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View minutes before the start – do I look nervous?

The event: My third half marathon!

Running with 5355 fellow nutscases at 4 am in the morning through an empty Bangkok was an experience I do not want to miss! Getting there was already a challenge. It all seemed a bit unreal… Saturday evening I tried to be in bed by 9 pm to at least get 5 hours of sleep… of course that did not really work so I think I fell asleep around 10. Just to hear the alarm ring at 2.30 am! In the morning around my house it is very difficult to get a taxi and also I had no idea how long it would take me and if it would be easy to find… luckily I got a friendly taxi driver (RARE in Bangkok) and even got to buy me some soymilk and a banana for breakfast… arrived at 3.15 at the venue…. It was lit… people were already warming up and floodlights were everywhere… some pictures for the website… some thorough stretching and massaging of my veins, so they would not give me any trouble and watched out for a colleague, who I knew would also be running… could not find her… then I started to get in line at the start… tried to be on the side to have fresh air and space… started to be excited!

Start – excited and relieved

result_halfmarathon_04After three months of training you are very happy to finally start running and reap the results of those long hours running around the park… there were a couple of speeches and it was mentioned that around 5355 people signed up for the half marathon… a record number!
Then we counted down and finally started running… It is always so uplifting to run in such a large group and in the beginning you always struggle to find your rhythm. The first 10 km were rather easy… everything was exciting and people were smiling and the scenery beautiful… running across big bridges. The organisation was quite good so that you have about every 3 km a water station. Due to the warmth I mainly used the water to throw it over my head… the ice water running down my back felt very refreshing…

10 -18 keep the pace

After 10 km I started to feel my veins again acting a bit… so tried to concentrate on other things by listening to my beloved BBC podcast… learned a lot about food waste and how to minimise. Also I picked a person from my co-runners… in this case a good trained blond with braided hair… we seemed to have the same pace so I tried not to loose sight of her and slow down or speed up according to her to keep me going. Also there was this half naked Australian who did pace running (so some disctance very fast and then slow down)… so we overtook each other a couple of times… not bad to keep you motivated 😉

18 – 21 the worst bit

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Selfy from the track in Bangkok

Actually you reach the 18 mark and think… wow that was not too hard and hey, only another 3 km to go… but believe me: 3.1 km never felt so long… Due to the goal being in sight thought to run a bit faster to have it done with sooner… But that was a bit of a miscalculation and I had to slow down… the sun slowly came up and so it also became warmer… I also started to feel how sugarless I was… had not really ate enough and when I saw the watermelon offered at one stop had to take one and run slowly while eating it… however, as I wanted to run under 2 hours started to speed up again… then you start to pick one person that you want to overtake… So you run faster…. The atmosphere was very friendly and all the people were thumbs up when you ran past them… also you cheered others that you saw were having a tough time… The last 500 meters I sprinted… It is a fantastic feeling to run in that goal area… when everybody is cheering you… And then you run over the goal line, slow down and smile.

Celebration

After finishing I grabed one of the still free waters and went to a grass patch to do some stretching… very crucial after such a long run… actually another colleague was running the 10 km and I promised to him to wait so we could go for breakfast together… so I walked around and they offered free foot massage, so obvious I took that one… unbelievable that with so many people participating that worked… Then I grabed some breakfast that was handed out and sat besides the finish line to see my friend come through… it was amazing to see the marathon runners coming through and to be honest, I think that soon that will be my next challenge… I mean if you put yourself through that regiment training, you might as well run another extra kms and then go all the way… lets see… anyway after my colleague arrived we went to a very nice breakfast place by the river and treated us to a delicious big breakfast with Pancakes and waffles… that is the best after such an event you can eat whatever you want and not feel guilty but that you deserved it…

End result

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Verena with her medal

761 out of 5355 or 94 out of 1002 women
Well the statistics went up on line and for me they were:
Total time 2h and 11 minutes.
26th of 470 in the category female between 30 -39….
But best of all I was not sore the next day… And I also achieved the goal to raise 500 Euro for Wheelchairtraveller! To the awe of our organisation one donator toped up to 500 Euro…Thank you all for your contribution so the work for relaunching the website could be started.