Monday, May 5, 2014

Running my First 5K: Koh Samui Midnight Run

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! It was certainly been a busy one for Nick and I, between returning from the honeymoon, dealing with jet lag, and then the excitement of signing a new contract with Västerås. On top of all of that, today I start my new summer job and Nick is really beginning his summer hockey training. However, for my readers that follow me on twitter or instagram, you know that despite being in Thailand on our honeymoon we didn't completely fall off the staying-in-shape bandwagon!

One of my goals from my list of 30+ things I want to do before I turn 25 was to run a 5K. During the research Nick and I were doing on Koh Samui, Thailand for our honeymoon, we discovered that while we would be in Koh Samui there was going to be the 2nd annual charity Midnight Run 5K. This seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to cross an item off my list and run a 5K, in addition to the perfect way to motivate us to remain active while on our honeymoon. As soon as we found out about the Midnight Run, we knew we had to participate!

The first thing we did was check out when the Midnight Run would be held. Originally, it was going to be the first day we arrived in Koh Samui- maybe a little bit tough, with the 12 hour time difference! However, the run got moved to our last Saturday of the trip, on April 26. This was pretty much perfect timing, because it allowed us to get adjusted to Thailand time, and gave us a good reason to go for a run almost every morning while in Koh Samui! The day of the race, we headed off to register and then relaxed for the remainder of the day.

Koh Samui Thailand Midnight Run 2014
my race tag for the Midnight Run
Truth be told, one of the most difficult parts about the race was waiting around until midnight to begin! However, we headed over to the race a little bit early and just hung out and people watched until it was time for the race to begin. There was actually a pretty good crowd of people there, and the people running the race were a good mix of Thai people and tourists.

Koh Samui Midnight Run 5K
everyone getting ready to run!
Koh Samui Midnight Run 5K
Nick and I pre-race
 As the minutes ticked down closer to midnight, the crowd naturally moved closer and closer to the starting line. Words can't describe how hot this was- with temperatures at the time being 95F/35C, everyone was definitely warm and sweaty before the race even started! Finally, the clock struck midnight and we were off!

Koh Samui midnight run 5K
post-race: a little bit more tired & sweaty, but feeling great!
 Running in the Koh Samui Midnight Run 5K was actually a really cool experience, and I think a perfect way for me to run my first 5K. The race path took you through the main, touristy part of Chaweng Beach. As you ran, it was really cool to have people- mostly Thai people- cheering you on and encouraging you. Because this was a charity run, I think the Thai people were really supportive and appreciative of the race. As mentioned, I've never participated in a race before- but it was such a great feeling to have random strangers cheering and clapping for you throughout the entire time you were running!

Once the race was over, Nick and I were both tired and sweaty, yet it was such a great feeling to have finished. I know that I will be running more 5Ks in the future, and I am so happy that the Midnight Run was my first one! For any fellow runners out there, what have your favorite races been and why?

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