Thai Rock Star Artiwara “Toon” Kongmalai, frontman of the band Bodyslam, is no athlete, but that’s not stopping him taking on a huge challenge.
On November 1st, Toon embarked on a 55 day, 2,191-kilometer (approximately 1,361 miles) run from Thailand’s Betong district in the southern Yala province to the Mae Sai district in the north Chiang Rai province.
Toon is taking on this challenge in an attempt to raise the equivalent of 20 million USD for 11 local hospitals in his home country. The series of runs will end on December 25th and the rock star believes that if every Thai citizen donates just 10 baht, the equivalent of about 30 cents in US currency, then he can achieve his goal.
“In addition to raising funds to help improve the hospitals here in Thailand, I also want to inspire people to be more active and healthier, to run and exercise.” said Toon in a statement.
This was where the team from Nike got involved:
“To assist him in achieving his goal by helping maximize his performance and minimize his risk of injury during his journey, Nike invited Toon to its World Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon. To discover and enhance what best aided him as a runner, experts, including the team behind Breaking2 from the Nike Sports Research Lab (NSRL) and apparel and footwear specialists, conducted analyses on Toon to gain insights into his pace, heart rate, fluid and calorie requirements and recovery modalities, as well as what shoes and apparel could best support him throughout his runs.”
Through a series of examinations, Nike were able to ascertain the needs and requirements that Toon would have to be provided with as part of his journey:
Here’s what they found out:
- Nike footwear specialists advised Toon to rotate between five pairs each of the Nike Zoom Fly and the Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4% 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.
We will be checking back in to see how Toon is getting on closer to the finish date, but we certainly wish him the very best of luck in this admirable endeavor.