Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Bangpu Mini Marathon 2014

Oh no! Not another running entry!! Oh but wait...this one's different...

This past weekend, we were out praying at two Buddhist temples in Bangkok. We were walking to an overpass to cross the road to Central World (previously burned down by the protests in like, 2011?) and a car, stuck in traffic (that's the only type of car there is here in Bangkok), got our attention. A Bangkok Runner's head was sticking out of the window and asked if we were going to "the race" on Sunday. I didn't know about any race on Sunday, mainly because Pae was home and I had no desire to do anything but spend time with her. I told Ale (Alessandro) that I was resting, waved to him and his girlfriend and continued to the next temple and then to a movie.
After the temple, and while waiting for the movie to start, I got a text from Eric...asking if I was running in the evening and if I was running the race on Sunday. I was like, what's up with this race on Sunday? Two people mentioned it in the space of one hour. So, while sitting through previews, I went to the Bangkok Runners site and found that there was a 10K down south, about an hour's drive away, in the Ancient City, a park where they have representations of all 76 provinces in Thailand. I also noticed that there were over 40 members signed up for the run. I mentioned to Pae that it would be a good chance for us to get an hour or two of exercise ;) The next thing I know, she is all excited about it, I'm all excited about it and we were making plans to get south for the race.

The problem lately and for race morning would be the curfew brought on by the military coups. The curfew is from 10pm to 5am, and our race started at 6am with on site registration ending ten minutes before the race began...cutting it close. We figured that we would share a taxi with Eric but weren't confident that the taxi drivers would get to the house on time considering that technically they aren't allowed, legally, to be outside of their own homes until 5am. Eventually, Eric decided that he wasn't going to go, but Pae and I were kinda pumped up to be running, running together and attempting Pae's first running 10K race so we stayed with the plan. She's gone 10K before walking, but not attempted it running.
We woke up the morning of the race at around 4am. We got prepared and decided to just drive our car. We got out of our gate ten minutes before curfew ended and eased our way to the toll way. We got on the highway right as curfew ended and found our way to The Ancient City.
We registered, stretched and started sweating. It was so humid and hot Sunday morning. As we were waiting to run, we realized that we had only eaten like one time on Saturday. Energy would end up being a problem. Heat, humidity, lack of run!!!
We ran at least half of the race and got our walking in also. Pae lamented, as we broke into a walk after two kilometers of running, "I hope we don't finish last", hahaha! I've had that feeling before! In fact, Eric and I had the same conversation in our first marathon, Bangkok Marathon 2011.
Pae did great! She ran more than she has recently and she battled through the nasty heat and humidity. I was so excited to run with her during this race, our first one together, and wanted to pull her along without pressuring her to go beyond what her body (and mind) was prepared for. I've been doing this for a while and I know it's not easy to do anything the first time.
We saw very few photographers on the course, and the first half of the course was so congested that even if there was a cameraman, the photo would likely be a mass group photo. So, I would run up ahead of Pae every now and then and snap off a few pix with her camera to try to capture the occasion.
The bow and arrow dude was at this race with some of his buddies
It turns out that the course was short of 10K, but we still call it a 10K ;) The race actually had like three or four names, one for Thais, one for foreigners, one for locals and one for a nickname! Bangkpu Mini Marathon, Ancient City 10K, "Tour of the 76 provinces of Thailand all in one day race" and some other name in Thai...

Overall, the organization of the race was poor. The heat + humidity was dangerous. The distance was short but interesting and had little traffic (just emergency golf carts taking injured and dehydrated people back to the start/finish). Course marking was poor, causing many 3K fun runners to accidentally do the "10K" and some 10K runners to accidentally get on the shorter course. There was a huge turnout of Bangkok Runners, Pae's first race with the group. We got a couple great group photos at the Finish line. I think two  Bangkok Runners trophied in the women's categories. Many of our runners started five to fifteen minutes late due to the slow registration process, lack of parking and curfew.
I was happy to spend the 1:17:07 of running with Pae. Two of the things that I'm most passionate about; my wife and my running ;) We finished running but didn't get a medal because there weren't enough and the ones that they did have went to the 3K run walkers. Afterwards, we hung out and waited for the group photo with Bangkok Runners, drank a Coke, ate some free food and found our way home!
As I do after every race, I waited several hours/days for the running websites to start posting photos. After browsing the photos for a couple days, I realized that there weren't likely to be any of Pae and me. I was a little disappointed, but I had taken some photos already so I was okay with it. Randomly, after starting to prepare this entry, I went to the most popular site for running pictures and noticed that there was a new set of pictures. There were 17 sets for our race. I randomly (as well as using a little guessing/logic) opened set number 15 figuring that the first half were the faster runners and the last half  would be the slower runners.
What do you know!! The only set I opened, set 15, had our photo as the cover photo of the set! This photographer generally takes his favorite photo of the set and uses it as the cover photo...Pae made the cover photo, yeehaw! Hahahaha! Usually it is reserved for somebody with a cute dog, women or just a really good photo that the photographer likes. So finally I found a picture of us finishing the race! It was actually one of four photos in the set that we can be seen, but this one was obviously the nicest one. We're going to have to call the number and order a print and order the digital copy as well! What better way to memorialize our first run together than with a nice photo! Well, and a quick blog entry ;)

We had a great time! We got home safely. We (Pae) crashed for hours afterwards...I think she was pretty dehydrated and suffered for the rest of the day. Looking back though, after getting better, it was a good day! Strangely enough though, neither of the people who set our whole race decision in motion attended the race, haha. Alessandro forgot to set his alarm and Eric had decided not to run the night before. I'm convinced that they were meant to mention the race to us so that Pae and I would go run it together and enjoy our experience. Fate, destiny, coinkydink? Who knows. All I know is that I really enjoyed running together and I can't wait to find a good, close-by event and do it again! Congratulations Pae!

1 comment:

mardenheyjude said...

Congratulations Pae!! There is nothing more precious than to be doing something you love with someone you love. Also, there is nothing more thrilling than seeing your smiling faces on the cover photo. I printed the picture and put it in a frame and set it in our living room.
I truly believe that fate and destiny played a major part in this experience. What a beautiful story. Thanks for sharing. Love always, Auntie

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