Khao Yai 10K

7 Mar

This past weekend, four members of our little running group went up to Khao Yai National Park to do some racing. We have officially named our group the Ramkhamhaeng Runners (after the main road we live off of) and snazzy matching t-shirts are in the making. It’s been great motivation having some awesome ladies to run with, and to push/encourage me when needed. I’ve been enjoying this whole racing business, and am collecting shiny medals and random t-shirts as I go. 🙂

Khao Yai is beautiful, and a nice change of scene from Bangkok. (to see my blog post about Khao Yai from last year, complete with many photos, click here) The race began quite early in the morning, as most races in Thailand do. We started running in the pre-dawn darkness, and literally ran into the sunrise. The route wound along through a cute little neighborhood, and then back along the side of the park, providing delightful views. Flowers, monks, elephants, and sunrises are all lovely sights in general, and are particularly useful for distracting one’s self from the feeling of tiredness that slowly creeps up. A small portion of the runners were dressed up in costume to run, which also provided some mid-race entertainment. We definitely passed a witch, running broom in hand, during the first kilometer, and ladies in various animal costumes (see pic below). Since this is my third 10K this year, I set the goal of increasing my speed. I was hoping to finish in an hour or less. Although I didn’t quite make it in under an hour, I did improve my time by 2:35 from December’s 10K, so I was pretty pleased. Colby ran the whole way with me, and it was delightful to have running company. 🙂 Megan and Bridget did an awesome job with their half-marathon, with Megan getting a personal best, and Bridget winning 3rd place in her age bracket. Yay running ladies!

We also had some entertaining adventures pre- and post-race. One of Colby’s student’s parents had kindly offered up her vacation house in Khao Yai for us to stay in. The house was set back near one of the hills, in a scenic location off a super bumpy dirt track. It was fairly rustic, but had clean beds and warm showers, plus 2 motorbikes for us to borrow, and a helpful housekeeper who spoke to us a mile a minute in Thai. On the first night, she took Colby and Megan on 1 moto to buy dinner, in the dark, using a flashlight as a headlight. An hour later, as Bridget and I wondered what happened to them, they reappeared with dinner, 30 eggs (a little misunderstanding), ice cream that inexplicably doesn’t melt, and delicious mangos.

The next day, we took the functional but well-loved motos on an adventure to check-in for the race, and explore the park. The alignment on my moto was a bit off (due to the semi-off-roading conditions it is subjected to daily, I suspect), and as I type my right forearm is sore from wrestling it into a straight line. Despite that, zooming around on our own was great fun. We had a successful shopping spree at the race check-in, and got all sorts of snazzy athletic clothing for cheap. We also posed for countless photos, some of our own making, and some because the Thais find groups of farang hilarious and want to take our photo. The official race photog snapped a bunch, and a few fellow racers took some photos stealth-mode (or so they thought).

IMG_1462 DSC03632

Afterwards, we headed up into the park. The elevation gain up into Khao Yai is quite significant, and the motos struggled at moments. There were a few hills that had me leaning forward on the bike as if that would help it make it up. At the top, we had a tasty lunch and a took a little “trek” to a “waterfall”. The trek in question was a 1.2km walk on a cement path, and the waterfall was so small we missed it! Apparently it’s more impressive in the rainy season… We did enjoy some great views, and entertaining signs warning of wildlife. After a verrrrry careful drive back down out of the park, we unsuccessfully searched for some of the vineyards that apparently are in the area. Who knew they made wine in Thailand?! We settled for a glass of vino at an Italian restaurant with a lovely view, before carefully driving back to the house for a tasty dinner and early bedtime. All in all, it was a great weekend!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: