TNF 100 Thailand 2014

I signed up for the race 6 months before, thought of doing 50km but after got poisoned by Ray (yeah, we runners poison each other...haha), I was happily signed up 100km even though I wasn't sure about my training commitment.

Initial plan was to stay in Bangkok, but due to riot and demonstration, we changed plan go to Pak Chong straight away from the airport. But later I changed my mind and broke up from the group and stay one night in Bangkok. Luckily I have a good friend living and working in Bangkok. He booked a service apartment just for me at The Narathiwas Residence and he didn't even let me pay for it. Thank you Chong!

One bedroom apartment at The Narathiwas Residence
I got to know Chong when we were candidates for US Military Academy at RMC in the early 1992. I didn't get a placing but he went to the most prestigious military academy in the world the "West Point". He came back and served the nation for 10 years to fulfill his contract. I think there was no place for a smart guy like him in the army, so he left the service and went to work in a Swiss company in Bangkok. He's been here for 10 years and married to a Taiwanese lady. They have a very cute 2 year-old daughter named after his favorite actress Charlize Theron. 

The first spot Chong took me was Asiatique The Riverfront. It is an eatery and entertainment park by the Chao Pharaya riverbank. According to the history, in the 1900s during the reign of King Chulalongkorn, the King established first relationship with Denmark. In the process East Asiatic Company constructed a pier dedicated for teak wood business belong to a Danish national. Today, the same pier was restored to its original.
Asiatique
Then we drove to State Tower building, I know this place from a movie "Hang Over 2" starring by Bradley Cooper. This is shooting location in one of the scenes. It was voted as "the most stunning rooftop bar you ever seen" by The New York Times. The view from up was amazing. We hang out here throughout the sunset until night fall. 
Sky bar
can see Chao Phraya river
Slightly hazy but the sunset was beautiful
One thing you must know about this place is they have dress code to enter the premise. You must wear long pants with shoes. No shorts and sandals allowed. Majority of people here are white people. Only a small number of Asian looking like us.
Nightfall

Stunning
If you want to view Bangkok city, this is the place to be. You can have romantic dinner with your loved ones or just drinking with your old buddies.
I can hang out here for hours

Can you see river cruises in Chao Phraya at night?
Then we heading to Khao San road for dinner. This is one of few places where demonstrators blocking the road. After dinner we walked through the night market and Pat Pong area (ehemmm...). Before went back we hangout at "Eat Me" a top 20 restaurant in Asia voted by CNN. I was glad I didn't go to Pak Chong straight away. One night in Bangkok was so memorable, thank you Chong for being a great host! :)

Dinner and strolling around Khao San
The next morning I took bus chartered by the organizer from Makassan Airport Link to Khao Yai. Thanks to Razinah for informing me about the chartered bus. There were Ivan, Luqman, Raymond, Yim and few other Malaysians on the bus. 
Bus trip to Khao Yai

The bus stopped at the race kit pick up area in Bonanza Resort, here I met many other Malaysians. Malaysia has quite big contingent with strong runners like Yim, Raymond Foo, Deo, Ray and many new faces too. This is what I like about our running community, when we share the same passion we can get along easily. 

Race kit pick and race briefing
Same number like Celcom prefix
One of many running groups from Malaysia
We were staying at Belmont Village, the nearest resort to start line as suggested by Ray. In fact, we were running right in front of the resort. It was very nice place, I don't feel like I was in Thailand.
Belmont Village

We got up very early the next morning and we had heavy breakfast. I'm not going to eat proper lunch, so might as well wallop the breakfast.
At start line
100km participants have to run 2 loops
The race started at 5am. I could see a trail of lights from the hill. It was dry and dusty but the temperature was still ok before the sun comes out.
First 10km
The rocky hill was the highest point in the race course. Here, I saved a Chinese girl when she fell down the slope. She lost her glasses but luckily I managed to find it down the slope. Later I met her again at finish line that night.
15km mark
We ran past through a village. We were greeted by friendly Thai people.
20km mark
Amazing background huh ;)
We were cheered by a bunch of school children too. They are the recipients part of the money donated by the organizer to help them with their education. This kind of organizer we must support.
30km mark
It was very hot, the sky was clear and not clouds at all. Right now, I was so regret for signed up 100km. I should have done 50km and run much slower to enjoy the view. Now I have to catch up with the time. :(
Hot hot hot!
Along the way I bumped into Azhar, Sabri & Saufi. All of us grilled to the bone. It was super duper hot weather, around 36 degree Celsius. On the tarred road, it was much more hotter!! Must be around 40 degrees.
40km mark
Final push for the first 50km loop. I managed to complete the first loop in 8 hours. I guess it was too slow because I was expecting to do it in 7 hours. I knew it, I will not make it to the cut off at this pace in this hot weather. After changing my socks and eat some food, I slowly get up and move my arse to run one more loop. At that moment I saw the champion for 100km was about to make the last turn to cross the finish line. Wow! he ran twice my speed!
60km mark
It was all dry, dusty, hot and humid. Not sure what made me do it for the second loop?? I can always quit after the first loop. Being stupid and stubborn probably.
70km..... the end!
When I reached 70km CP, it was already 13:25 hrs into the race. I have exactly 4:35 hrs to finish 30km. I don't think I can make especially when the day was getting darker and darker. I might bumped into Nang Nak if running alone in the jungle. So, there were Azhar, Saufi and Zul at CP7. We all called it a day because no way we can finish within the cut off. We boarded a lorry to CP8 together with three other Thai runners. We met up with Khairi at CP8. All 6 of us bundled into back of a police wagon before they send us back to start line.

At the finish like we saw Malaysian top runner Yim crossed the finish line first, followed by Raymond Foo and then Deo. I think these people are awesome to finish the race. After the result announced, to my shocking 60% of 100km runners were DNFed!! And some of the finishers actually didn't run the whole course on the second loop. We can tell by looking at their timing in each checkpoint. What a shame!

By the way, I met the girl I saved during the race again at finish line. She hugged and kissed me (kissing photo can put here...hehe), saying thank you for helping her. She personally invited me to race in China, she suggested me to sign up Vibram 100km in Hong Kong. Sounds like a date! OK we'll see how ;)

My endomondo tracking click here. No cheating one.
Back to start line
The next day after breakfast, I managed to walk around Belmont Village during the day. The place was very clean and cozy. I felt like being in Australia.
Belmont during the day
Very serene and peaceful
After checkout, we went back to Bangkok with rented van. The journey takes a while due to heavy traffic on Sunday afternoon. Many traffics going back into Bangkok at this hour.

From Pak Chong to Bangkok
In Bangkok I stayed at Chong's place. After dinner he took me out for a drink in this place called Maggie Choo's. It looked like a normal chinese restaurant when I enter the place.
Maggie Choo's
Behind a secret door, it was a club with beautiful ladies. It wasn't me, it was Chong who wanted to hangout here...hehe
Maggie Choo's girls

The trip was awesome although I was DNF in race. Next time, I must set my objective of having fun and enjoy the trip first before seeking for glory from the race. That means go for shorter distance!!!
Don Mueng Airport
Anyway, well done to the all TNF 100 Thai finishers (not the cheaters!) and DNFers too. You guys are awesome!!









Comments

adoiyai.. yang u termakan racun si Ray tu kenapa? Damnn.. but u did ran 70K! that was awesome too. I cant imagine doing it myself. Tahniah!! Err ada kisah selanjutnya pasal chinese girl tu?
damnn.. yang u termakan racun si Ray tu pehal? dia tu gila.. hahhaa.. btw u did ran 70KM I would never be able to do that (at the moment).. nak habiskan FM pun pancit.. so tahniah!!

Eh apa kisah selanjutnya ttg chinese girl tu
Kam said…
haha... bukan racun, tu namanya encouraging each other to take up bigger challenge.

Cerita pasal awek China tu, tunggu aku sign up Vibram 100k dulu ;)

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