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Background: I have been
running for about one year, starting from October last year.
So far, I have completed 4 half marathons and about 7 of 10K since.
I am 48, male, a resident of Bangkok, Thailand.The day began on Saturday (Nov 11) when 7 of us rode bikes to the Cadet School in a nearby province,about 100 kilometres away from where we started.
We started around 7 a.m. and arrived at the school about 1.30 pm. we had big lunch,consisting mainly of barbecued chicken, glutinous rice and other meat dishes.
Then we proceeded to the cadetdorm
where we had booked the accommodation before hand.
We belong to a local running club http://www.thairunning.com, which does not have physical presence or office, and a club member,
Vachara, arranged all
the bookings for us.
We paid 400 baht (US$8.8) for a room which has 4 beds and thus the cost for one person is 100 baht($2.2).
Saturday night was the full moon. It was the 12th full moon according to lunar calendar
and it's time for traditional Loy Krathong
float made mainly from banana leaves with lit candle) festival to float
the sins away and to pay the homage to the river goddess for sustaining us throughout the year.
The Cadet School organised the festival in one of the ponds of the school huge campus.
However, most of us did not stay long and all left for the dorm by 9 p.m.
as we need to sleep early so that we can get up early as well.
By 4 a.m. on Sunday, all runners woke up, took a shower, dressed in running attire.
The weather was nice about 20-22
degree celsius (about high 60F)
and the full moon was shining through on the starting area
where there were plenty of people by 4.30 a.m. when we arrived there
(about 0.5 km from our dorm). Some of us drank warm soybean milk while
others drank Sponsor (local brand of Gatorade). All of this was free
including the previous evening meal party. For all of this you pay 200, 300, 400 baht
for a race of 10K, 16K and 32K respectively or about $2.4, $3.6 and $4.8.
For those who did not pre-register, they came early Sunday morning to register for the race.
The 32K race started early at 5.30 a.m. while the moon was still shining brightly.
The first 2-3 kilometer was run inside the school campus.
Near all the important junction/intersection, there was a car
with the headlight on to point the way with race officials at all the
After the initial easy run of 2-3 km., we began to face the first hill outside the school.
I am a mid-pack/back-pack runner who enjoy running up and down hills
as my 2 years' mountainbiking helps a lot with hills.
The first hill was passed fairly easily by all runners including me.
About 8-9 km later we faced the second hill.
This time, I saw a few who
did walk part of the hill.
By the time of the third hill, the longe stand steepest, at around km 20,
a lot of
runners began to walk.
Still I did not walk.
My strategy was to increase my tempo during the uphill and downhill runs
and rested when on the even plain. This seemed to work quite well.
I also had 2 bags of dry electrolyte and one Powergel with me. By km 15
I began to tear open and pour electrolyte powder into my mouth,
followed with water at all water stops. By km 25, Powergel was consumed with lots of water.
The race organiser does not provide any food or sport drinks.
Only iced water was served,
spacing about 2-3 km each. No distance sign was seen either.
You must look at your wristwatch and guessed about the distance covered.
You could ask volunteers at water-stop about the distance
which was fairly
corroborating with your own distance estimation,
except the last km which seems to strech to 2-3 km!
I came in at a time about 3.25 hours which was within my goal time of 3.30 hours.
I was glad because at the previous week, I ran a race of 27 km
with a time of exactly 3 hours even though there was no hills at all.
So the latest 32K race and my first over 30 km was a huge personal success story.
The last person came in hearly 5 hours! Most who did 32K race were using
this race as a final tune-up race for the upcoming 13th edition of Bangkok Marathon
on Sunday, Nov 26 in two weeks'
time, including me.
So I am glad to have run a strong race which boosts my confidence of finishing
my upcoming first marathon in 5 hours.
After awarding ceremony, I went back to the dorm, packed things on my bike
and 5 of us went to the same restaurant to order famed barbecued
chicken and other dishes for lunch. The two missing consisting of: one was a biker
who came with his family on a utility and did not join us on the way back.
The other was a runner of 32K who put so much effort
on his run (2.40 hours) that he could not cycle back with us.
We started cycling again at noon. By 3 p.m., one of us, who also ran 32K,
began to cramp badly and we had to slow down a lot.
However, we arrived back at
the starting point about 5 p.m. that day.
Today (Monday) I did not feel any worse, except a few aches which
seemed to go away after I exercised lightly in the gym for half an hour.
Looking forward to my first marathon in two weeks' time.