On November 1, Artiwara “Toon” Kongmalai set out for a very long run — a 55-day, 2,191-kilometer (roughly 1,361 miles) jaunt from Thailand’s Betong district in the southern Yala province to the Mae Sai district in the north Chiang Rai province — to be exact.
There’s nothing waiting for at the finish line. But he’s not running for himself. Toon is running to inspire the citizens of Thailand to raise more than 20 million USD for 11 local hospitals. And if each Thai citizen donates 10 baht (30 cents USD), he thinks they can do it by (the end of the run).
HERE'S WHAT THEY LEARNED:
Nike footwear specialists advised Toon to rotate between five pairs each of running shoes over the 55-day run.
After doing a climate simulation of Thailand in the NSRL's environmental chamber (where Toon ran at his target intensity in clothing he planned to wear during his journey), the scientists provided a plan that included when and how much fluid he should intake to aid his daily performances.
And because being able to sustain 50 kilometers a day for 55 days requires a lot (!) of energy burn and taxes the body, the scientists also offered suggestions on what kind of solid food might best sustain him during his repeated runs (they suggested homemade honey rice cakes and small jelly rolls among other things).
They also gave Toon a sensor suite to wear during each run that will provide information on his every movement and body response, which they'll review with Toon every few weeks.
“Nike’s commitment to enabling me inspires me to push my limits even further,” says Toon.
And before Toon left, the group surprised him with a pair of Nike Air Max 1 (Toon says he’s a huge fan of this silhouette), signed by Tinker Hatfield.
“We are thrilled to be supporting Toon with his mission to show the nation just what running can do — both for a person and for a community,” says Pannee (Mee) Santiwiwatkul, Nike Thailand Marketing Manager. “Through his inspiring action, he demonstrates how sport can truly be a force for change in the world.”
Toon started his great attempt November 1.
To get in on the action and to celebrate Toon’s fearless goal, Nike is inviting the public to join the last 10 kilometers of his run on as he completes his epic journey in Chiang Rai.
And if you'll be in Bangkok on , you can join the local Nike team for a special Nike Run Club session to celebrate Toon's breakthrough while he finishes off his last leg at Mai Sai province.