Half-marathon becomes world's longest after wrong U-turn

An error by race organizers in Bangkok inadvertently extended its annual half-marathon.

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Instead of a 13-mile run through Thailand’s capital, the Standard Chartered Bangkok Half-Marathon accidentally extended the half-marathon to nearly 17 miles.

At one point in the race, officials directed runners to make a U-turn. The incorrectly placed U-turn added almost 4 miles to the event.

Angered runners took to social media to express their outrage after the event.

The Jogging Association of Thailand, one of the organizers of the race, released a statement admitting fault:

“The association apologizes for the mistake,” Songrakm Kraison, its vice president, told The Associated Press. “It will not happen again in the future.”

According to Surapong Ariyamongkol, secretary general of the Athletic Association of Thailand, the event organizers “admitted that a technical error happened during the half-marathon event." The AAT oversees all athletic events in the country. 

“It added more than 3 kilometers (1.8 miles) to each lap, therefore more than 6 kilometers (3.6 miles) were added to the whole half-marathon,” Surapong said. “We have rebuked the association, but we could not do anything else.”

As an apology to participants in the race, the Jogging Association announced that each runner will receive a commemorative T-shirt.

"The T-shirt will say, 'Finisher of 27.6 km,'" Songkram told The AP. "The shirts are meant to apologize and also to honor runners who ran in the longer version of the half-marathon."

The Jogging Association posted on its Facebook page that the T-shirt is meant to "express our admiration for your spirit in bravely overcoming the obstacles."

Read more here.

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