Over the past few months, my running shoes have been thoroughly dusted off. The beginning of my adventures in Thailand started on rocky and uneven terrain after travelling with a ruptured appendix and a very slow recovery speed. It was a run in the name of the princess that kicked me back into gear with training, starting off with a Thai-style 10k paved up and down near one of the bigger universities in the city.
There is something in running that is mildly addictive. The kick of chemicals in the end of that race reminded me why I needed to start treading ground again. Lo and behold, on 20th September, Korat became one of four hosts in Thailand to the Muang Thai Marathon this year, each other destination being key cities nicely spreading over the country’s geography. I’ve been (trying to) wake up earlier and earlier to get some distance in before the ten hour school days, and even on the days when my body felt tired and like my legs had turned to lead, the sunrise at 5.45 am makes the early start a little bit easier.
I was waking up for Race Day when I’m fairly sure people would just be putting on their PJs after a few drinks. The race started at a dark 5.15 and as I ran out of the city centre with (at a guess) no more than 1000 other people wearing flashing disco lights as belts, together we saw the sun rise over fields I had forgotten existed and with birdsong coming from the electric cables drooping from the sky.
In typical Thai style, I’d estimate this 21 kilometre race as closer to 24 but when there’s only you and the (relative) countryside and the occasional sign telling you where you’ve clocked up to so far, who cares? Locals once again proved that they’re Thailand’s strength by joining the runners at the start line and at staggered points throughout the race to show their support. A friendly fellow runner asked for a photo and went through the trouble of sending on my race details, as well as many, many pictures of me looking like I’m gormlessly shuffling my way to the finish line. Yaaaay.
I spent the afternoon recovering in a hammock with friends, music, a pool and tofu burgers, which is about as holiday-ish as Korat gets. Why can’t every weekend be like that?