Pack your running shoes and take part in this years Luang Prabang Half Marathon. Run through the beautiful UNESCO World Heritage listed town and raise vital funds for the Lao Friends Hospital for Children.
In its 4th year, the annual Luang Prabang Half Marathon is a unique, charity-focused race. It features a scenic loop course which participants can enter as a 7km, 14km, or 21km (half marathon) distance through the town’s historic UNESCO heritage area, passing golden temples while winding along the Mekong river.
Entry fee’s have been reduced to less than half the cost of last year and any runner who independently raises $250 or more for the hospital, through its Crowdfunding site, will have their entry fee refunded. With increased international flight access to Luang Prabang, the organizers are hoping that 2016’s race will host 1,000 runners, approximately a 50/50 split of local and international participants. Race information and regular updates can be found by liking the LPHM Facebook page.
Race registration is now open with early-bird registration available through GoToRace until the 31st of May, with discounts of up to 20% on entry fees: http://www.gotorace.com/event/luang-prabang-half-marathon-2016/
The race was originally conceived with the local community in mind – as runners, spectators, volunteers, and most importantly, beneficiaries of the race. In 2013, the first ever Luang Prabang Half Marathon—nicknamed “La Procession” after the procession of monks to receive alms at dawn each morning—helped generate more than USD $125,000 for non-profit Friends-International to open a new vocational training restaurant in Luang Prabang. The following two years of the race helped raise an additional $140,000 for three different local charities focusing on children’s causes.
In its 4th year, management of the race has been transferred to the Lao Friends Hospital for Children, one of the previous charity beneficiaries. Funds from the race in 2014 and 2015 helped sponsor construction costs and nearly a year’s worth of medications and staffing for the hospital’s pharmacy.
The hospital will receive all revenue generated from this year’s race, helping them continue to provide free, essential paediatric medical care to children in Luang Prabang and surrounding areas.
The Lao Friends Hospital for Children is run by Friends Without A Border, a not-for-profit organisation based in New York and Japan. Founded in 1996 by world renowned photographer Kenro Izu, Friends is “committed to providing high-quality and compassionate healthcare to the children of Southeast Asia”.
The Angkor Hospital for Children in Siem Reap, Cambodia was built and opened by Friends in 1999. Since then, the AHC has treated and cared for over 1.6 million children and trained thousands of healthcare professionals.
Building upon their success in Cambodia, Friends chose Luang Prabang as the site of their second hospital. The first full-service paediatric hospital in Northern Laos, The Lao Friends Hospital for Children opened its doors on 11 February 2015 and now provides much needed, free medical care to over 15,00 children annually. Patients and their families often have to travel long distances, sometimes up to 8 hours, to reach the hospital and access the excellent medical care now available here.
Every child is treated with high-quality and compassionate medical care, following the motto of “treat every patient as if your own child.” – Lao Friends Hospital for Children
Tuesday 31st May:
Last day for early-bird discount pricing on race registration
Thursday 20th October
Last day for online race registration.
Saturday 22nd October
10:00am – 5:00pm Runners to pick up bags with t-shirt, timing chips and information. At the Lao Friends Hospitable for Children Visitors Center.
Sunday 23rd October:
5:30-5:50am Runners gather
6:00am Race Start
Don’t fancy running but still want to get involved?
Please come and spectate! In fact, even better, sponsor a runner or really get stuck in by volunteering as a marshal, drink station attendant or cheerleader – there’s plenty to do so find out how to get involved here.