Advertising & Marketing

Rocker 'Toon Bodyslam' begins long charity run

Artiwara Kongmalai, aka "Toon Bodyslam", began a 2,191 kilometre charity run from southernmost Betong district in Yala province to Mae Sai, the northernmost district of Chiang Rai
Artiwara Kongmalai
( | Press Release | 2017-12-24 15:43:54 )
He will be running across Thailand, raising money for 11 hospitals that give care to the poor. This 2,191 km, 55-day run started on November 1 at Betong on the Thai-Malay border, and his destination is the border town of Mae Sai, Thailand’s northernmost point on the Thai-Myanmar border. His pace is impressive, running nearly a marathon every day, and taking only one rest day for every four days on the move.

Tight security surrounded the start as the rock star and his team left the Betong municipal area at 6.30am. They ran along route 410 and made their first stop at Ban Dan Santirat School in tambon Tanor Mae Ror, still in Betong district.

A team of police, rangers and local officials accompanied Artiwara and the other runners along the route, as they headed to Bannang Sata district, adjacent to Pattani on the first day of the run.

Security checkpoints were set up along the road in Bannang Sata and Than To districts. All passing vehicles were examined.

Security will be further boosted on Thursday, with a team of rangers to join the runners for the next stage.

The South-to-North charity run, labelled “Step by Step for 11 Hospitals across the Country’’ by the rock star, is scheduled to take 55 days, ending in Mae Sai on Dec 25, Christmas Day.

It aims to raise 700 million baht to purchase medical equipment for 11 hospitals.

The 11 hospitals are in Yala, Surat Thani, Ratchaburi, Suphan Buri, Sara Buri, Khon Kaen, Prachin Buri, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Nan and Phramongkutklao Hospital in Bangkok.

Last December, Artiwara completed a 400km charity marathon which raised 85 million baht for medical equipment for Bang Saphan Hospital in Phrachuap Khiri Khan.

Toon’s run across Thailand is giving the people of Thailand a symbol of unity, at just the right moment. Just last month, Thailand said goodbye to the much beloved King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The late King was a source of national pride and unity, based on many decades of leading programs to promote development across the country, and embodying high moral character through his actions and teachings.

Many Thais are feeling uncertain about the future. After three years of relative calm, the Government of Prayuth Chan-ocha has promised to hold elections in 2018, completing their roadmap for a return to civilian democratic government. From 2005 to 2014, Thailand was affected by political turmoil, short-lived governments, and large-scale protests in Bangkok. While most would agree that the elections are an important and positive step, the return to electoral politics raises the prospect of re-igniting the national political divisions that caused so much turmoil in the recent past. Is this the calm before the next storm?

Thai people are craving unity. They want something to make them proud, and bring them together. Toon’s run across the country has uplifted the national mood, tapping into the hopes and anxieties of people from every corner of the country. He is raising money for 11 hospitals, covering every region of the country, from Bangkok to the under-developed Northeast, to the conflict-affected Deep South. The run is generating an avalanche of stories of kindness, unity, and generosity.

Press Information

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Raveevarn Chanvijit


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