Last week, I had the absolute pleasure of running the Standard Charter Bangkok International Marathon. The race was different from every other race I’ve run, but was also a lot of fun (and the swag was super nice!) Here are some things to keep in mind if you’re doing an international marathon:
Don’t expect the signs to be as up to par as of the big marathons in America. I may have still been sleeping for the first 8K (the race started at 2 a.m.), but I didn’t see a single sign, and neither did the friend I ran with.
Along the same lines, there were also only a few bathrooms; however, water was a-plenty! Probably a bit too much considering how few bathrooms there were and how spread out they were. The bathrooms were pretty cool though. They were moving vans instead of porta-pottie’s. However, that meant going up and down some stairs, that hurt the further into the race you stopped.
You may want to carry your own water if the race allows. I’m not sure if it was the water or other factors, but I, along with a number of other people, got pretty sick halfway through the race. Not sure carrying my water would have made a difference, but in countries where drinking the water is unsafe, it’s never a bad idea.
4- Be prepared to be confused
Before the race started, they had announcements in Thai and English. Being able to understand both only made us more confused, as they were a bit contradictory.
Don’t take for granted that the food you’re used to eating will be available. I live in Thailand and have gotten used to grabbing odd food for my runs, but I couldn’t find any of it in the big city. If you’re used to a food, and you know you have a sensitive tummy, pack your snacks!
Above all, have fun out there! The Bangkok Marathon was my 20th marathon, but I had never started a race at 2 a.m., had to speak two languages, run through temples, or greet a monk while racing.