–by Ms. Elisia Brodeur–   

In keeping with our Heart Principle of Phoenix—leading happy and healthy lives—RIS was proud to be one of the sponsors of the Suan Phueng Bangkok Run.

Ruang Phueng Bangkok Run with Toon Bodyslam, Ruamrudee International School Bangkok, Thailand

Ruang Phueng Bangkok Run with Toon Bodyslam, Ruamrudee International School Bangkok, Thailand

The event took place on a swelteringly hot Saturday afternoon in late November marked the opening of the Srinakarin-Rom Klao Road—a 12-km long stretch of highway linking Hua Mak Road with Rom Klao Road. This new road is intended to help ease traffic congestion in Bang Kapi, Saphan Sung, Lat Krabang, and other surrounding areas. According to the Bangkok Post, “The six-lane reinforced concrete road has the capacity to handle 200,000 cars per day.” Sornsak Somwattana, Chief Executive of Nirvana Daii Plc, said that “This new road has the potential to create immense value as it is parallel with Ramkhamhaeng Road and the motorway linking Srinakarin, Kanchanaphisek, and Rom Klao roads… The road cuts past many existing communities and links to Suvarnabhumi airport.”

The run attracted thousands of participants, partly because celebrity rock star and Nike Ambassador Pi Toon, of the group Bodyslam, was going to run. As part of our sponsorship package, RIS was given 50 free tickets for runners to participate and all of those slots were taken. Our runners comprised members from a whole cross-section of the RIS community, including students—several of whom were on the RIS cross-country team, parents, teachers, staff members and their spouses. There were two race options: a 5K and a 10.5K. Of our runners, who ranged in age from 10 to 56, a little more than half opted to do the 5K, while 24 of them challenged themselves to tackle the longer 10.5K.

Ruang Phueng Bangkok Run with Toon Bodyslam, Ruamrudee International School Bangkok, Thailand

It was so unseasonably hot that afternoon that the organizers decided to push back the start of the race by an hour so the runners wouldn’t be exerting themselves during the hottest part of the day. Two lanes of the new 3-lane road were closed to traffic, giving the runners a 2.5K stretch that started and ended at Perfect Masterpiece Krungthep Kreetha and included the 950-meter long bridge over Kanchanaphisek Road. 

Before the run, racers and their families enjoyed samples and giveaways from the race sponsors in the waiting area, which included local and national businesses and other international schools. The RIS booth ended up being one the busiest! We gathered a long line of people waiting to play our beanbag toss for their chance to win one of three prizes: an RIS water bottle, an RIS t-shirt, or one of the coveted RIS teddy bears. While people were waiting to play, several of our student runners helped by handing out RIS fans. 

There was lots of excitement when Toon Bodyslam showed up and the race finally began. Our runners represented RIS very well, and there were even a few personal best race times. All participants received a race shirt and a medal to commemorate the day, and the waiting area filled up once again, this time with tired and sweaty but happy runners taking photos and collecting sponsors’ food and goodies. 

After the run, as part of the road opening celebration, there was a tree-planting ceremony, which included a speech by the Bangkok Metropolitan governor who then opened the road sign and helped to plant trees in honor of the coronation of King Rama X. The event wrapped up with an awards presentation ceremony where male, female, and age-category winners received trophies.