My 5K Bangkok Marathon

An event I had been looking forward to with much anticipation finally arrived today: The Bangkok Marathon.  The last time I ran (well walked most of it) was two years ago when I was still very chubby and very unfit.  This year, I registered for the 5K and being fitter I wanted to see how I would do. I wanted to see how actually running most of the 5K would turn out to be like.  It was also a fun event that Alex and I could both do together.

The day started out early.  The 5K runners or what they call “micro-marathon” were to start running at 6.20am and due to the massive amount of people, I wanted to get there early.  Roads had been blocked around the beautiful historic area of Bangkok since early morning when the marathoners started out on their 4 hour long run.  Maybe one day I’ll be crazy enough to do it, but for now I am happy with 5K. 

There is a certain feeling of anticipation and unexplicable fun that comes with participating in such a big event.  Driving out towards my destination before the sunrise, when most of the people were still dreaming away in their cosy beds,  I spotted fellow runners in their cars.  You can tell by the shirt they’re wearing and the numbers they have pinned to their shirt.  Then I drive pass roads that had been sectioned off for the runners.  Unexpectedly, I spot a very fit marathoner bicyling to the event in full gear, and another jogging off track, perhaps having a long warm-up.  It makes me feel wonderful to think that so many people can be up early for such a healthy cause.

Upon reaching the starting line, there were massive amounts of people. Everywhere I looked there were people.  People of all ages, all nationalities and all fitness levels.  There were even dogs dressed up for the run and some even had their own number! I love the owner’s sense of fun.  Everyone wanted to be there and most importantly, everyone was happy.  A stage by the starting line was filled with dancers and music.  It was entertaining and fun.  People danced along to the beat, some took photos and some just stood there smiling. The cool morning air was alive with energy. The beautiful backdrop of the Grand Palace shone out in all it’s glory.

Nearing the starting time, you could feel the level of energy increase.  Everyone was waiting for the countdown and that unique blast of the horn that would send tens of thousands of people out onto the roads. Tens of thousands of people running.  I was number 41300 of the 5K.  I think there must have been a hundred thousand people at this event.  The rush of energy that accompanied the horn was incredibly fun.  All of a sudden everyone around you was running and jogging.

I decided I would run slow and keep my pace. I wanted to run for as long as I could before starting to walk. Now in all my running sessions at the fitness, I had never reached 4k, let alone 5K.  This was going to be interesting.  I ran very slow, but the most important thing was to keep the pace going and not walk.  If you stayed constant and steady, you’d be fine.

As I ran, several thoughts kept going through my mind. Of course the lazy me, comes up instantly and starts asking me why I had to subject myself to such a ridiculous amount of running. I ignore it and push on.  Then the complaining me pops into my head and asks me why the course was so long.  I had to run from the Grand Palace to the Democracy Monument, to the United Nations and then back again.  Again I push it out.  Then the stomach aches and the feet aches start coming up.  Oh no, my body wants to stop.  Luckily Alex is besides me and he looks like this run is just a warm up.  For him, this is easy.  He’s looking around and enjoying the view of Historic Bangkok while I’m panting like a panda. He tells me to look at the cute Siberian Husky and the pair of Pugs.  I grunt along.  He pushes me along and I manage to somehow continue on with the run.

I run out of breath at around 2K and need to have a little walk before continuing on.  I’m told I’m not breathing correctly and I run like I’m tiptoeing.  No wonder I tire easily and make loud noises on the treadmill.  I try to adapt the way I run and it gets better but there is much to be improved.

I push along the last leg of the run and finally reach the finish line 40 minutes after I set out.  I’m happy.  Actually, I’m very happy I did manage to Run/Walk the 5K.  It felt extremely tiring during the run, but now it’s done, I wish I could do it again.  There was actually a part where I enjoyed the running, jumping left and right around people, some trees and some people taking pictures.  If only, I could make that part sustainable.

What I liked most about the Marathon though was looking at the faces of everyone around you.  You could see smiles of happiness and satisfaction.  This run made people feel good.  There were families out there running with young kids and some probably in their sixties. There were wheelchair participants, being pushed along.  Everyone here was running because they wanted to.  It was an event open to all.   It was good for your health, both body and mind.

I have to say that its definitely an event to be remembered.  Sometimes we need events like these to remind us how good life is. Happiness can be had from the simplest things.  Simple things such as running.  All you need is pair of running shoes, some socks, and an open mind. 🙂 Happy Running!

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