I had a day to rest before the half marathon, but my legs were still sore from my cycling when the starting gun was fired. I recited my mantra “pain is temporary, pride is forever” and ran like the wind (on a slightly breezy day). My training was screwed up because of getting sick I had no idea how long the race would take me but I was hoping for something under 1 hour 45 minutes. The course was beautiful, running around several ancient temples and through lush jungles. The temperature was perfect running weather and there was also very little elevation change. There were also tons of locals along the course cheering us on and giving high fives. I probably gave about 1,000 high fives to Cambodian kids. I kept my goal pace strong until the last few miles when I was running out of gas. Unlike most half or full marathons there was no electrolyte drinks or bananas at any of the water stations (I love excuses). I was hoping to pick up the pace during those last few miles, but no matter how fast it felt like I was running I was obviously going slower than I did in the early miles.
I finished about 30 seconds over my goals of 1:45. I didn’t really care too much about my time. I enjoyed myself. I’m sure my cycling 200 miles a few days earlier didn’t help my performance (I told you I love excuses). Completeing the cycle trip was more important to me than my performance in the race anyways.
At the finish line Blah-Blah (the GM of the Hash), was waiting to cheer everyone on-on. In true Hash fashion he had stocked his truck up with ice cold beer. Despite the fact that it was not even 9:00am I had a few down-downs with my Hash brethren. After running a half marathon you can do pretty much whatever you want for they day (“Hey I just ran 13+ miles. What the hell have you done today”). Blah-Blah got started early, he sustained an injury about a week before the race and had to pull out of the half marathon and was reduced to competing in the 3k family fun run with all the 6 year olds (a fact none of us will ever let him live down). Since he finished about an hour before anyone I’m fairly confident he cracked his first brew before 8:00am. We hung out and cheered on all our hash friends and the other runners.
After the race I got I ride into town in the back of a pick up truck. The winner of the race was in the back too, drinking a beer in true champion form. He is a marathon runner and he competed in the Beijing Olympics was one of the 4 athletes who represented Cambodia this Summer. I’m not sure but I think this was the first time I’ve had a beer with an Olympian in the back of a pick up truck, before noon.
Great race with great people. I hope I’m back in Cambodia next year to run it again.