The inaugural BISP Run the Hour Event was held on campus at British International School Phuket 28 May on a specially created 1km lap course. After continuous rain throughout the day, the weather cleared just before the event was due to start. The year 7 and 8 concert band opened the programme with a rendition of Chariots of Fire. This was followed by the 2km fun run which was sold out, with runners from 4 years old to over 50. All finishers received a medal and trophies were awarded to the winner, first runner up and second runner up for both male and female, under 12 and over 12. In the 2km, the overall first male was Josh Barnhurst and the first female home was Linn Helbing.
After the conclusion of the 2km, the track was cleared for BISP Run the Hour – a unique event which asked runners to attempt to complete as many 1km loops as they could in an hour. The field was split into three lanes, so that each runner could have their laps individually counted and runners soon fell into the habit of crossing the line in the correct lane. Boggy sections on the field added an extra cross country style dimension to the race and the runners came to know a small incline on the course well, as they had to deal with it on each of their laps. One of the benefits of the multi-lap format was that drinks were available every km and each lap finished in front of the cheers and applause of the spectators. The overall male winner was Thitinan Thongdee, with a grand total of 14 laps in 1:01:42 and the female prize was shared by Annie Pedroni and Rebecca Frith, who both ran 13 laps in 1:05:06, but there were many more trophies awarded for age category places and all finishers received a medal.
The atmosphere throughout the event was fantastic with big cheers for the runners and live commentary and tunes from MC Luke Curtis. The event has unanimously been hailed as a success offering both a family- friendly run and a challenge which allowed more serious runners to test themselves. The school grounds were a wonderful location for the event and entrants were a mix of school families and local runners. The organisers are already planning next year’s event and BISP Run the Hour looks set to become a permanent fixture on Phuket’s running calendar.