Thomas was planning to run the half marathon, I had signed up for the 7 km along with Manuela and Chris too. Bough we should be riding today, we thought a quick run and a short day would be fine.

I met up with all at 6:15 at the start point. I didn’t have any running shoes and had an option of my cycling flats or crocs. Both not great options. I opted for the crocs anyway with an option of running bare feet. At the run, I just decided to go bare feet, it was asphalt and pretty well laid out too so figured the worst would be some pin pricks and blisters, eh.

The run was flagged off at 6:30 and it was a nice cloudy morning and the route went thro some of the nice parts of Luang Prabang. Funny enough, I saw more of the town on the run than in the past 2 days. I haven’t run in the past 3 months and though it was only 7 km, I was sure I’d have sore calves by the end of the day.

I ran bare feet and kept up with Manuela and Thomas and they are fast runners. It was surprisingly nice to run bare feet and seemingly I was the only one bare feet there. I caused a minor stir with everyone staring at me carrying my crocks in hand and running. Very corner, I’d see people cheering the runners and when they see me, there’d be hushed whispers, finger pointing and loud laughter. Heh. Along the course, they had lots of cakes, some fruits and then school children cheering the runners along. Was enjoyable and I finished the 7 km circuit in 36 minutes. A bit of a personal best I think.

We stopped and let Thomas go on for his 21. Ty, Ingo, Erin and Karen had popped by to cheer us and we spent the time talking to them and later walks up to one of the cake stations and eating a boat load of pastries, hee hee. Thomas ran a blistering race and finished his 21 in 1:36 and we headed back to pack up and ride for the day.

It was a Saturday and the backpackers started up some loud music with some cheesy dance music in the intense afternoon heat. We started our ride at 1 pm with gangnam style music blaring in the ears.

The route out was rolling hills and we made a slow route, with slightly sore legs. The heat was on in the afternoon and the progress was slow. We knew we couldn’t head all the way to Pak Mong anyway and were targeting a small village called Pak Nga about 70 km away.

As we got to Pak Nga, we found a restaurant but couldn’t spot a place to stay. So we headed a bit further when we got to a guesthouse. But the lady was trying to over charge us at 65,000 kip per person, we weren’t having any of that and decided to pitch camp at the school nearby. While we were riding, an old lady asked us if we wanted to sleep in her house for 10,000 kip per person. That was reasonable and we decided to stay up there. A walk to the restaurant for dinner and a shower by a bucket in the roadside ended our day.

I guess the run took out a bit from all of our legs, but hey, it was nice to participate in the first official Luang Prabang run and I was glad to be on the road again!

Route: Luang Prabang to Pak Nga
Distance: 73 km
Ascent: 2600 ft
Descent: 2600 ft
Time in saddle: 5:00 hrs
Expenses: Sg$ 8.33
Comments: Barefoot running, a few blisters and 70 km on the road. That’s a good day!

Track Notes