June 13, 2012

Standard Chartered Bangkok Marathon 2011

This marathon was supposed to be last year, the same date as Penang Bridge International Marathon. In fact, my sister and I ditched PBIM in favor of this event. But disaster struck and the organizing committee decided to postpone the marathon to last February. We were given choices after the postponement, whether to run in February or defer our participation to this year's edition in November.

We chose the former and fortunately, we could change our flight ticket to February for free! Thank you MAS! At the same time, PBIM extended their registration period so as you read before, I completed my maiden 42.195km run in Penang . :D

I went to Bangkok a few days earlier as it was my first time visiting the capital of Thailand. Gonna start writing about Bangkok soon.

Fast forward to the race day.

The starting line was in front of the Grand Palace. We stayed at Khaosan Road so it was quite near. At around 2.30am, my sister and I walked to the event site. Khaosan was still very much alive and happening. I guessed the people there never sleep.

When we reached the race site I was quite shocked. There was no grand stage, no race village or whatsoever. The event was very simple. The participation for the full marathon category didn't look promising either. I guessed it was only around thousand runners at the starting area. Oh noo!! *predicted self trailing in the last place*

We started the run at 3am. I made sure I wasn't left far behind as I was actually afraid of the check points cut off time. They had check points at KM16 and KM34 where you had to pass both check points within a stipulated time. Failing to reach that check point meant you would be asked to stop the run and took the sweeper bus back to the finishing line. I told myself repeatedly, I would not be one of the victims!

Luckily, it was a relatively straight course up to 28km cos we were running on a highway. So I ran steadily, counting the lamp posts as my marker. It was a run through the city after we exited the highway.

Running around the landmarks of Bangkok city, I couldn't help myself but cursed the organizer. There weren't any signboards to indicate the route! At some point, I had to wait for other runners to ask them directions. And there weren't any marshalls to take care of the traffics! Even on a Sunday morning, there were a lot of cars on the road! We had to run past some junctions and had to wait for the traffic lights to turn red before we could continue our run. WTF man!

Despite all that, I managed to run back to the Grand Palace in one piece.

Finished my second full marathon 46 minutes faster than my first attempt. :D


June Malik said...

46mins improvement is awesome!!

rara said...

KJ: thanks :D but i need to improve more to do a sub-6