Monday 22 July 2013

4th Koh Phangan Full Moon marathon, race day

The 4th Koh Phangan Full Moon marathon turned out to be a very hard race for me. Besides the hills, although the recent Lansaka marathon had more ascend in the route and the rain during the second part of the race, it was mainly the midnight start that made it hard. I was completely out of my rhythm and it was my first all nighter since years, although this time around no alcohol was involved, only caffeinated gels.

The start and finish on Saturday during registration

After embarking the 1.30pm Seatran ferry from Koh Samui, which was bursting with Full Moon part goers, I immediately went to register for the race and after a 500.-THB exchange and a BIB (race number) and a t-shirt in my bag, I was off to check some rooms. Since I didn't need the room to sleep in, just to relax, rest and shower, a very cheap room did the job and was easily found.

The price ceremony

After some walking around, a Thai massage, a carbs loaded pasta meal and a rest, midnight came around rather fast! With that the race start was on and the first 21km went well. It was tough though, with a gentle slope at the first km's, followed by a serious hill at 7.5km on the way out from Thong Sala to Chalocklom, where the first u-turn was and back down with the same hill now taken from the opposite side at 13.5km. I ran the whole route but later in the race I felt the effort I made here, so early on. 

Tired but happy, showing off my trophy

Up until the half way point I was doing really well, slower then expected but in good shape and mind. It started to become tougher by the 28km point. By that time it was raining, sometimes hard, sometimes a drizzle but almost non stop until the last couple of km's. The last 8 km I also had pain in my knee, which made my running almost look like a shuffle, even when I wanted to go faster, I couldn't because of my knee. Some rest is now in place!

Strangely enough, there was no marker any more after the 40km mark (which was the slowest kilometer I ran, just like in Lansaka) and before I knew I found myself at the finish, to my big relief and it turned out that I was 7th in my age category, just snapping up the last trophy.
There were about 50 participants in the marathon and it seemed that were a very high percentage of guys participating in my age category. Overall I finished somewhere half way into the field, I think and my race was 5 hours and 16 minutes, plus I can add a blister and some seriously chafed body parts to my conquests.

Besides the rain during the race, it was pouring down during the price ceremony as well, just after I received my trophy, and about 5 meters in to the way back to my hotel, it came pouring down and the ceremony had to be stopped and I was stuck for about half an hour. It also turned out that the trophy given to me was for 6th place and upon checking at home yesterday, it turned out that last years trophy for being second on the 10km race, was actually the trophy for first place!

Everything hurt after the race but I was happy to have finished although I'm a bit worried now about my knee and hope it's nothing serious. Some well deserved rest is in place now!

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