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Monday, 24 June 2013

9th Lan Saka marathon, race day, 23rd June 2013

It's now a day and a half ago that I finished my first full marathon ever, the 9th Lan Saka marathon in Lan Saka and I can just about start to walk around 'normally' again. I have a blister under my right heel that is inconvenient, another blue toenail, sore calves, pain on the top of my right foot but everything else is just fine!

9th Lan Saka marathon, 23rd June 2013 start

Moments before the start of the marathon at 4am

I was excited about running my first marathon and my training plan didn't go as planned, so there was a bit of worry and anxiety as well. Early May I picked up an Achilles' tendon injury, which stopped me from training long distance runs and partly of running at all and last weekend I had food poisoning, which again prevented me from training as planned. 

Nonetheless, I was determined by now to participate, but in the end these two events made me enter the race with a relaxed state of mind, there was no pressure and I was approaching the race with an attitude of 'we'll see where this ships strands'. In the worst case I will walk parts and I was happy with a time under 5 hours.

9th Lan Saka marathon, 23rd June 2013 before the start

Just before the start

Still, the night before the race I didn't sleep well, a new bed (although I'm used to travelling), a very strong wind that woke me up a few times during the night and in general my thoughts were well with the race, planning out and rehashing running strategies.

My strategy involved not starting fast, slower than my half marathons, I needed to run twice as far and after every half marathon distance, I wondered how in earth anybody could possibly run twice as far! The second part of my strategy involved the use of energy gels during the race. Both strategies worked well during the race.

9th Lan Saka marathon, 23rd June 2013 after the race at the finish line

After the race at the finish line

The race it self was well organized. With a very early start at 4am, that I wasn't used to, it was still no problem to get out of bed early and eat something before the race. I am a breakfast person and especially with 42.195km ahead of me, it was wise to get something into my stomach!

Furthermore it turned out that every two kilometers there was a water station, which is also very important. Since the start was so early, the first hour and a half we ran in the dark but beside the road were small petrol lamps, which on long road stretches gave a nice ambiance.

9th Lan Saka marathon, 23rd June 2013 just before the finish line

Just before the finish line

During the race I felt good and in control at all times, due to my strategy of not starting fast, eating the energy gels at the right times but also because it was cool. During the race it was between 25 and 26C, and the strong wind from the previous waited nicely until the afternoon before it roared again, giving us a nice breeze during the race.

There was a very steep hill which we descended at km 13 but we had to ascend this 'mother' at around km 29 again! I had decided during the race that since I was feeling good, I would run everything and this allowed me during the ascend to scoop up 4 runners which were way ahead of me bu they started to walk during the ascend. A little bit further down the road I was able to scoop up another two runners who walked parts of their race. One of the two runners started to talk to me about my shoes, Vibram 5 fingers, which are fairly rare in Thailand. Turned out he had already run 14 marathons and he was slightly older than me. Respect! With him and the other runner I scooped up, we traded places all the time, they were ahead and they stopped at a water station, I was ahead. This went on until 3km before the finish and I dropped both of them. I finished well ahead of them and felt good about that.

9th Lan Saka marathon, 23rd June 2013 during the race

During the race, probably shortly before the finish line

The picture above is taken near the finish line. During the race I never needed to scoop water over my head because I was so warm or because it was so humid, just a few finger tips of water from a cup dunked into the cup and brushed over my face did the trick yesterday. The mountainous area made for a nice and cool race. I also didn't need a sponge, this in contrast to all 5 half marathons I ran so far, where it was a lot more humid.

I did duly drink water and electrolyte drinks at each water stations and nibbled on some water melon. Again, I didn't feel the need to gush the drinks down but could control the intake.

8th Laguna Phuket half marathon just before the finish line

Phuket half marathon just before the finish line where I was totally soaked

This is how drenched I was during the 8th Laguna Phuket half marathon, also shortly before the finish. A total difference with the Lan Saka marathon.


My finisher shirt!

After the race I was exhausted! First of all, at km 40 I wondered why there were another 2km to go, 40km would do just well! I ran my slowest km of the whole race at that moment, including the steep hill! The last kilometer I also started to feel the blister under my right heel!
However, crossing the finish line felt oh so good! 

I staggered to our car, parked nearby, drank my liter of chocolate milk and some Pocari Sweat. Once I was feeling slightly better I walked back over to the finish line to collect my finishers medal and my finisher shirt, a nice long sleeved and hooded tee with the back pictured above! Finisher of my first 42.195km in 4 hours, 47 minutes and 44 seconds.

Very happy about that all and am already contemplating my next moves, which involve two 13km runs and a half marathon in July in and around Surat Thani.

Don't forget to use my Camille's Samui hotel recommendation blog and my Camille's Thailand hotel recommendation blog for all your hotel bookings on Koh Samui and around Thailand. By doing so, you will support my blog. Thanks folks!

Camille

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Congratulation!
Best wishes from Germany!
Jens

Camille said...

Thanks!

Adam Gardiner said...

Congrats on finishing your first 42.195km! Lan Saka sounds a tough course too, with those steep hills.

arikalueamrung said...

Wow! Congratulations on the achievement! I would love to run a marathon one day! Especially in Thailand! Thanks for sharing!

Camille said...

Thanks Arika.

Camille said...

Thanks Adam, it was also a very nice route, through some nice land scenes, and indeed tough at points!

Anonymous said...

wow!! congratulations!! well done!!!!!

All the best,
Tessi

Camille said...

Thx Tessi!

Anonymous said...

Hi
A great marathon for your first marathon
did this race too and loved it
It was my first in Thailand
However I could not get a copy of the results
Did you get a copy or can you point me to a link where they are in Thai
If you do know of such a beast I would love to get hem
My email address is kevtigerbarry@yahoo.com.au
By the way I am coming back and doing this one again so I may see you there
Thanks
Kev barry

Camille said...

Hi Kev,

Unfortunately never saw results of this race. Looks like I can't make it this year.

jason toh said...

Dear sir,
I would like to join the marathon.
May i know are there any budget house there?
Thanks

Camille said...

Hi Jason<

There are two resorts pretty much opposite of each other, but both are about 5km outside of Lan Saka and the start line of the marathon.
My preferred option will be Loy Chalet or alternatively Khao Luang