Run 52 : Thailand – Bangkok

RTW Thai 6

Please give generously to Cancer Research :

Date : 20th March, 2015

Time :  ?58’?

Total distance run to date : 520 km

Run map and details : Garmin data lost

Landing in Bangkok brings back a thousand vivid memories of our 4 plus years living there when I was a kid.

So many memories that it’s hard to know where to focus this blog. Perhaps, since I’m on a sporting challenge, and Bangkok was where I fell in love with sport, I should concentrate on my early sporting memories. Reading about the “bespectacled Mr Thompson” (my father) on the back pages of the Bangkok Post after another sporting exploit ; my first ever game of football ; falling in love with football and hating teams with long names like “Tottenham Hotspur” ; and supporting teams with short names like “Spurs” ; water skiing at Pattaya ; running round the garden in bare feet despite the snakes ; hanging off the side of a samlor as a bunch of us kids went off to play football (H & S not being much of a consideration in those days) ; the day I realised I could swim  ; trying out boxing with some friends and stepping back to avoid a punch – straight on to a coke bottle ;  Dad coming off the field with a bloody face and Mum announcing that it was his last game of rugby. The Royal Bangkok Sports Club. Possibly the best place in the whole entire world.

But I’m also doing these runs – and raising money for Cancer Research – in memory of my mother. Bangkok was liberating for her. Not long before she’d been stuck in a tiny flat in Manhattan with 3 kids under 5. Fielding calls from sickos who claimed to know where we lived.

Suddenly we had space to live in and other people to help with the cooking and cleaning. My mother could return to work – as a schoolteacher ; as the Royal Family’s English teacher ; as a producer of plays for Thai radio. She could also enjoy herself. One of my abiding memories is of her, after returning from the hairdressers, looking like a flame haired goddess – pic below – and getting ready to go out to (yet another) party.

But that was all then and now is Chatuchak Park where I’m meeting some members of the Bangkok Hash Harriers. I don’t remember the Park from my childhood but it, and its nearby neighbours, Wachira Benjathat Park and Queen Sirikit Park, are an oasis of calm in a manic city and a great place to run. Terry, who goes out hashing 3 or 4 times a week, led us out and we all set off at our various paces.

By 6pm the light is beginning to fade, the bats are swarming round and the others have headed back to the start point. I don’t want to keep them waiting and I know I should speed up. But my legs just aren’t there. I don’t know whether it’s the humidity, the previous runs, the jet lag and lack of sleep, but I’ve got nothing in the tank. It’s all I can do to plod round and wish the run would come to an end. And when it finally does, I suspect the others can see how much it’s taken out of me – picture above – for they’re very generous with their donations. Thank you Paul (USA), Terry (England), Palinee (Thailand), Brenda (Malaysia), Sherry (China) – picture below – for your company and your support!

Mutti Bangkok

RTW Thai 1

About Run the World

I'm running 10 km in every country in the world - a total of 205 countries - by the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. I'm doing the Run the World challenge to promote the benefits of sport and physical activity and to raise money for cancer research following the death of my mother from cancer. If you'd like to donate to Cancer Research - - then I know they'd be very grateful.
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3 Responses to Run 52 : Thailand – Bangkok

  1. Pam Stephens says:

    Your latest post brought tears to my eyes Dan, I remember your mother speaking so fondly of her time in Thailand. Well done yet again but don’t do too much too quickly. All the best, Pam

  2. Deidre Rooke says:

    What a lovely post Dan evoking strong images of your life in Bangkok! Congratulations on another run completed and Good luck with the next lot! Deexx

  3. Pingback: Run 123 : Estonia – Tallinn | dansgoldchallenge

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