In the tropical heat of Bangkok, I can think of easier ways to spend a morning than running up 1,093 steps. But that’s the challenge this weekend for the men and women taking part in the annual event that was first held in 1999 and has become known as the Bangkok Vertical Marathon. Competitors start at street level and have to ascend the staircase of the Banyan Tree Hotel (pictured right) to reach the finishing line on the rooftop (61st floor). The quickest time for the 196 metre vertical ascent stands at just over 6 minutes, a record held by Thai athlete, Boonchoo Jandacha, a multi-time winner of the event.
The 2012 Bangkok Vertical Marathon takes place this weekend on the 14th of October with Her Royal Highness Princess Soamsawali presenting the prizes for the individual and team events. Proceeds from this fund-raising event go to the HIV Formula Feeding Fund, a program established by the Thai Red Cross to support health and education opportunities for children who are HIV positive. The Princess is patron of the program.
It may be too late to enter this year’s event, but if you want to get in training and enter next year’s Bangkok Vertical Marathon, full details are available from Go Adventure Asia. Alternatively, for a more sedate way to enjoy the Banyan Tree, take the elevator to the 61st floor, chill-out with a cold drink and enjoy great views of the Thai capital from the Moon Bar and Vertigo Grill.
Photo credit: Christophe