The
purpose of my recent trip to Thailand was to attend a conference. However,
since I’m all about “traveling the world, and running it, too”, I always look
to see if a race is happening while I’m at that destination and try to turn the
travel into a runcation. Luckily for me, the Amari Watergate Charity MidnightRun coincided with my time in Bangkok, providing another opportunity and excuse to run the world.

As
the name indicates, the race started at midnight from the Amari Watergate
Hotel. Though I’d already been in Bangkok for a few days the day of the race, and
experienced the heat and saw how “turnt up” the city was day or night, I still
wasn’t really prepared for how heat, humidity and hecticness the night of the
race. While 77F (25C) and about 80% humidity might be the perfect conditions
for the beach, it is not optimal run-a-race-at-midnight weather.

 

Less
than a kilometer into it, I was panting and sweating profusely, due to the
precarious traffic situation as the heat and humidity because traffic was not
blocked off, and we ran on the side of road as cars whizzed by just a few feet
away. At one point, the runners were halted in order to allow cars to pass. To
be fair, there were people with flashlights “directing” the traffic that was moving
at full speed, coaxing them and us to stay in our lanes. However, I took extra
safety precautions and made sure I was closest to the curb, and that there were
a few other runners between the cars and me serving as a bumper of sorts.

 

There
were lots of people out on the streets of Bangkok, but they weren’t cheering on
the runners – in fact, many of them looked at us like we were weird – they were
just out for the evening. And not just party people, but elderly people,
families with young kids, EVERYBODY, hanging out after midnight in Bangkok. I
think Bangkok may be able to challenge New York for that “City That Never
Sleeps” title.

 

Though
the traffic situation still gets a major side-eye from me, the other aspects of
race day support were positive. The water stops, which began at around the 1-kilometer
mark, and continued every 2.5-3 kilometers thereafter, had cups of water with
ice
. I stopped at every one. After the race, runners crossed the finish line, and
their running shoes morphed into dance shoes as they danced to the music
provided by the live DJ.
In
addition to the typical post-race distribution of water, sports drink and fruit
– watermelon instead of the usual suspects, bananas and oranges – there was
major food being served up, wonderful smelling like noodles and soups and more. I left at little before 2am due to an early morning wake-up call, however, the post-run
party was still going strong.
My
final assessment of the Amari Watergate Charity Midnight Run: it wasn’t my
most-loved race ever, nor was it my least. It was, however, another destination
conquered on my quest to run the world, and for that (and the bling, as
always), I am grateful.

 

*Opening photo credit: www.runthailand.com