Saturday, March 10, 2012

Race Report: Thai - Japan Mini Marathon 11k

As mentioned in my announcement post, this race came up pretty quickly in my schedule and it went by just as quickly.  I'm going to hold back on my usually long winded post to give you the lowdown of the day.

Alarm went off at 4am.  As usually, I didn't sleep that well but I held back taking an Ambien last night (I've only taken one since I have arrived) but I did take a melatonin.  Breakfast was eggs and a banana.  Time to suit up!

Yes, the Vasoline is replacing the Bodyglide I forgot to pack.
Weep called me around 4:50 and asked me to head to our meeting point.  They were ahead of schedule, so I took off for Soi Tonson and jogged to the corner where it intersects with Sukhumvit.  I arrived about 30 seconds before the taxi.  I told Weep that I'd be wearing a sleeveless green shirt but that seemed kind of silly.  I'll likely be the only 193cm foreigner on the corner.

We rode the 2 kilometers to the National Stadium where we got settled in and checked a bag of our belongings.  First time I've had to do that since I usually have my faithful spectator with me to watch (so sad!).  So here is today's crew:

Ben, Weep, and Guin!
The start was on the track of the Thep Hatsadin stadium, which is used for some soccer football matches.

We walked around and used the bathrooms before we started lining up for the start.

One thing that was interesting is that they requested we line up at 5:45 about 20 meters from the start line. We then started moving forward to the start line but someone was marking our bibs.  I suppose this was to insure someone didn't jump on the course.  This race was not chip timed.

A few minutes later they did a countdown (Saam, Soong, Neung!) and we were off!

We stuck together until we hit the road and then it was just Weep and me.  As you can tell from the pictures it was 6:00am at the start and it was dark.  I was actually concerned about the condition of the roads and sidewalks but they were in great shape.  No tripping.

The course was a rectangle and was fairly flat except for a few bridges
In my mind this map is up-side-down.  The top of the map is actually south.  My hotel is near the #8.
As you can see there is a bridge between the 3 & 4 kilometer mark.  That is the only elevation on this route.  Bangkok is a naturally flat city.

The course was mostly closed off.  We either had one lane of a 4 lane road or half of the road.  There were places were we had to contend with traffic where we would cross paths.  Kind of scary but there were police there to stop traffic if needed.

After about a mile I decided to kick it up a little so my heart rate picked up.   It was near 180 for the entire race.  Probably not wise if I was making this a training run!  Temperatures were 84 degrees and it was humid, so naturally I had a hard time cooling down.  I dumped about a quarter of my water cup over my head at each aid station to cool me down. It was mostly successful.  I ticked miles 2 & 3 at 8:00 pace but it started to range between 8:30 and 9:00 for the rest.  After a while I decided to just enjoy running in the city.

Eventually Weep caught up with me with about 2 kilometers to go but I stayed on his tail for the rest of the run.

One thing about running the streets of Bangkok is that the city doesn't really stop for you.  You still have plenty of traffic and plenty of street vendors.  This brings a completely different element... the exhaust from the cars and smells from the vendors made this an experience that will likely never be duplicated.

I don't know the exact time but when I finally looked at my watch at the end, it showed 58:00 on the clock, an 8:39 minute per mile pace.  I'll take it considering my conditioning over the last month and a half!

After the finish we walked around waiting for Ben and Guin.  I needed something to drink as I was beginning to get a little lightheaded and my heart rate was still high.  We walked over to the other side of the stadium and found some liquids.  I don't know exactly what it was but it was some kind of lemon grass drink.  It tasted really good, which kind of surprised me.  It was just the right amount of sweetness.

Gotta use the straw!
I decided I need some solid food too so I got in the line for the food and bottle of water.

I have been very curious what the post-race food would be like.  I'm used to fruit, bagels, donuts, chocolate milk, etc.  Well, here you go:

Sticky Rice and Pork Jerky (as I would describe it)

Coconut gel, red beans, something else in a sweet syrup with ice.  It hit the spot!

This came out of a package.  Kind of a Twinkie with strawberry filling.
It was a great time and I had been excited for this once we decided to do it.  The medal and t-shirt will definitely be cherished when I am back in KC.

As for the race itself, it was put on extremely well.  This was a first time event with 3,000 participants. They actually had a full morning worth of activities with music, give aways (they were giving away an iPhone 4S), and Thai boxing.  I'm not sure where the Thai boxing was but it was to start at 6:45am, which would be before I finished.  I figured maybe the race winners had to box each other?  Good thing I was slow.

The roads were well marked and aid stations (only water) were well manned, although you had to pick up water off the table yourself but that was fine with this size of crowd.  Plenty of police and volunteers on the street keeping the runners safe.  The only bathrooms I found were the stadium bathrooms but never saw a line.

Swag: T-shirt, Medal, Fan

Pre-Race: Ben, Weep, Guin, and Me

One tired crew

Prepared for anything.

It looks like they use a video camera and people recording finisher times by hand.
Garmin Data: The final stretch had trouble with GPS because we were running under the BTS, Sky Train.

1 comment: