3 exotic islands to run a full marathon

Koh Samui, Phuket and Bali - 3 exotic islands to run a full marathon

I miss the beach. I miss the sun. I miss the sand. I miss the sea. 

I want to run a full marathon and holiday in an exotic island this year. :)

For the last few weeks, I have been thinking a lot about going to an exotic island for a "runcation" (running a full marathon and having holiday at same time).  😉May be due to work pressure that I feel like I really need a refreshing break!

In retrospect, I only ran full marathons in 2 exotic islands before. One was in Bali and another in Penang. Both happened to be in 2015 - 2 years ago! It has been soooooooooo long!! And I miss it, especially Bali Marathon!

I told myself that this year, I must run again in an exotic island or a beach town. 

And 3 islands have been shortlisted by me to consider: Samui, Phuket and Bali. You might say, Bali again? Well, why not? ha!ha!

1. Samui Marathon 2017 (28 May)

Koh Samui, Thailand

Race information

Race Day              : Sunday, 28 May 2017
Category               : Full Marathon, Half Marathon, 10km, 5km
Registration Open : Now (closing 16 April)
Entry Fees             : 42km (900 THB), 21km (650 THB), 10km/5km (450 THB)
More information  : click here

Write-up from registration site

A tourist city famous of the beauty of Andaman Ocean. It is a destination that tourists around the world aimed for because of its geography and mixed culture from the original Samui villagers and foreigners that perfectly combined.
The route of this marathon is a flat route that is designed for participants to see Samui in different perspectives from the beaches we usually see to Fisherman village and the central city that have their own uniqueness created by people who live there.
Some foreigners that fall in love here usually settled up here as they were born here and perfectly lived their life happily with Samui indigenous.
Whatever type of runners you are, you can give it all at this route. The roads will be closed since we discuss with the government section. No need to worry.
For runners aiming for marathon, The thing that you will get is more than the view of Samui but you will get to tour it. Apart from water activities, try renting a motorcycle and ride around. Start conversations with Samui based and you might found a friendly-price restaurant or you will get to see some hidden cultures. There are 5 / 10 / 21 / 42 km. Take your family or friends with you, it will be fun!

My Samui's experience

I did a solo backpacking more than 15 years to Koh Samui Island. I took a bus from then Pudu Raya bus station to Hatyai town in Thailand. Then I took a van to the jetty. From there I took a ferry over to Koh Samui Island. Rented a motorbike and toured around the island by myself for 3 days. It was a wonderful experience! I really hope I get to go there to run one day! Will it be this year?

2. Laguna Phuket Marathon 2017 (4 June)

Phuket, Thailand

Race information

Race Day              : Saturday - Sunday, 3-4 June 2017
Category               : Full Marathon, Half Marathon, 10.5km, 5km, 2km Kids Run
Registration Open : Now
Entry Fees             : 42km (USD75), 21km (USD65), 10.5km (USD30), 5km (USD16), 2km (USD8)
More information  : click here

Note: stated entry fees are for overseas runners.

Write-up from registration site:

2017 marks the 12th edition of Laguna Phuket Marathon organized by Go Adventure Asia. The event will be held over two days, the 3rd and 4th of June 2017. The 2 Km, 5 Km and 10.5 Km races will take place on Saturday afternoon, 3rd of June, whereas the half marathon and marathon will be on Sunday morning, 4th of June.

The Laguna Phuket Marathon attracts participants from all across the globe. In 2016 there were around 6,000 runners from more than 60 nationalities represented. Just like in previous years, the race starts and finishes at beautiful Laguna Phuket. Runners follow the course out of Laguna and then head north through local villages, pineapple and rubber plantations. It's a fun and family oriented affair in conjunction with the Laguna Phuket Foundation, which supports educational and social development of local communities, marine and natural environmental conservation.

My Phuket's experience

I have been to Phuket several times. I think around 3 times if my memory doesn't fail me. :) One of those times was again a solo budget travel trip - from Bangkok taking the bus to Phuket. I love Phuket for its white sandy beach. But everything is rather expensive since it's really a popular tourist destination. 

Originally I wanted to run Laguna Phuket Marathon this year. Very tempted despite the hot humid weather! But when I look at the even registration fee of USD75 for overseas runners, I have decided to take a step back to reconsider! How nice if there is a sponsor slot for me to run there! haha! Dream on dream on..... 

But hey - if you do not fuss about the expensive registration fee, it's definitely going to be an awesome running experience! And I love to hear your sharing about your race there! 

3. Bali Marathon 2017 (27 August)

Bali, Indonesia

Race information

Race Day              : Sunday, 27 August 2017
Category               : Full Marathon, Half Marathon, 10 km, Children's Sprint
Registration Open : Sunday, 16 April 2017
Entry Fee               : Information not available yet
More information  : click here
2015 Race Report  : click here

Write-up from registration site 

Maybank Bali Marathon (MBM) is an annual road race event held in Bali. 2017 Maybank Bali Marathon is the 6th edition of the event. The race will feature a combination of flat road and rolling hills.

Runners will experience Balinese natural life and traditional art performance along the course.

My Bali's experience

I simply love Bali. I have been there more than 5 times. 

I ran Bali Marathon 2 years ago in 2015. It was one of the best and most memorable full marathons I have ever run. There are 5 reasons why I love Bali Marathon, and I believe you should too. You can read my race report for Bali Marathon 2015 by clicking 5 reasons why I love Bali Marathon 2015 and why you should too!

If you haven't run there before, I strongly recommend you to have a wonderful experience!

In fact, I am seriously considering to run there again this year! If I do, I will see you there! :)

Have you made up your mind on which exotic island(s) to run?

I haven't made up my mind yet. Most likely Laguna Phuket Marathon if I can find a sponsor for the expensive registration fee or Bali Marathon again! :) As for Samui Marathon, I shall run it next year! :) 

How about you? 

Samui Marathon's closing date is around the corner. Bali Marathon's registration will start on April 16. Laguna Phuket Marathon is still open for registration. 

Quick quick quick if you want to consider Samui Marathon and Laguna Phuket Marathon! And please mark your calendar (April 16) if you want to run in Bali!!

Exotic islands - here we come for a runcation! 😛

Written by Vincent Khor on 28 March, 2017


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