Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Singha Bangkok 14K 2012

This past Sunday, Eric, Malcolm and I ran the Singha Bangkok 14 kilometer race at Suan Luang Rama 9 park in Bangkok. We'd been talking about running something someday together, but never really did more than talk about it.

Finally, a few weeks ago, I printed out the brochure and registration form for the Singha Bangkok 14K and put it under Malcolm's computer on his desk as a hint. A little later he said he would go test his knee and leg out (injury from riding a motorcycle taxi, go figure!) and see if he was able to go more than 6K. Malcolm plays football (soccer) in a community league here in Thailand, so he usually goes out to the park for a 6K run a couple times a week just to stay in shape.

Long story short, the three of us felt relatively fit and prepared to go out and run "together". I put that in quotes because technically we don't run "together" as in side by side since it's a race. **wink**

We ended up all getting there on time and getting some last liquids.  Surprisingly, nobody hit the head for some last minute poo action, although it would have been nice. There were no timing chips for this little 500 runner limited race, so position in the starting chute was kinda important if we didn't want to get stuck at the back and have to work our way to the front.

We were right at the front of the starting chute. The three of us were together. I pointed to this Japanese 40+ woman wearing a Garmin GPS watch and some full length compression spandex pants (meaning that she looked like a serious runner) who was right in front of us and I whispered to Eric that I was gonna try to stay with her for the entirety of the race...kinda like my rabbit that I would chase throughout.

We're pretty much 50 minute 10K runners, so we figured to be finishing between 70-80 minutes. The starting horn went, and even though I thought I'd run with Eric and Malcolm for a little bit to get warmed up and for a relaxing little Sunday run with friends, but I got a little excited at the rush of runners, clad in singlets, racing shirts from prior races and run club uniforms all around me. I went out a little too fast and Eric, Malcolm and I spread out a good hundred meters in the first kilometer.

The race course was nice. I had been there once right before the sun went down and before the park closed for the evening one night and ran a quick 5K loop. There are two big lakes to run around and in some areas, plenty of trees. I love the tree areas, but really don't like the wide open spaces like the lakes. I'm not good with wide open spaces...kinda the opposite of clostrophobia.

Other than feeling winded after the first 3K, I was kinda amused by a trail of green footsteps that got gradually lighter in color and eventually disappeared after about twenty steps...Some poor soul in front of me had stepped in a steamy pile of freshly pooed poo!! That's gotta really be a bad experience for the final 9K cuz if you've ever stepped in doggy poo, you know that it's just impossible to get rid of the smell especially when it's in the treads of your shoes!

The Japanese lady passed me around the poo area and the first water station...after about 8k she had opened up a 30 second lead on me, but I could still see her. She didn't pull me along as much since she was off in the distance, but this one farang (foreigner) who was trying to stay in front of me pulled me right along. We were probably both struggling equally at about 8K but I put in a tiny push for about 200 meters and passed him. We were right in between the lead pack and the chase pack...a spot I always seem to fill with a few stragglers in every race we do. I can never stay with the  lead pack. The two of us were like two of only a handful of runners stuck in this no-mans-land and when I passed him he stopped and walked. I felt bad as though I had taken the wind out of him or something...but he had already been struggling.

I saw Eric at a little u-turn later in the race and we were still pretty close to each other with Malcolm a little further back but still pushing our 50 minute 10K pace. We high fived when we'd double back and see each other. It was nice to have friends on the course.

I sprinted the last 200-300 meters (if you call my lumbering over that distance a sprint) and accidentally ran down the 7K distance finisher chute...not that it mattered because I think they only designated the left and right as 7K and 14K finish lines so they could more easily pick out the category winners and top 5 as they finished (and record times) So who knows, I may be on the record as having run a 1:08:42 7K hahaha.

So I finished at 1:08:46, a tad faster than our normal 10K pace. Eric stormed in right at our pace at 1:10:48 and Malcolm finished one of his longer runs right where we figured at around 1:21:14. Pretty good running for the three of us and for Eric and I, it was perfect for our marathon training schedule which called for 15K race...

I've been running with pain in the top of my foot, so I've taken it easy during recovery, meaning I haven't been running too much. This weekend is our last 32km training run...not sure I'll make it, even though it's one of the more important days on the schedule. We'll see.

So this was the most runners from our little running club "Cookies" that we've had out for a race or a run. Hahahaha! Cookies! I guess there are only three official members so far, although Pae  and other WAGS are honorary members and once they get out there with us for a little 3km loop around the park they'll officially be a Cookies runners!


eric said...

enjoyed your write-up! see you sunday morning at 5 a.m.

Pae and Guy said...

I'll be there E!!

mardenheyjude said...

Very good time. I don't know how you keep up with it. The pictures are great. Love always, Auntie

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