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RunningFatboy

Chiang Mai Marathon 2015

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Any hotel nearby the starting point to recommend?

thanks

Try De Naga Hotel.... Reasonable priced with good breakfast. Within 5 mins from starting point.

Stayed there for 2013 race

Thanks bro. But this hotel is quite ex compare to other hotel nearby.

I booked another hotel which is much cheaper than this hotel.

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moi... :D

Doing FM... hoping to start at 3 am... gonna ask.. dont wana bake in sun (is it hot? ><)

Edit: I was checking out the website and saw that 100 plus and crystal water listed as sponsors!

Good... no weird drinks at least 100 plus is familiar.. plain water any brand not weird is ok for me :D

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moi... :D

Doing FM... hoping to start at 3 am... gonna ask.. dont wana bake in sun (is it hot? ><)

Edit: I was checking out the website and saw that 100 plus and crystal water listed as sponsors!

Good... no weird drinks at least 100 plus is familiar.. plain water any brand not weird is ok for me :D

cool. I am doing HM.

Which hotel you will stay?

I booked Tapae Place. Dunno whether it is good or not.

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Soooo tired! Holy shizzle

I was a bit Worried because the past two days were not very cold but today weather almost perfect.

How did your race go?

I'm gonna write a more detailed report in a few...

Just back from BKK yesterday.

I did have a great run.

A great weather and nice food served before and after the run. Definitely worth the trip.

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Race: Chiang Mai Marathon (http://www.chiangmaimarathon.com/)
Date: 20 Dec 2015
Goal: Sub 4:45 FM (6:45 min per km pace)

TLDR
Expo: Thapae gate - easy access, quick collection and helpful volunteers for collection. The expo was not as impressive with some food, apparel and also old medal, singlet, finisher tees for sale.

Route: Quite boring route for the highway (think ECP) but very flat all the way. Conducive for a PB attempt. Dark in the beginning and lots of cars/ traffic along the way but well marshaled by policemen!

Logistics: Water every 2 km or so. 100 Plus is super thick consistency so take with water. Watermelon etc for consumption. Pain relief spray at about 29 km! Toilets are far and few along the way and may be quite crowded so doing no 2 is a hassle.

Post race: Extra goodies + Banana + water + McD burger. Cool :) quick moving line and helpful volunteers


Full Race Report
After the disaster that is Sundown (target sub 5:00 but did sub 5:45), I have slightly restructured my workout plan and definitely keep my nutrition and diet IN CHECK.

I registered for Chiang Mai marathon after researching on good races around December with cool weather. The registration fee was THB 1200 (about SGD50) so this race is a good no frills cheap race :D

Training
I followed a cobbled together plan from Runner's world website with the weekly schedule as follows:

M - Easy
T - Easy/Hill*
W - Easy/ Steady*
R - Interval/ Strides
F - Easy
S - Easy
U - LSD
(Hill and steady alternating weeks)

Overall I tried to follow the plan as closely as possible but encountered some issues along the way:
- Some out of whack scheduling due to traveling
- Completing only 22 of 32k in week 11 LSD due to fatigue
- Difficulty running LSDs >28km with significant slowing down in the last few Ks
- Too tired/ weak to hit interval/ stride workout targets. End up doing closer to easy pace

The two week taper consisted of only 4 workouts in week 15 (including a 16k LSD) and another 4 workouts in week 16.
There were plenty of foot massages to be had along the way :D Thai massage very nice

I managed to hit an average of 70-ish km/ week which is about 10k more than the previous marathon cycle mainly due to adding "active recovery days" and non rest Saturday.

Pre-Race
I went to the pre-race collection and expo (held at Thapae Gate of Old Chiang Mai) on Saturday morning at about 9am prior to the race day. Even though the website states that the collection starts at 10am, the registration counter was already open so I managed to beat the queue!

I showed my passport and gotten my registration info to be passed over for race bag collection. I walked over to the collection tent and the volunteers helped me with the race pack. The race pack consisted of the sling bag, race bib, race singlet, race guide, GU gel, LED light, disposable shaving blade and a race belt with bib loop. Cool :)

Lastly, I checked my bib chip at the chip check tent... nice.. I was blessed with four 4s for my race number.

The expo was not quite set up when I was done with the race pack collection. However, there were running apparels, accessories etc. for sales. Other than that, they were also selling singlets, finisher tees and medals from the previous editions of the race. There were also stalls selling food and beverages nearby to satiate my hunger (but not that nice la). Other than that, as usual, some tents are also promoting races in CM as well as China, Taipei etc.

Attire
Went with my usual attire but did not wear much for the top thinking the temperature may be mild.

- New balance Impact short sleeve tee

- Running warehouse split shorts, 2xu compression shorts
- Wright socks, New Balance minimus zero v2
- Ultimate Direction waist pack

Race Day

Pre-flag off:

The start and end was at the Thapae Gate. The marathon starts at 4am so I went about 30 minutes before to warm up and get myself acclimated. The temp was colder compared to the 2 days before (about 20ish). The CM marathon provides pacers for the race! A nice surprise indeed. The available timings are: 4hr to 6hr in intervals of 30 minutes IIRC.

0 - 9km:

FLAG OFF at 4 am! Running through the old city with quite a lot of people up and cheering is quite fun. I decided in my mind to GO BUST by following the 4:30 pacers. The run was all smooth and I felt great all the way running in this cool weather. The roads were closed to traffic on one lane and there were some changing of lanes which was crazy seeing how much traffic there was at such an ungodly hour. Feel a bit dangerous running with just traffic cones separating us from the cars but the traffic was quite slow in the town area so not much of an issue. Once we left the town area, we are coursing through the main road towards the highway.

10 - 15km:

Once I hit the highway, following the 4:30 pacers at a decent pace, suddenly I felt a rumble..... oh noes, I think I have the runs... should have done more business before the race start... and skipped some of the stuff I ate the day before. :X

It was a pain in the ass literally... I was looking frantically for a relief but IT WAS ALL HIGHWAY all the way. It was quite dark along the way running on the side of the road with cars whizzing past. Some parts were really quite dark with no lights so need to be careful!

At 11-12 km, the first food station with watermelon and something else(?), so I grabbed the watermelon and continue on my way :D

The hydration had been water all the way and I was waiting to get some 100 Plus down!

The roads were marshaled by actual policemen working overtime to ensure the safety of the runners! Salute! I think that was vital because there were quite a lot of lane changes along the route with traffic coming through and past busy junctions.

16 - 23km:

The trepidation due to the runs was getting worse.... I was really feeling it as my strides were labouring.

We turned into the first turn and at the end after the turn, the runners receive a hairband each (the colors were red, green, yellow, orange for 4 turns) to signify that they had completed each turn. A very good old school solution to counter the cheats! :D

Finally I saw a restaurant and made a quick dash asking if I can use the loo ...... RELIEVE and rearing to go... some wasted time but que sera sera...

Ran some more and still feeling good trying to catch up with the pacers but have lost them at this point. Completed the second turn, get my hairband and back to the main route... steady.. steady.. steady..

Finally, we go the much needed 100 Plus isotonic for nutrients... The drink was REALLY thick in consistency compared to the usual 100 Plus so I had to take it together with the water. Seems that my relief from the change in isotonic sponsor was not justified, as the Thais use a strong mix as per the previous race reviews (was it a different brand?). Regardless, taking it with water and no biggie :)

24 - 30km:

The third turn was at the end of the main route and we now were on the return to the old city. The fourth turn takes us into the safari and the day was getting quite bright.

Got my hair band and smiled for the camera as I noticed some cameramen along the way out of the turn. The route had been super flat all the way but the safari route had a bit of an incline/ decline so the fatigue was setting in at this point. There was one station nearing the turn back into the main route and there were people spraying some pain relief concoction from those weed spray devices! Got a massive dose on my thighs and grabbed some green isotonic of sort and watermelon before going on my merry way.

30 - 37km:

Upper body felt shit at this point even though my legs felt good. After the top up at the safari exit, it felt refreshing but the kms after felt like a dredge going VERY slowly. This is something that I have to look into after the race. The day was now bright as day :D but the sweat from all the humidity and chill from the cold wind was also dampening my spirit.

We ran by the side of the highway (separated from the fast cars with traffic cones again) all the way back to the old city again. Again there were some lane changes so look out for traffic! Although there were plenty of marshals at hand so it did feel safe. After the 32km point, I had to walk run all the way.... feeling out of breath trying to maintain a reasonable pace (managing between 6:50 - 7:30).

38 - 42km:

FINALLY made it out of highway from hell, 5 more km to go! At this point there were some people around and it definitely a good moral lift to be cheered on by others for the final push. STILL doing the walk run because I am terrible at this... slowly slowly closing in and finally on the home stretch when the Thapae gate came into full view!

A ridiculous crowd of people thronged the sidewalk towards the gate and the pain was numb now... I picked up my pace and rushed towards the line. Unofficial time is 4:37:56! I made sub-4:45 but kicked myself because I know I could have definitely made sub 4:30. Got my medal, bottle of water,banana and finisher tee. Other than that, they also gave some type of oil and pack of noodle.... strange.. Last but not least the Mcdonald burger!!!

Final thoughts
It was definitely a great experience.

I feel that the race, pre and post experience had been great. Definitely a race that can be considered again for another attempt in the future. The logistics and support were top-notch so the runners are definitely taken care of. The route can be quite dark in the beginning and quite a lot of traffic so some caution but the route is well marked with cones and marshaled along the way which mitigates that. Lastly, the weather was perfect, temp around 20c which slight winds. However, the humidity is still there so I was getting slight chills towards the later KMs of the race, which might be something that I should have prepared for better pre-race.

On a personal note, I finally achieved a good goal pace but I know I could have done better without the few disruptions along the way. A lot to digest and to take in for my next marathon attempt.

Race Splits

Look at those shitty positive splits :S

Distance Tot time Pace

0-10km 1:01:42 0:06:10

10-20km 1:04:14 0:06:25

20-30km 1:07:38 0:06:46

30-40km 1:10:27 0:07:03

Last 2km 0:13:56 0:06:58

HM 2:12:11 0:06:18

32k 3:27:44 0:06:30

42k 4:37:56 0:06:37

Album

http://imgur.com/a/nZjAZ

Expo
6yFBC4Xm.jpg

Check in for collection
ZO89Vqvm.jpg

Collection ground
igJxVWpm.jpg

Collection tent
6523qyFm.jpg

Chip Check Tent
PghfDC1m.jpg

Route map
hrd6H87m.jpg

Race pack bag
Np1VxMhm.jpg

"Expo"
TUpt3oLm.jpg

Sales of previous singlets and medals
glNibfUm.jpg

Post race items

http://imgur.com/hvHLKwu.jpg

Finisher medal with 4 hair bands to track course completion
qxinHoZl.jpg

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