Bangkok is known for many things from its floating markets to bustling shopping areas, but this weekend it also became the venue for the world’s longest half marathon! You are probably wondering how can a half-marathon be longer than its stipulated 21.1 km run. But this record was completely accidental.

Organizers of the Standard Chartered Bangkok Marathon made an error in the route of the run, extending its annual half marathon distance from 13 miles to 17 or roughly 28 km. Thus the world’s longest half-marathon.

A wrong u-turn resulted in runners running 3 extra km on each side of the turn and thankfully, it only resulted in a comedy of errors and nothing more grievous. According to an Associated Press report published by The Guardian, many runners labelled the error as “ridiculous”, a “massive miscalculation”, referring to how most half-marathoners would have only trained for the exact distance of the race.

The Jogging Association of Thailand, one of two organizers, admitted to the error. “The association apologizes for the mistake,” Songrakm Kraison, its vice-president, said in the report. “It will not happen again in the future,” he’s believed to have added.

However, such a minor mistake could have easily resulted in injuries and harm to runners. For novice runners, running distances longer than their training can be a fatal mistake at worst, and could easily result in running injuries. As we have mentioned in the past, running in races without adequate training can result in serious conditions such as blood poisoning, so it’s not something to take lightly.

For the time being, it looks like the error didn’t result in any serious injury, but it’s something to be noted by other organisers, especially as the number of running events have increased year-on-year in countries like India.

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