Wednesday, February 22, 2012

THE NORTH FACE THAILAND 2012 - 50KM - flat like 'lempeng' (Pancake)

I've been thinking of taking part for this race since last year when I was in Thailand for Phuket Marathon.
 'The North Face 100km' (TNF) will be first time landed in Thailand in 2012 (currently they have it in Singapore,Philipines, Taiwan etc).
The news was flying around the running community and few of us took the challenge to participate in it.
The TNF race scheduled on Saturday,4th Feb 2012 (while different part of the world concentrating on Hong Kong Marathon a day after that, i.e on the 5th).

Bangkok, here I come!

The first TNF Thailand will be conducted in Bangkok - Samut Songkram a little town called Amphawa.
A two hours journey from Bangkok by van or taxi (Van - 60 to 70 baht per pax one way, that is RM6.00 to RM7.00) or you may book the van through TNF Thailand website under Go Adventure Asia at RM43-00 per pax. A little bit expensive..but hey, if you dont know where were you goin' in a foreign country and you have no idea where the race will be, the rate to me is justify.
The registration fee for this race is 2,000 baht (RM200-00) - a standard version of TNF race fee (TNF Singapore RM240-00 - I think).
The flight from LCCT took us about 2 hours 10 minutes or so and Bangkok's time is 1 hour behind Malaysia.
Touched down at Bangkok approximately around 8.50am (bangkok time).
Our van was waiting for us at the airport and all 8 of us began our 2 hours journey to our resort hotel in Amphawa.

 sawadikap...welcome to bangkok..

Big kahuna jumbo statue...

This way to the race site

Reached Malida Resort at around 12pm. Checked in and we off to lunch at nearby restaurant. We seek the resort's staff, Mr Sam for the lunch guidance, such a nice person. There was a very little english word in his vocabulary, so the conversation was a little bit chaos...ha, ha...("can you take us to eat - no meat, no chicken, no pork, no tortoise, no frog - just seafood")

After lunch, headed to race site :

 Ray dapat awek thai

tangkap gambar apa tu...?

Ikan masin rupanya...

30% off...wohoo..!!

I'll be running with my slipper on...

Drama lapar tak makan...

50km je..

With Mr Ian...

Macam pegi shopping...such a big plastic for a small goodie..

Saudara Dan

 Deo and Dan (Thumb drive for 100km only...ceh)

Got the race kit - bib number, timing chip and free Tshirt along with other goodies (keropok je).

Then we back at the hotel. As our compulsory briefing started at 5pm, we decided to take a stroll to the famous Amphawa floating market. In view that our resort located at the river bank kind a business area, Mr Sam (resort guy) had brought in the long tail boat for the tour. yeah!! The boat rental cost us 1,100 baht to take us to Amphawa Floating Market (30 minutes journey) - Briefing Site (30 minutes) - and back to hotel (another 30 minutes more or less). Nice bargain.

Amphawa Floating Market

I think I might separate this floating market experience and the sight seeing adventure along the river bank activity later.

The TNF Briefing

The briefing ceremony took us around 8km along the river cruise from the hotel. It's a some kind of fish sanctuary. The briefing lasted about an hour - the map, rules, the compulsory thingy, bla, bla, bla...
and it's time for pasta party. We skipped this carbo load and replaced it with a visit to 7-11 instead (save money and time).
Light's out at 10pm.
river banks - from our resort

The Race Day

Woke up at 3am. Showered and breakfast. The resort provided us with instant milo, toast bread, hot dog and local delicacy. Nice. They even provided us with 'tuk-tuk' to ferry us to the race site. The race initially start at 4.00am as according to their website, however, it has been changed to 5.00am.

coconut trails

Check point 2 at 20km...make a u-turn, back here will be, check point 3 at 30km..phew!!
One hell of u-turn...

Mr Mohan encouraging other runners...

Deo is coming...slow pace..nice strategy for his maiden 100km..gila!

mak oi..apa kau makan tu...?...sedut bang jangan tak sedut

The timing machine

yeay...i see you

I'm in front...


Deo and mr lim..and banana trees

FRIM look alike...

The Route

Flat course all the way...wohoo!!

What the hell are you looking at?...sorry maam...

The german guy and deo..somewhere at 20km-ish..

Check point number 1..10km..

at the check point no. 1

 Check point no. 1 kot...nice

Red soil...imagine when it's dark

 salt pond..?

Been running for 3 hours now...tak penat pun..

 One of the marker...oh great..

long long road ahead...gravel road...
please don't look back when it's dark..

Saudara Dan and Deo...lambat la korang...aku gerak dulu...
Dan : 'kau boleh la"...
Me : "he, he..aku buat 50km je.."

The coconut industry...I wonder how yim, ray, deo, shine get through these maze...urgh!!..scary..!

Greenish slime...


Left right ahead...

aaah...the paddy field...I love you

30km in 4 hours...It's been a long day honey...

Remember this? ...when you're 'in' you're directing to 20km check point..
when you're 'out' you just past the 30km check point

at Check point 4 - 40 leg starting to get jelly...

40km in 5 hr in 52 min - slow but confortable
take a rest first, salivating the coconut icy drink

We have to cross this bridge to get to check point 4...
some sort of canal that inter-connect the village area...magnificient!

It's me doing belly dancing..I still got mojo..

ala...dah habis?...where's the other photos? aisey...

The Dogs

There were stray dogs here and there, most of them were very timid and a few rebel one. They can smell your fear...!! At one part Mr Mohan helped me to get through these dogs, he is a dog whisperer.

Sorry...the report still need to be touched up..


  1. Congrats Otoromen Ijam, sila upgrade 100km tahun depan!

    Hampeh sempat lagi kau ambik gambar aku, tak habis-habis jadi bahan kau ...kah kah

  2. ray : mwahaha...rasakan
    takde nya aku nak hapgrade, penat lah nak training..

  3. Congrats Ijam for finishing the race dan berjaya mengupdate entry ni hehehe. Jom buat TNF New Zealand pulak tahun depan ;)

  4. deo : thanks man. Aku dah retired dah...penat nak lari...nak jadi mcm ziff, lari relax2 je...