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M8: Bangkok Marathon

Date: November 19, 2017, 2:00am
Time: 3:53:50 (Pace: 8’54)
Shoes: Nike Flyknit Streak 6, Boston Yellow
Overall Review: 4/5

Registration 4/5
Online registration at the official website. Price in 2017 for non-citizen is $70.

Expo 5/5

The expo was held at the second floor of Makkasan station. Although it is a little bit outside the city center, it is actually extremely convenient for travelers coming from the airport, since Makkasan Station is on the Airport light rail and a major transfer station.
There are plenty of exhibitors at the expo, which is nicely organized in an air-conditioned space, even with some game space for kids. One thing that makes the expo special is the “bib check”, a little device to make sure that the chip attached to your bib works as design. I know it’s probably unnecessary but it’s very reassuring.

Runner’s packet include a runner’s t-shirt (a tank actually, due to the extreme hot weather), a cooling spray, traveler size shampoo and toothpaste, and some pain relief tapes, all in a blue recycle bag.

Race Day Organization 4/5

The entire event is very well organized from the beginning to the end. At the starting line, there are bag drop area and ample toilets, the directions are clear and the warm up hosts are professional. It’s especially appreciated because the race starts at 2am and everyone needs a little bit cheering.

Along the course, there were more than enough water stations, and there is an energy station at the full marathon turn around point to give out energy products. I took two little packets and consumed them shortly after.

My only complain is the mileage signs. They are wrong by a lot (as much as 5K) between 25K and 40K. It’s not a big deal since I am running with a sports watch but it’s a little bit distracting. Because Half and 10K races are held on the same route with just different turn-arond point, I also used the turn-around points of the other two races to confirm official mileage.

Course : Difficulty 2/5 (hard)

The heat is unbearable, making it the most challenging course I have run. The race starts at 2am to avoid heat but it was still 28C at the start line, which means everyone was sweating a little bit just by standing still waiting. I am drenched in sweat at mile 3, and finished the race with my shoes completely soaked in sweat. That said, I didn’t feel dehydrated or heat-struck thanks to the night run and breeze. The temperature might drop a degree or two after 4pm, the latter half of the race, until just before sunset. On the plus side, the course is mostly flat except for going up and down the highway bridges a couple of times.

Course : View 1/5
Let’s just say you don’t see much running at night. The majority of the course is off city center, and on a highway bridge so you really don’t see anything at all, except fellow runners and volunteers. The only segment worth mentioning is to run over the Rama VIII bridge, it is a gorgeous architecture even though we can only see from on the bridge at night.

Spectators 1/5
Both the midnight start time and the remote location of the course mean there were almost no spectators.

Medal and Swags 4/5

The medal looks fine, silver and thick, maybe a little bit too busy and doesn’t look very premium.

The after race swag bag includes yet another t-shirt, which is only for marathon finishers. It is basically a short-sleeve version of the tank top running shirt. There are also some muscle milk and snacks in the swag bag. This bag is strict one per runner, but there are also people giving out all sorts of drinks and food at the finishline and they are very flexible so I took home a whole bunch of Gatorade and snacks.

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