Buddhists mix running, meditation on Visakha Bucha Day

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Buddhists mixed exercise and meditation as Pattaya organized a walk-run marathon for Visakha Bucha Day.

Co-sponsored by the Pattaya Run and Bicycle for Health Club and Thai Health Promotion Foundation, the May 24 “Walk, Run, and Meditate” event aimed to get Pattaya locals to care for their health and recall the life of Lord Buddha, who was born, died and reached enlightenment on Visakha Bucha Day.

Deputy mayors Verawat Khakhay and Wattana Chantanawaranon kicked off the race with city council members and Bunrod Sukhim, president of the Pattaya Team Running Club.

Runners and walkers get underway at the walk-run marathon for Visakha Bucha Day on Pratamnak Hill, Friday, May 24.Runners and walkers get underway at the walk-run marathon for Visakha Bucha Day on Pratamnak Hill, Friday, May 24.

Wattana said similar events were held simultaneously nationwide to make merit, hold the precepts, listen to dharma, walk, run and perform the “wientien” procession as offerings for the holiday.

Saman Kaewkhaew, from the Thongnakh Club won the men’s race.Saman Kaewkhaew, from the Thongnakh Club won the men’s race.

Participants were split into various categories, including a 5-kilometer walk for women under 40, men’s groups and one for the general public.  The route started on Pratamnak Hill and went through the tunnel connecting the circuits of the 2 hilltops.

Saman Kaewkhaew of the Thongnakh Club finished first in the men’s group, followed by Anan Phromsaenee from the same club.  Third place went to Verawat Aajthrong from the Water Soldiers Club.  All received trophies.

The over-40 winner was Kitti Wannamalee of the Thongnak Club and the winner in the women’s bracket was Sunthorn Duanthieng of the Pattaya Team Club.  They also received trophies.

A religious ceremony followed completion of the walk-run and participants were encouraged to walk a little more for the wientien ceremony at Khao Phra Yai Temple.

Sunthorn Duanthiang, from the Pattaya Team Club, gestures to spectators on her way to winning first place in the women’s event.Sunthorn Duanthiang, from the Pattaya Team Club, gestures to spectators on her way to winning first place in the women’s event.