Treated ourselves to a little luxury seen as we’re about to put our bodies through hell. The Regent is by far the nicest hotel we’ve stayed in and get this, we even have a kitchen so we can cook again, hallelujah! Oh and a rooftop pool and fitness centre, belting. Phuket itself is a bit underwhelming so far, we’re staying in an area dominated by beach resorts and seen as it’s low season it’s all a bit dead. There was a really cool night market on the Friday though, there were pop up pubs in storage containers and loads of food stands, it had a very London feel but about a million times cheaper. BBQ’d chicken was only 30p! Probably a bit risky a few days berfore a marathon but we lived to tell the tale.
Because Thailand is stupidly hot our marathon is going to start at 4:30am and because we don’t want to be complete zombies on the day we’ve had to practice getting up earlier and earlier. The day before the marathon this involved waking up at 4am and sitting in our room twiddling our thumbs till it was an acceptable time to be seen in public. Fortunately everyone knows good pre marathon prep involves getting a good dose of vitamin D so when the sun was finally out we hired a motorbike and went to explore. The nearest town to us Patong was a bit more exciting than the resort area near us, it even had some actual people walking about! We stopped for lunch, carbs carbs carbs and then had a mooch on the beach.
The Laguna marathon series is a two day event so we headed back in time to watch the shorter races that were on the Saturday evening. After making ourselves suitably nervous by watching the super fit people breeze round the 10k we headed over to the pasta party tent. 100% a factor in why we signed up for this marathon. They’d set up a giant marquee and then provided all you could eat pasta, salad, rice, meat and even ice cream and chocolate brownies, belting! We chatted to a few other racers and then when we felt like we would never be able to eat pasta again we headed home to bed, it was 8pm, past our bedtimes!
3am and we were up and making porridge, well that’s a lie actually, I was up, Rob was taking his sweet time about it. I was showered, dressed, with my number on and ready to go by 4am, Rob was still cooking eggs… We had to run there just to make it in time for the start, like I need to do any extra running today!
The atmosphere was really good, there were about 1500 racers doing the full from over 50 countries. Mass start at 4:30 and we were off, even before the sun came up it was 29 degrees and a good deal hotter than what we’re used to, it was tough! The first 5 miles were a bit of a slog, after two weeks of not running waiting for my foot to heal my legs had forgotten what to do. Morale picked up a bit at 6 miles, it was only 5:30 but there was a group of elderly women cheering us on at the front of their shop. The course was marked out every km, pretty depressing when there’s 42 you’ve got to run and it seems to take forever to do even one, didn’t help that the route was boring as hell! At 25km I felt sick, my Chinese porridge wasn’t sitting well with me, the sun was out and it was now 34 degrees. Rob went on ahead at 30km and I made a very slow push towards the finish line. Thankfully there were lots of water stops with wet sponges so we could soak ourselves with ice water to bring our temp down, I ran when I could and walked when I had to. With 5km to go I made friends with a Thai man and we pushed on till the end. Don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to see a finish line, but there it was 42km later! What a great feeling to run over the line with the announcer saying your name (even if he did pronounce it wrong), we got our medals and a nice new running top for our efforts. There was even free rice and noodles, I must have felt ill because I love food, especially when it’s free but I couldn’t even look at it. Fortunately Rob ate enough to get both of our money’s worth. It was only 10am and we were done for the day, after hobbling back to the hotel, we filled the funky outdoor bath with cold water and dunked our legs in. The rest of the day was a write off, we cooked in the hotel, had an afternoon nap and generally felt a bit sorry for ourselves, it’s allowed post marathon!
Not wanting to waste another day we were up early the next morning and jumped on the bike to go to Phuket old town. Our legs were a bit messed up so we hobbled round the old town till we were bored and then drove up a hill. At the top of the hill were loads of wild monkeys, they definitely weren’t shy though! As soon as we got off the bike they were all over it, one even lifted up the seat and stole my water bottle! There was a lady selling nuts so Rob bought some and attempted the feed the cute little babies, the big daddy of the group didn’t like being ignored and kept chasing Rob round pulling his leg until Rob gave up. After that we couldn’t walk anywhere without a horde of monkeys following us, they even chased the bike down the road, we lobbed the nuts over our shoulders and sped off!
The rest of the day was spent on the beach, followed by the most amazing apple crumble at a cafe in Patong and finished off at an all you can eat Thai/German buffet back near the hotel. Winning combination.