Cruelly, after our plane was delayed and we missed the pasta party in Bagan (which apparently, due to a downpour, was actually a soup party), the race start was scheduled for 6:15am, which meant there would be a coach leaving from our hotel at 5:15, which meant we had to get up at 4:30 for breakfast. But what was the capstone on this was that our hotel was only 5 minutes’ walk from the start of the race, so what was the point in getting up so early for the race?
It was lucky that we did get there early, otherwise we might not have happened on the race organisers and got ourselves changed from the full marathon to the 10k and half respectively. I’m so glad I didn’t attempt a longer distance.
Bagan is beautiful and it was overcast this morning so conditions were pretty much perfect, but even then I was struggling after the first kilometre. I suppose I should be happy that after almost a month then without a single run, I still knew how to put one foot in front of the other.
It was a strange race. My friend Ren vanished into the distance with the half marathoners, and I was left on my own, jogging past pagoda after pagoda. Some half marathoners from Denmark drew level with me, but they were aiming for a two hour time: they were heading out a bit fast to be doing the same pace as me, no matter how lamentable. At 7k my route finally seperated from the rest, and when a passerby on a moped told me I was first (fast?) I found a last kick of speed and sprinted the last half k to the end.
I was the first person back. 50 minutes for a 10k is not normally reason to have a gang of photographers, a TV interview and to shake hands with the minister of something, but I wasn’t going to pass up the glory. Even better, half an hour after I finished, Ren came in as the first half marathoner, so we’d executed a flawless 1-2. Or 1-1. Whatever. We spent half an hour chatting with other runners, then sauntered back to the hotel and drank beers by the pool until it was time to pass out. Why can’t every race be like this?