BT (Blur Ting) and I arrived on Thursday and spent 2 days in a mountain resort. The chilly evening and morning temperatures had us worried about what kind of running condition we'd have to deal with. On Saturday we had dinner with friends who had arrived separately and had collected the race packs on our behalf. According to them this took a good part of their afternoon.
Upon inspecting the race tags, I found that BT and I had different start times. On closer checking she found that she had been mistakenly registered as 10k even though her form stated half marathon. The friends checked their own race tags and found that another one of them had also been put in the wrong race category. They decided then they would run with whatever category they had been dealt. The neighbouring 7-11s were also seeing a brisk sale of safety pins that night, as none were included with the number tags.
After a quick breakfast of red bean bun and some Thai isotonic drink (can't find100Plus or Gatorade at 7-11), I went to the lobby to wait for the other 2 friends who were doing the half marathon. Sure enough the 2 ladies came jogging down the road. We attracted some attention passing a neighbouring bar. Some intoxicated farang stared at us as if he could not believe people were going running at 430 in the morning.
Thapae gate was just 5min jog from my hotel. Upon arriving we made some enquiry at registration we found that no refund was possible, but they could redo the tag for the mis-registered runners. After some frantic SMS, BT joined us at the assembly area. The other friend had decided to stick to the 10k. Thapae gate square was festooned with yellow lanterns and the stage was decorated with a backdrop of the King. We found out later that the area was also the site of a weekend market.
Rosemary and Bai Yun before the race.
After some ding-dong we proceeded to the start line. Instead of a starter pistol or air horn, we were seen off with a firework! The blast lit up the dark dawn sky and sent us on our way.
Nearing the last 5km I became disoriented. I followed a lady runner into turning down an unfamiliar road. There was a sign but no marshal. At some point I thought I might have made a mistake and started to backtrack. Fortunately some thai runners put me back on track. My own fault, really for not familiarising myself with the run route. Ah, finally, the beautiful finish line. I put aside the pain and ran for it, collecting my medal as I passed.
BT coming in, after getting lost near the finishing point.