ONE-OF-A-KIND HALF MARATHON LAUNCHES IN ASIA
New exclusive race in Luang Prabang puts charity in front
SINGAPORE – 6th May 2013 - A unique event in Asia has been added to the 2013 runners’ race calendar, which will see the first ever half marathon being held at the World Heritage Site of Luang Prabang, Laos.
To be held on October 5th, 2013 the Luang Prabang Half Marathon: "La Procession", is a charity race that the organisers and sponsors hope will enrich the lives of the more marginalised residents of the surrounding areas as much as it will the runners who race around this beautiful town. The race is named after the procession of monks that walk through town every morning, collecting offerings from the townspeople.
"Every day in Luang Prabang begins with giving to others," says founding race organiser and HSBC Equities Director, Michael Gilmore, "so it's only appropriate that the focus of our race should be on giving too. All of the race costs are covered by corporate sponsors so that 100% of the participants’ entry fees go directly to the charity. Raising funds for a local cause is very much the key priority of this run, not an after-thought."
This new structure will see the usual race-fees be replaced by donations made through online fundraising pages in an effort to ensure the money goes to where it is promised – and needed.
“We believe it is a way we can capture the natural tendency of runners who want to help other people. In many of the destination races after the costs of race fees, flights and hotels, less than 1% of an average runner's spend goes to the charities. By re-structuring the registration and funding process, we hope to change that, possibly raising up to 100x more per runner than similar races,” says Michael.
Making the race even more of a hot ticket item is the fact that it is limited to only 500 international runners so as not to overload the town’s infrastructure and to be respectful of the local community.
The race-route will pass many of Luang Prabang’s historical sites, and also echo the monks' daily procession. While it is promoted as a half-marathon, there will also be 14km and 7km races to ensure all family members are able to participate.
"We have created a route that incorporates lots of key local landmarks," says race director Barbara Oravetz. “Although half marathoners will go around the course three times, this is one of the most beautiful courses they will ever see, so going around more than once will be a plus, not a minus. It will also help create more of an atmosphere as we’ve got the local community to get involved, cheering on the runners, providing local specialities, and making it a fun atmosphere.”
The race organisers have decided not to provide any prize money for the race at all so as to focus entirely on giving to charity. They have chosen to donate all race fund-raising proceeds to Friends International, an award-winning social enterprise that helps create futures for marginalised children and youths across South East Asia.
To register for the race please go to – www.luangprabanghalfmarathon.com
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