Bangkok Quarter Marathon
Trip Start Jul 30, 2006
199Trip End Ongoing
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We were on our way to the Grand Palace again today (havent seen the inside yet). We always seemed to get sidetracked somehow. This time an older guy stopped us and said. No, today only Thai people. He grabbed the map out of my hand and pointed out a few other options. He said, "Listen, I know I am teacher". He pointed out three temples, said they were free today only. Tuk-Tuk will take us and wait for us for about 30 Baht. This is the second time we had heard this and we figured it was too good to be true. Soon a Tuk-Tuk rolled up and the 'teacher' started haggling. He got him down to 30 Baht. We were still very apprehensive and asked many simple questions to see what the scam was. We figured we would stick to our guns and only pay 30 Bajt no mater what. Lyn actually shortened the route and talked him into 20 Baht. We were soon on our way to Wat Thewarat kunchon to see the 'Big Buddha'. We headed inside and there was an old monk sitting there praying. We were very quiet, took a few pics and headed out
After our afternnon tour, we drove to Lumphini Park where I think I made a mistake. You see, we were in Athens on the day of the Athens Marathon. I jumped in and did the 5K which finished inside the Olympic arena. It was a great. I was surprised at my time and I still had energy at the end. It was below forty degrees (F) and the last half of the run was all downhill. I saw an add for the Bangkok Marathon which is tomorrow the 26th. So I signed up for the 1/4 marathon (10+K). After thinking about it... it is quite hot here even with a 6AM start. Also, it is really flat here, there are no downhills and it is twice the distance as the Athens run
Early wake up call... 5AM. Took a cold shower and hit the road. It was a quick walk over to the Grand Palace for the start of the Quarter Marathon. Everything was all setup since the full marathon had started at 2AM w/30,000 participants!!!. It was a short wait and we were soon on our way. It was slow out of the gates and the pace in overall was pretty slow. I was strong for the first half. Passed many people then we turned into the morning sunrise. Even at 7:00AM the sun was hot and strong through the haze. I tried to keep myself distracted by watching all the sites below (temples, canals, river) as we ran a long way on the elevated expressway. I kept giving myself short goals to keep going, but I the humidity was getting to me. There were only 3 or 4 water stations along the way (no oranges, no bananas). I made it to water station #3 and milked it a bit by slowing down to a walk. Running again I passed a woman who was cheering who said "Way to go, only one more meter". I felt a second wind kick in and I knew I could take down 1 more Km (I figured she meant kilometer as a meter is only three feet). We passed some sort of cheering section that had about 5 different groups. They all had some sort of band, a group of girls dressed in strange outfits and there were a few of the ugliest women I ever saw (they even had Adams apples!) I ran and ran looking for the finish line around every corner. I could not take it anymore and had to take a break and walk for a few seconds. (I felt like walking back and asking that lady what the heck she was talking about!). I was disappointed as my goals were #1- Run the whole way, no walking. #2- Finish in under 1 hour, and it was quickly approaching the 1 hour mark. I tried to keep it up and as we approached the Grand Palace I remember on the map they had given us that the Palace is square. Running along the backside there should be two left hand turns and the we finish would be in sight in front of the palace. But in fact it is not square and there are many left hand curves to the wall surrounding the Palace. Again, after each turn I looked for the finish, but it was nowhere in site. Finally I sucked it up and kept the feet moving 1 more corner and I finally reached the finish. Time 1:09 Excluding the few minutes it took to get past the starting line and into a stride, I think I was pretty close to goal #2. I received and medal, breakfast and a nice yellow shirt that will help me blend in w/the locals (It is the color of the king and the majority of people you see everyday wear yellow shirts.)