Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Ronald McDonald House Charities 10.5k - Bangkok 2015

Waking up again at 03:40 to go running is really starting to make me consider that I might be just a touch insane.  

I learned a few things today though.  Just to cut to it, the first is that you should always bring toilet paper to a race in Thailand.  Granted most bathrooms have toilet paper, but there are time where capitalism is just way too easy, and today was one of those days.  Let's just say that it was a good thing that I checked to see if there was toilet paper before there was a need.  Thankfully my friend had 5baht and I was able to go and buy some.  

So remember, bring toilet paper or bring some money.  Way to go capitalism!

The second thing that I learned today is that there is a real reason that people are afraid of clowns. Asian Ronald McDonald is a very creepy looking clown.  Like, seriously creepy...


The third thing that I learned is that taxi cabs and motorcycles do not care that there are thousands of people running along a route that is coned off and had police providing some form of crowd control.  They will mow your ass down.  Period.  I watched a guy in front of me get clipped by a motorcycle vendor, and a few people also had to dodge traffic when it decided to come into the race course.  Running on the "closed-off" streets of Bangkok is a bit like Frogger in that it is more about survival than it is about getting a good time.  




The last thing that I learned today is that Bangkok is a city in transition at about 530-600 am.  The city is recovering from the late night drinking, people are slowly and drunkenly heading home from the bars, and the city is just starting to get cleaned for the next day of debauchery.  The streets slowly transform while you are running from the lovely methane smell and debris to the cleaner streets at the end of the course.  The small army of workers are busy removing bottles, plastic bags, and other items, while the cabs are slowly, (or quickly depending on if they want to drive through the course), driving people home from their nights of drinking.  I can only hope that the drunken foreigner who decided that he wanted to yell out the window of the cab at the group in front of me has one of the most massive hangovers of his life right now.  If on the off chance that you are reading this Mr. Drunken Foreigner, I hope it hurts.  You suck at life.  

Other than that, it was a fantastic run.  Well, minus Asian Ronald McDonald.

The course loops a bit around a very pretty park before heading out into the city.  It makes a few sweeping arcs and then ends up right back where it started.  


The race itself started with a bit of a power outage - something that happens quite frequently with the lovely 220 volt cords plugged into way too many different surge protectors.  It was quite fun watching the starting gate deflate and then we were underway.  

As weird as it sounds, we actually started on time for this race.  It was quite nice to get most of the run out of the way before the sunrise.  It was also the first time in a long time that I have been able to see stars.  






I guess we look a little more alive.  I know that I was pretty dead at 03:40 am that morning.  In my defense I also had a nasty cold for the past two days, and still think I am recovering just a bit from it.  


Yeah, never mind, I look like hell.

I was also quite impressed with this man, who ran the whole race with the flag of the King.  I mean, I complain about carrying anything more than my cell phone, and he did the whole race at a nice steady pace of about a 6 minute kilometer (about a 9:30 mile).  


It was a fun race, and I got to see a part of Bangkok that I might not have seen (or some parts that I might not want to see), and got to take a great selfie with Grimace.