Rocker ‘Toon Bodyslam’ begins long charity run

Rocker Artiwara Kongmalai, aka “Toon Bodyslam”, leads other runers at the start of a 2,191 kilometre charity run from southernmost Betong district in Yala province to Mae Sai, the northernmost district of Chiang Rai, on Wednesday morning. (Photo grabbed from Facebook page)

Heartthrob rocker Artiwara Kongmalai, aka “Toon Bodyslam”, began a 2,191 kilometre charity run from southernmost Betong district in Yala province to Mae Sai, the northernmost district of Chiang Rai, on Wednesday morning.

 He is raising money for 11  hospitals.

Tight security surrounded the start as the rock star and his team left the Betong municipal area at 6.30am.  They ran along route 410 and made their first stop at Ban Dan Santirat School in tambon Tanor Mae Ror, still in Betong district. 

A team of police, rangers and local officials accompanied Artiwara and the other runners along the route, as they headed to Bannang Sata district, adjacent to Pattani on the first day of the run.

Security checkpoints were set up along the road in Bannang Sata and Than To districts. All passing vehicles were examined.

Security will be further boosted on Thursday, with a team of rangers to join the runners for the next stage. 

The South-to-North charity run, labelled “Step by Step for 11 Hospitals across the Country’’ by the rock star, is scheduled to take 55 days, ending in Mae Sai on Dec 25, Christmas Day.

It aims to raise 700 million baht to purchase medical equipment for 11 hospitals. 

The 11 hospitals are in Yala, Surat Thani, Ratchaburi, Suphan Buri, Sara Buri, Khon Kaen, Prachin Buri, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Nan and Phramongkutklao Hospital in Bangkok.

Last December, Artiwara completed a 400km charity marathon which raised 85 million baht for medical equipment for Bang Saphan Hospital in Phrachuap Khiri Khan.

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