Thai Curiosities at a Race in Khao Yai

image

Last January 31, I found myself in Khao Yai, Pak Chong about 200 kilometers from Bangkok for some running related journey. Runners from 40 countries participated in this quite popular Asia Pacific trail running race series organized by The North Face.

image

Waiting for the race briefing the day before the race, while seeing several trail ultra marathoners with smooth head but in an appealing masculine way

I have previously participated in the Philippine and Singapore editions of this series. This time I joined the Thailand edition.

image

The author finished at 3:10:48 in 12th place out of 225 women participants (6/118 in age category) of the 25 km distance race

The event was terrific. Furthermore, the local flair of this race was noteworthy where at gun start (actually squeeze horns were used), a Buddhist monk stood at the starting line and blessed the runners with some sort of holy water as we started to cross it. And where the rising sun was seen as prominently round with yellow-orange color above the hills as we ran on reddish dry dirt including some nonrunnable ascent to almost 600 meters above sea level. And where the trail passed through chilli and cassava plantations.

image

Post race buffet of Thai dishes of which the author partook to her heart’s content, seasoning her rice with Thai patis

And where the post race food was a buffet of khao pad, pad thai, unidentified Thai macaroni dish with accompanying condiments such as Thai fish sauce with chillies, and local fruits – banana, watermelon and guava.

image

Thai massage on hay beds

And for a post race treat – signature Thai massage by local women on hay beds.

image

The mighty songthaew as the runners’ shuttle

With regards to ferrying runners from nearby hotels to the race venue and back, there were those ruggedly handsome songthaews. As for the necessary amenities, they have those portalet trucks with theme park look but with practical toilet configuration, and this has now become my favorite race portalet as of today. And of course, the run on the trails of Thailand as well. Kob kun mak ka.

image

Portalet trucks: Each truck has door for female on one side and male on the opposite side with six cubicles for each gender plus a wash sink

Advertisements

2 responses to “Thai Curiosities at a Race in Khao Yai

  1. Kevin February 3, 2015 at 12:22 pm

    I have never been in a race in another culture. There must be a bunch of cultural things we just assume is the same. I am thinking of the monks blessing that you mentioned.

  2. makadto February 3, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    In the Philippines sometimes the organizer would lead a prayer (Catholic) before gun start. Indeed certain cultural distinctions are present and more noticeably in relatively small running events in Asia

Thoughts?

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: