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First 32K race 

by  lotus 





Background: I have been running for about one year, starting from  October last year.

So far, I have completed 4 half marathons  and about  7  of  10K since.

I am 48, male, a resident of Bangkok, Thailand.The day began on Saturday (Nov 11)   when 7 of us rode bikes to the Cadet School in a nearby province,about 100 kilometres away from  where we  started.

We started around 7 a.m. and arrived at the school about 1.30  pm. we had big lunch,consisting mainly of barbecued chicken, glutinous rice and other meat dishes.

Then we proceeded to the cadetdorm where we had booked the accommodation before hand.

We belong to a local running club
 which  does not have physical  presence or office, and a club member,

 Vachara, arranged all the bookings for us.

We paid 400 baht (US$8.8) for a room which has 4 beds
and thus the cost for one person is 100 baht($2.2).

Saturday night was the full moon. It was the 12th full moon according to lunar calendar

and it's time for traditional Loy Krathong                       

(bowl-like float made mainly from banana leaves with lit candle) festival to float

the sins away and to pay the homage to the river goddess for sustaining  us throughout the year.

The Cadet School organised the festival in one  of the ponds of the school huge campus.

However, most of us did not stay long and all left for the dorm by 9 p.m.

as we need to sleep early so that we can get up early as well.

By 4 a.m. on Sunday, all runners woke up, took a shower, dressed in  running attire.

The weather was nice about 20-22 degree celsius (about  high 60F)

and the full moon was shining through on the starting area

where there were plenty of people by 4.30 a.m. when we arrived there

(about 0.5 km from our dorm). Some of us drank warm soybean milk while

others drank Sponsor (local brand of Gatorade). All of this was free

including the previous evening meal party. For all of this you pay 200, 300, 400 baht

for a race of 10K, 16K and 32K respectively or about  $2.4, $3.6 and $4.8.

For those who did not pre-register, they came  early Sunday morning to register for the race.

The 32K race started early at 5.30 a.m. while the moon was still  shining brightly.

The first 2-3 kilometer was run inside the school  campus.

Near all the important junction/intersection, there was a car

with the headlight on to point the way with race officials at all the


After the initial easy run of 2-3 km., we began to face the first hill  outside the school.

I am a mid-pack/back-pack runner who enjoy running  up and down hills

as my 2 years' mountainbiking helps a lot with hills.

The first hill was passed fairly easily by all runners including me.

About 8-9 km later we faced the second hill.

This time, I saw a few who  did walk part of the hill.

By the time of the third hill, the longe  stand steepest, at around km 20,

a lot of runners began to walk.

Still I  did not walk.

My strategy was to increase my tempo during the uphill  and downhill runs

and rested when on the even plain. This seemed to  work quite well.

I also had 2 bags of dry electrolyte and one Powergel with me. By km 15

I began to tear open and pour electrolyte powder into my mouth,

followed with water at all water stops. By km 25, Powergel was consumed with lots of water.

The race organiser does not provide any food or sport drinks.

Only iced water was served, spacing about 2-3 km each. No distance sign was seen either.

You must look at your wristwatch and  guessed about the distance covered.

 You could ask volunteers at  water-stop about the distance

 which was fairly corroborating with your  own distance estimation,

 except the last km which seems to strech to 2-3 km!

I came in at a time about 3.25 hours which was within my goal time of  3.30 hours.

I was glad because at the previous week, I ran a race of 27  km

with a time of exactly 3 hours even though there was no hills at all.

So the latest 32K race and my first over 30 km was a huge personal success story.

The last person came in hearly 5 hours! Most who did 32K  race were using

this race as a final tune-up race for the upcoming 13th edition of Bangkok Marathon

on Sunday, Nov 26 in two weeks' time, including me.

So I am glad to have run a strong race which boosts my confidence of  finishing

 my upcoming first marathon in 5 hours.

After awarding ceremony, I went back to the dorm, packed things on my  bike

and 5 of us went to the same restaurant to order famed barbecued

chicken and other dishes for lunch. The two missing consisting of: one was a biker

who came with his family on a utility and did not join us  on the way back.

The other was a runner of 32K who put so much effort

 on his run (2.40 hours) that he could not cycle back with us.

 We started cycling again at noon. By 3 p.m., one of us, who also ran 32K,

began to cramp badly and we had to slow down a lot.

However, we  arrived back at the starting point about 5 p.m. that day.

Today (Monday) I did not feel any worse, except a few aches which

seemed to go away after I exercised lightly in the gym for half an hour.

Looking forward to my first marathon in two weeks' time.