“The world is my treadmill, i will run all over it”
28 May 2016 – This little desire has led me to Hatyai, a southern province of Thailand. Training has been sufficient and I have set my goal to achieve a sub 2 hours run in half marathon category.
Pre-Race Goodies bag collection
Goodies bag collection was happened a day before the race at the indoor of Jiranakorn Stadium. Walk-in registration was still available for mini-marathon, the 10.5km run.
The helpers are very sufficient for about 3000 strong participants’ event, and the goodies bag collection process went smoothly.
Pre-Race Carbo loading
Hatyai is a food haven. A recommended place for carbo-load is Bankanpu Seafood Restaurant. The food was okay with reasonable price. Love the seafood fried rice most.
One thing to take note: REMEMBER TO SPELL OUT “BANKAMPU” IF YOU ARE GOING THERE BY LOCAL TUTU. Else you may end up arriving at Carrefour Hypermarket.
The Bed Hatyai, highly recommended this hotel for runners as well as travelers. http://www.thebedhatyai.com/
Though it is a bit pricy at around RM190 per night, it is a very well-keep hotel. Nice bed, clean shower room, and it has a very big and comfy space.
If you plan to drive to Hatyai, The Bed has a private car park, which is free of charge for their customer.
It is nicely located as there is a Seven Eleven convenience store just across the road and just 5 minutes walk to Lee Garden, Center of Hatyai. Most importantly, it is located near to Jiranakorn Stadium, the marathon starting point.
Transport to the starting point
As the marathon happens in wee hours, tut-tut service was scarce. However, if come in group, an arrangement with the tut-tut driver is possible a day earlier. As for tut-tut transportation fee, the standard charges is 20 baht per person, if the destination is within 4km distance.
It was very happening on Sunday morning. The stadium was alive with music. Some helpers busy setting up their booth for exhibition, some participants warming up in the outdoor stadium, some people just hang around and taking photos.
Stadium toilets are open for participants to clear their water before the race.
20 minutes before the race starts, there were announcement asking participants to gather at the outdoor stadium. Some briefings were made, but most of the briefings were in Thai language and only a few sentences were translated to English. Even though most non-Thai runners understand little Thai, still all of the participants seem to enjoy the atmosphere and ready to run.
The race starts on-time, 5:30am local time (6:30am Malaysian time). The race was fierce with most participants speeding at below 5min/km pace.
The cool weather was nice to run in, and the organizer did well as they ensure there is water station at every 2km.
The first 5km was more to Hatyai city. After that, it was a long flat highway route from 5th km to 11th km. Nice scenic view along the route. At 11th km, runners were directed to make a U-turn and run back to Jiranakron Stadium.
I manage a good 5:23/km pace for the first 11km. However, I slow down my pace at 15th km as the slow pace 10.5km runners join the route.
I reach 18th km just below 1ooth minute. Up my pace again then and I just want to finish the race fast. The last 1km was a straight route which allows me to make sprint. Manage to cross the finish line, just a few seconds ahead of Mr. Tom, an avid runner from Penang as well.
Finally broke the sub 2 barrier! I am a happy boy.
Other Than Running
Hatyai is a very happening place to visit. Other than food, it is also a shopping haven. Bought some Thai snacks and a Germany Football team Replica shirt which I like very much.
Of course, foot massage is a must after a good run. Visited Mali Foot Massage Center, which is located near to Lee Garden. Good service and thumbs up to them.
My next outstation running event? Standard Chartered Kuala Lumpur Full Marathon. Stay tune.