Running in paradise

by Erik Bohm

With the ongoing pandemic, a lot has changed in our lives. Masks are now a permanent accessory to our outfit and stepping into a 7-Eleven for a bottle of water without one is near impossible nowadays. 

However, as some changes are very visible and noticeable in our everyday lives, other elements remain fairly stable. Much to the active lifestyle orientated person’s delight, Thailand has done a fantastic job to keep hosting races and events with ‘new normal’ policies in place. 

While many of my international friends and coaching clients find that races get cancelled, turned into virtual races or postponed to a later date, Thailand managed to bring back the racing calendar to finish the year with an abundance of choice for running enthusiasts! Trail running races, road marathons, triathlons and obstacle races, they all seem to be able to provide an experience for the participants as per (new) normal. And that in and of itself is something to be very grateful for. Contrary to a lot of other countries around the world, racing in Thailand is still on! 

Organisers provide “new normal” race experiences

The wonderful organisers of these events are, of course, key to providing a safe and well regulated event. And many established organisers have adopted the so called ‘new normal’ policies allowing the participants to enjoy the events whilst being as safe as possible from Covid-19. 

Some of the differences to old style racing I notice include staggered start times (time trial style), designated start sections based on preregistered times, general social distancing rules and, as everywhere, a near infinite supply of hand sanitiser next to the energy gels, electrolyte drinks and water cups at the aid stations. Where you used to pick up on the smell of tiger balm at the start line, you now smell the whiff of Purell. 

What can you do to make your event as safe as possible?

Event organisers will keep us as safe as possible during the race. And there is a lot that we as participants can do as well to keep ourselves and others safe and healthy. By all means, sign up for the events of your choice. If the race organiser offers the option of mailing your bib and shirt to you, please do so. This will save you having to queue in line to register and pick up your bib. 

On race day, make sure you wear a mask prior to the start and dispose of your mask as late as possible. Or keep it with you during the event. Make sure you do a warm up away from crowded areas. Only go to the start grid when you are instructed to do so and ultimately, if you are not well, don’t go to the race. There will always be another race for you to enjoy and chances are that you won’t enjoy the race anyway if you are not feeling 100%.   

What is going on until the end of the year?

There are plenty of races out there and supporting the organisers by signing up is the best way to guarantee that there will be more events in the future for you to enjoy. There are too many events to list here so I will highlight iconic events that will be on early 2021. So, when the time this issue reaches you, you still have time to sign up. 

19/20 Dec – Bike Zone Tri Dash

10 Jan – Khao Eto Trail Run

21 Jan – Khon Kean Marathon

21 Feb – River Kwai Half Marathon

For more information and races, check your local race organisers events. There are so many to choose from. Let’s get out there and enjoy being active together!   

Effortless Running

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