The opening ceremony was presided by Mr Saranyou Sema, Chief of Phuket Governor’s office alongside Ms Anoma Vongyai, Director of The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Phuket office at Phuket Gateway, the new race routing this year.
The atmosphere was incredible with over 2,700 people taking part to run for fun, fitness and charity together. The mini-marathon runners made history by running across the iconic Sarasin Bridge to Phang Nga province and back, the first time ever in the 12years of the Mai Khao Turtle fun run event.
“I am thrilled to be part of this amazing event once again, huge thanks also goes to the foundation owners the Minor group, sponsors, partners and hard-working volunteers, this event would not be possible without them” said, Mr Oriol Montal, General Manager of JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa.
The annual Turtle Fun Run and Mini Marathon – while also aiming to encourage in people a healthy lifestyle – is a collaborative effort by the Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation and JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa to raise funds and awareness of the conservation work done by the Phuket Marine Biological Center and its “The Injured Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Program” to rescue, rehabilitate and release (recovered) injured turtles, dolphins, whales and dugongs.
Phuket’s endangered sea turtles – which use Mai Khao Beach as a nesting ground – are facing multiple threats, their numbers having severely depleted in recent years. Commercial fishing kills thousands of them every year, while many more die from eating or becoming trapped in plastic debris littering the ocean.