Pattaya, Thailand – In a remarkable display of athleticism and determination, the Pattaya Marathon 2023 became a true test of endurance as thousands of runners from around the world battled torrential rain and pushed their physical limits to cross the finish line.
The two-day event began on July 22, encompassing various categories to cater to athletes of all skill levels and preferences.
The atmosphere was charged with excitement and anticipation, as the clock ticked closer to the starting time in the early hours of July 23, the runners gathered at the Starting Point in front of Terminal 21 North Pattaya Road. The rain began to fall, but it did nothing to dampen the spirits of the participants.
The Deputy Governor of Chonburi Province, Ms. Thitilak Kampha, flanked by esteemed guests and city officials, including Pattaya Deputy Mayor, Manot Nongyai, Chairman of the Pattaya City Council, Banlue Kullavanijaya, and Director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s Pattaya office, Anoma Wongyai, officially declared the marathon open, as the clock struck 3:30 a.m.
With unwavering enthusiasm, the first group of runners embarked on their grueling journey of 42.195 kilometers, while another group tackled the half-marathon distance of 21.100 kilometers, starting at 5.10 a.m.
Despite the challenging conditions, the runners embraced the rain with smiles and sheer determination. Music and cheering provided a much-needed boost to their spirits as they powered through the wet and slippery roads. The international flair of the event was evident as participants from different corners of the world ran side by side, united by their love for running and the pursuit of greatness.
As the hours passed, the cheering grew louder as the finish line beckoned. The rain couldn’t extinguish the fiery passion burning within the runners, and they pushed forward with relentless grit.
In the fiercely contested 42.195 km category, Ethiopian athletes showcased their dominance. Bililign Yimer emerged as the male champion, crossing the finish line with an awe-inspiring time of 2 hours, 22 minutes, and 27 seconds. For his outstanding achievement, Yimer was awarded 50,000 baht in prize money. Ebisa Takele from Ethiopia secured the second position, receiving 30,000 baht, while the third place was claimed by Wendwesen Tilahun, also from Ethiopia, who received 20,000 baht.
In the female category, Tsega Desta claimed victory, completing the marathon in a commendable time of 2 hours, 56 minutes, and 28 seconds. She was followed closely by Marta Tinsae Birehan from Ethiopia, who crossed the finish line just seven seconds later, and Muriuki Shelmith Nyawira from Kenya secured the third position, completing the marathon in 2 hours, 58 minutes, and 13 seconds.
In the 21.100 km category, Kenyan athlete John Muiruri soared to victory in the male division, clocking in at 1 hour, 9 minutes, and 40 seconds. Sanchai Namkhet from Thailand claimed the second position, with a time of 1 hour, 9 minutes, and 51 seconds, closely followed by Richard Salano from the Philippines, who secured the third position with a time of 1 hour, 12 minutes, and 4 seconds.
Gebeyehu Adbaru from Ethiopia emerged triumphant in the female category, finishing in 1 hour, 21 minutes, and 7 seconds. Christine Hallasgo from the Philippines secured the second position with a time of 1 hour, 21 minutes, and 34 seconds, while Ornanong Wongsorn from Thailand claimed the third position, finishing the marathon in 1 hour, 26 minutes, and 9 seconds.
Despite the grueling conditions, the runners’ spirits remained indomitable, and the finish line witnessed scenes of pure joy and triumph as they achieved their personal bests and celebrated their victories.
The Pattaya Marathon 2023 proved to be more than a mere race; it was a celebration of human spirit, resilience, and unity. The participants, regardless of their nationality or background, stood as one, proving that sports can transcend boundaries and bring people together.
The Pattaya Marathon 2023 will be remembered not just for the athletic prowess displayed by the runners but for the unwavering spirit that braved the rain and the adversities. As the athletes returned to their homes, they carried with them memories of a truly unforgettable sporting experience, leaving behind a legacy of inspiration and camaraderie that will continue to ignite the passion for running in the years to come.
Results of the competition by category:
Overall (Male) 42.195 km:
1.Bililign Yimer (ETH) – 2:22:27
2.Ebisa Takele (ETH) – 2:25:10
3.Wendwesen Tilahun (ETH) – 2:30:15
Overall (Female) 42.195 km:
1.Tsega Desta (ETH) – 2:56:28
2.Marta Tinsae Birehan (ETH) – 2:56:35
3.Muriuki Shelmith Nyawira (KEN) – 2:58:13
Overall (Male) 21.100 km:
1.John Muiruri (KEN) – 1:09:40
2.Sanchai Namkhet (THA) – 1:09:51
3.Richard Salano (PHI) – 1:12:04
Overall (Female) 21.100 km:
1.Gebeyehu Adbaru (ETH) – 1:21:07
2.Christine Hallasgo (PHI) – 1:21:34
3.Ornanong Wongsorn (THA) – 1:26:09