Many people will remember the 15th of June 2013, especially those who crossed the finish line at the YWCA Fun-Run as winners of the individual categories and thus received the prestigious cups of HRH Princess Soamsawali.
The weather on the day was dry but a bit cloudy and therefore not too hot. Already at 3 p.m. the area opposite Soi 4 Pattaya Beach Road was crowded with people queuing up to register for the run. At the beginning it was thought that about 300 runners would take on the 2km long course, so it was something of a big surprise when it was found that the numbers participating had reached almost 800.
Somsak Toon Sinraksa (age 13), Apichart Big Wondkaew (13), Kittisak Oat Kaewkongsri (10), Anuchit Back Thepsupa (11), and Kritsada Aof Raksanook (9), who took second place in the team category, stand with their sponsors for the day Elfi Seitz and HHN-Director Radchada Chomjinda.
Tourist police volunteers were present to take care of the security and an ambulance of the Sawang Boriboon Foundation were ready to help, but fortunately it was never called upon.
The president of YWCA Pattaya, Praichit “Nidnoy” Jetapai, was very calm and cool and managed everything with a knowing hand, assisted by some members of her club.
Centara Grand Mirage team arrives first at the finish line.
The registration of all those people went smooth as well as the distribution of the prepared T-shirts. Soon one could see a sea of light blue T-shirts, only interrupted by the odd one or two of royal blue worn by the committee of YWCA.
Some leading directors of YWCA Bangkok came to take part at the start of the race and at 5 p.m., after short speeches by president Praichit and mayor Ittipol Kunplome, the runners were sent on their way. It was a mass start, reminding of some marathons in huge cities.
Two kilometers might not seem too long a distance, but running on the sand and in a hot climate it provides a fair challenge. The participants struggled but all tried their best until they reached the finish line. There they were welcomed by officials who directed them to the booths where they got food and drinks.
To my personal delight the team which participated for Pattaya Blatt, children of the Child Protection and Development Center, Somsak Toon Sinraksa, 13, Apichart Big Wondkaew, 13, Kittisak Oat Kaewkongsri, 10, Anuchit Back Thepsupa,11, Kritsada Aof Raksanook, 9, made the 2nd place in the team category amongst all the grown-up teams. The Pattaya Mail team tried hard but unfortunately didn’t make it into the first three.
The Pattaya Mail team still smiling despite not being amongst the trophies.
After the refreshments the big prize-giving ceremony started at 7 p.m. with some great music provided by a trio from the Chonburi welfare group “All For One Thailand”, and entertainment in the form of young magician Thanatip Visuitranuntachai and dancers from the Dance Studio Pattaya and students of the School No. 8, plus the two Brazilian samba dancers from Zico’s.
After the performances the winners of the race were called on stage to receive their cups and prizes. Osvaldo Rossono, an individual runner from Italy, was the winner of the male category, followed by Saman Kaewkahew of Thongnak Team and Pol. Sgt. Major Thanisorn Thonkulchaiwut of the Banglmaung Team.
In the ladies group the winner was a foreign lady Liisu Ma, while the first and second runners up were Sodsree Phromphun of the Pattaya Team and Suchada Anawong, another individual runner.
The beautifully dressed team of the Grand Centara Beach Resort won the team-prize and hard behind them came the young team of the Child Protection & Development Center (aged between 9 and 13 years only), who were running for Pattaya Blatt. Second runner up was an all-women team of the volunteers of the Redemptoristen Center who were sponsored by the German speaking ladies group Plauderstunde. Weerawat Aaajthrong of the Cavalry Team was the winner in the youth category.
The event had yet more to offer: as 10 bicycles, microwave ovens and many other items were raffled off and were presented by deputy mayor Ronakit Ekasingh and other celebrities to the lucky winners.
At the end the president of YWCA, who did such a great job, had tears of joy in her eyes and all of her members were equally as happy about the day’s success. All thanked the generous sponsors for their great help.