Krabi Boats 8

I love running. Back in Switzerland I used to go running seeing huge mountains in the distance. I could go any time of the day, in the morning, in the afternoon and during summer I could even go in the evening, because it wouldn't get dark before 10pm.

Coming to Thailand I quickly realized, that running isn't possible at any time of the day. During daytime it gets so hot, that any kind of exercise (apart from swimming) is madness. So mostly people start exercising late afternoon, when it's getting a bit cooler.

Having two little ones makes running also a bit more complicated. Late afternoon is the busiest time for us, because it's dinner time, shower time and then bed time. So by the time, the kids are asleep, it's dark outside, and running is impossible, if you don't want to be chased by aggressive dogs on the street.

Some friends gave us money to buy a treadmill. Oh, I loved it! I could put the children to bed and then exercise, while watching movies at the same time. But I was missing to be able to run outside and look at the nature while running.

After a while I discoverd that I could go exercise very early in the morning, when the kids are asleep and the air is also still cool outside. I even found a wide street, which didn't seem too busy at 6am. And I found out that I wasn't the only one: many people get up very early to exercise, mostly riding the bicycle up and down the street.

One day someone told me there was a 5km-run in the city and I was interested in participating, because I have never been to a race before. My goal is a half marathon, but in my training I wasn't quite at that distance yet. So I decided to go to that 5km-race.

However I discovered later, that this was not a usual race. When I arrived at 5.30, other people, mostly young students, also started to arrive. I was told, the run would start 6am. At 6.30 people were still arriving and were chatting with each other in a happy mood. Around 6.45am some people started gathering everybody. After 10 minutes and a warm-up for all of us a man started to talk about the relevance of this day. And that it was important for all of us to exercise. So actually this run was supposed to encourage young people to go out and run. So far, I agreed to every single point of his speech. Then we were told to stand in a single row and pretend to be a train! Well, this was certainly not what I had expected. Finally we were allowed to start running, but only very slowly and all in a one was supposed to leave the train...we even had to make "Twooo twooo"-sounds, to imitate a train. Sometime we were told to hold hands, or stretch out our hands with our thumbs up or put our hands up in the air. And of course, as you would expect at such a event, photographers were running up and down this lang human train and taking thousands of photos. Even though I felt a bit embarrassed, I was reminded of how being part of a group is important in the Thai culture. If this event was encouraging for young people to start running? I don't know. But most people seemed to love this special "race" and they were having a lot of fun.

Altogether it was a really interesting experience, but I was also happy, when it was over. A few months later I was able to participatein a "real" race over 15km. Also a wonderful experience and the best was: this time I really got to run (without having to put my hands up in the air...)