The 2019 Pattaya International Marathon attracted a diverse and multi-talented gathering of over 13,000 athletes last weekend, some seeking personal glory, others aiming to hit their own targets and yet more just happy to take part in this fun and famous race on the streets of the seaside city.
The runners gathered outside Central Festival Beach shopping mall early last Sunday morning (July 21), waiting for the 28th edition of the popular event to get underway. Pakarathorn Thienchai, the governor of Chonburi province joined Pattaya mayor Sontaya Kunplome at the start line on Beach Road to officiate the opening ceremony and set the athletes on their way. Participants and onlookers were entertained by live music and colorful dance acts in the start/finish area.
The premier performers at this year’s marathon once again predominantly came from the continent of Africa, showing the dominance runners from that part of the world have had on this event since its inception in 1992.
The winner of the men’s marathon was Kenyan runner Chepkok Kibiwott who crossed the finish line of the 42.195km course in a net time of 02:26:48 hours. He was followed in by his fellow Kenyans Reuben Kemboi and William Rutto Cheboi in second and third places respectively.
The first female to cross the line was Marta Tinsae Birehan of Ethiopia who completed the course in 02:58:04 hours and was just 2 seconds ahead of Kenya’s Rebecca Kisang as they fought a titanic battle to the finishing tape. Thailand’s Linda Jantachit came in third with a time of 03:08:46. Both winners of the men’s and women’s marathons received 100,000 baht in prize money and trophies.
Kenya’s domination continued in the half-marathon (21.1km) with David Kibet winning the men’s race in a time of 01:08:12 ahead of Daisuke Yamauchi of Japan in second place some 7 minutes in arrears and Thailand’s Tanwarat Khamjaring in third a further minute back.
Ethiopia’s Etaferahu Dubale Betrie won the women’s half marathon, coming home in 01:28:39 hours and finishing just ahead of Kenya’s Dorcas Tarus. Apsara Prasathinpimai was third for the host country in 01:34:46.
There were cheers in the quarter-marathon (10.550km) races as Thailand’s Nattawut Innum took the honors in the men’s event with a time of 31:31 minutes while his compatriot Natthaya Thanaronnawat won the women’s race in 40:13 minutes. Winners of the half and quarter marathons all received 50,000 baht in prize money.
In the 3km wheelchair race, Nathakan Chaotrakan and Ornanong Praikaew, both of Thailand, were the winners in the men’s and women’s categories respectively.