, left, race director of Action Asia Events, and Matthew Grose, senior vice president of MSIG Insurance (Thailand).

Challenging trail running event in Doi Inthanon park supports hilltribe projects

Corporate July 29, 2017 01:00

By THE NATION

THE FIRST EDITION of the MSIG Thailand Action Asia 50 will be held on December 17 in Doi Inthanon National Park in Chiang Mai province.



Home to the country’s highest mountain, the 2,565-metre Doi Inthanon, the park covers 482 square kilometres.

Action Asia Events is the only trail running company allowed to hold a charitable running event in the park. 

December’s event, which will offer four races – 54 kilometres, 34km, 22km and 14km – follows on the heels of the successful test event on June 4, the MSIG Thailand Action Asia 50 zero edition. 

The test run had 100 participants each donating US$10 (Bt333), 100 per cent of which went towards the purchase of trees for planting and the construction of a water dam in the local Hmong and Karen hilltribe village areas. The same two projects will be supported by funds raised in the first edition of the MSIG Thailand Action Asia 50. 

The event, supported by the Tourism Authority of Thailand, also aims to raise awareness of Doi Inthanon National Park and its villagers. 

Sarima Chindamat, director of TAT’s Hong Kong office, said TAT was honoured to partner with Action Asia, a reputable and experienced trail marathon event organiser from Hong Kong. “We are excited and pleased that Thailand now becomes one of the key adventure tourism destinations in Asia,” he said.

“Doi Inthanon National Park [boasts] iconic scenery in northern Thailand that is home to the famous twin pagodas, built to commemorate the 60th birthdays of the late King and the Queen,” Sarima said.

“It is also home to many local tribes and interesting local attractions, including coffee plantations, camping, restaurants by the river, and so on.

“Tourists can enjoy a trail marathon while embracing the beautiful natural scenery and the local Thai experience.”

Wuttiphong Dongkumfu, assistant chief of Doi Inthanon National Park, said the event is a fundraising marathon whose goals are promoting awareness and improving |environmental conditions in the |park. 

Matthew Grose, senior vice president for human resources and business excellence at MSIG Insurance (Thailand), said the company was excited to support the event.

“We are always enthusiastic to support the healthy, active lifestyles that many of our customers are living these days, including our many travel insurance customers who often travel within Thailand and overseas to take part in adventure and other physically active holidays,” he said.

“We also have many wellness programmes to support our staff, such as sports activities and clubs, regular health checks and medical advice, as we believe that wellness is one very important part of building an engaged workforce. 

“So, as part of our MSIG wellness programme for staff we will also be sponsoring a number of our staff to run in this event.”

Michael Maddess, director of Action Asia Events, said the firm was honoured to be supporting Doi Inthanon villagers with a focus on construction of water dams and tree planting. 

The 54km course will feature a total elevation gain of over 2,000 metres and also over 2,000m elevation loss. It will be the first officially sanctioned Skyrunning event in Thailand.