Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Columbia Trail Masters - A race review

I didn't sleep well the night before.  I was nervous.  I am still not fully recovered from Shingles, I had some pain and I was so afraid we would sleep in, although I had set 3 alarms,  that I woke many time to check the clock. 

On our way to the race it began to pour.  Water filled up on the road and I started to think the race would be cancelled.

But as we came closer to Kao Mai Keaw the roads were clearer and the excitement was building.

My family took a photo of me and then we all crammed in ready to start.  It wasn't until a few days later when I posted the photos on facebook that I realised the man standing in front of me in the blue is actually on my friends list.  

I have gone from having no friends to friends I didn't even know I have!  

Then the race started.  It was only 25k.  I ran a half once in 3 hours (that's very slow) so I told my family to come back in 3.5 - 4 hours as I was sure to finish it by then.


I really had no idea how long this journey would take.
I didn't know it would be so breathtakingly beautiful that sometimes I would have to stop just to admire my surroundings and take photos. 

There was one spot where we had to cross a ditch that was so steep I needed to hold onto a tree vine and lower myself down.

I wasn't coming last but it was a very slow race and I was amongst the back of the pack runners.

At 17km I was walking and struggling.  I then looked up to see a member of my running group running to say hello to me and offer anything I might need.  That support and encouragement really made me feel fantastic and full of energy again.

I ran for another 8 km.  Through beautiful trails and among shaded trees and heavily grown areas.  I had to climb over a couple of trees blocking the path and run on soft sand that I suspect were dry river beds.

I was walking again as I came up to the finish and the support team from Bangkok Runners were there.  I can't describe the elation I felt when I had someone run and talk to me in the last 10-20 metres.

It was a very tough course.  I had friends who signed up for the 50km only to pull out at 25km and comment on how hard it was.

After 5 hours and 5 minutes I was finally at the end.

I was given this medal and a bunch of flowers.  

After the race I was quite ill.  Hardly able to stand and vomiting nothing into a zip lock bag as we made the long trip home.  That night I had chills and went to bed in my winter pyjama's.  

But I woke the next day feeling euphoric.

I cannot wait to do this race again in January.

It has taken almost 10 years of running to find my niche; and that is trail.  I am at my most happiest when running in nature.  When the sounds of animals and birds are so much more exciting than an ipod playlist.

I have registered for 7 events so far over the next 12 months.  Two of them are road marathons but the rest are on trails.  From 21 to 78km.  In Thailand, Australia and Europe.

I am in a great place.  I am not the fastest, I don't look the part and some people don't get it but I have never loved running more than I do at this moment.


  1. Reading this brought tears to my eyes especially the last paragraph. I am so happy for you that you have found something you love that brings you joy and it doesn't matter how good you are at it but that you do it. I totally get the being out in nature...that's when I'm happiest too. Although I prefer to walk through it not run. You are awesome!

    1. Thank you so much Kym :) your comment made me feel pretty fantastic!

  2. I am so happy for you! The pictures were beautiful and I loved your descriptions. I felt like I was right there with you. I've been having a tough time getting myself back into running. You've motivated me into putting those running shoes back on...and maybe I should try trail running too. WAY TO GO!