BANGKOK – Thai runners hit the streets of Bangkok early Monday to take part in a memorial race commemorating the late king of Thailand.
The “Run for the King” event was one of a number of events in the capital organized to mark on Monday the birthday of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, which has been celebrated each year as Father’s Day by Thais across the country.
Runners wore vests and T-shirts of yellow, the late king’s color, as they raced through the capital’s main thoroughfares of Silom Road, Sathon Road, Wireless Road and Ratchadamri Road in a 10.5-kilometer loop, while others opted for a 2km walk in the grounds of Lumpini Park, an epa journalist reported.
Some mourners carried the Thai flags and portraits of the king during the event.
Other events were held throughout the city, including gatherings at the Grand Palace and on Bhumibol Bridge, where Buddhist monks and mourners chanted to honor the late king in merit-making ceremonies.
The king, also known as Rama IX, died on Oct. 13 at the age of 88 after ruling for seven decades.
Bhumibol, who before his death was the world’s longest-reigning head of state, was the only monarch most Thai people had ever known and many saw him as a symbol of unity and a guide to the nation.
His son, Maha Vajiralongkorn, was proclaimed King on Dec. 1 and will be formally crowned in October 2017 once his father has been cremated.