Having come across and reading about this run in April this year, I thought the idea of doing my overseas run in this region (Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar) would not be completed if I had not tried Laos. And it seems in Laos, this is the only run in Luang Prabang (LP). The others would all be organised in Vientiane.
So I did my usually budgeting runcation exercise and worked my sums out. Not too bad considering with everything in, it came up within my expected SGD$1K. So far, all my Asian runcations are within this amount.
I am sure you have your own ways to work your sums out but if you need to see mine, feel free to send me a message below and I would gladly share it with you. Now, on with the review.
Scoot flies to LP direct and getting there from Singapore is absolutely hassle free. Upon landing, immigration clearing was no fuss either. A taxi to downtown centre (I only recommend staying there as it’s where the start point is and it’s within walking distance) takes about 15 mins from the Airport. Downtown Centre – the Royal Palace, is right smack where all the action is. Race pack collection is also in this area. While I was collecting mine, it went very smoothly with no hiccups.
At the start of the race on 20th Oct, Sun at 5.30am, the running crowd was manageable and from what I heard, it’s slowly increasing from year on year. This year saw an increase of 200+ runner from last year. So it’s getting undoubtedly popular.
Distance offered for this run is 7km, 14km and 21km. There are legitimate reasons why they cannot do a 10km or 42km. You can read about it on their website here: https://www.luangprabanghalfmarathon.com/faq.html
It may be worthy to note that this run is all about charity. They do not benefit from the proceeds on the race and everything goes to the Children’s Hospital in Luang Prabang, which helps fund 100% of free medical care for Laos kids.
We were flagged off at 5.30am sharp and run goes along the housing estates in LP. This running route is a little unusual because it goes in a first big loop then a second small loop. This is unlike most other runs where the loops are exactly the same size. Road signs were adequate and no complaints at all about water points serving water and isotonic drinks.
My only small drawback about this run is that after you finish your first loop (about 14km), the roads gets reopened and cars are free to go about doing their daily routine. This is least desired as runners are now left to observe the roads and crossing traffic junctions on their own. My biggest advice is not to listen to your music for this run and to pay attention to the surrounding traffic for your own safety.
In terms of scenery, there were not many unique/UNESCO sites to look at. Unlike Angkor Wat Half Marathon in Cambodia. Still a good run though as it does not get monotonous like Singapore’s running scene.
I have overall enjoyed the run. This runcation is very worth the travel because the purpose of the run intended for its organizers. I support such beneficial races 100% and would encourage runners who are seeking for both a decent running event overseas and also a chance to travel for a short runcation.
Hope this review will interest you to visit Luang Prabang. Run happens every year on the 3rd weekend of Oct.