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I am lying on my bed, in the shades of the refreshing air con, my right foot, a chilling hamstring, covered with white tiger balm, my skinny body – yes I do, I like it this way, sick and strong – enjoying the horizontal, feeling weightless, floating in space, without gravity, just me and my stretching run today in the early morning. 1st Angkor Empire Marathon, Quarter Marathon – that´s me! – started at 6.10 a.m., shortly after the sunrise, straight in front of Angkor Tom. What a gorgeous setting!
After three runs last week as a suitable preparation for less than a medium distance, I decided, I felt quite confident, Runtastic claiming, I run 9 km in about 25 min. I had my doubts, serious doubts. After more than 6 months out of order, would be sort of abnormal, even if I rarely think about myself as a super-hero – no, they don´t have to save the world, they also can rent an appartment and live like you, not me. I supposed and badly hoped, the missing two, three kilometers, the excitement and the tournament situation itself will drown my exhaustion in sweat and kick my ass with some racy ambition, I just have to find this teen inside of me again, who did sports nearly every day – because there was nothing else to do, till the teen aged, till I discovered a discretion called choice. The marathon was since about 20 years my first athletic event again. Felt as fit as a cambodian frog on the night-run. Woke up at 4.30 a.m., arrived at the information desk at 5.23 a.m., jumped in my running tricot, fixed my number, 5045 and started to warm me up on the darkside of the Raider´s Tomb. The 42 k runners have been already on their way. Holy! 42 k, tough shit, even 20 k, tough smaller shit. The marathon, the registration helped me to stay away from the heat, from my teen-aged midlife non-crisis but drama nights. When I was young and in the way, I just swallowed the shitfall, put some tons of beer and drugs on top and yelled like a stuck vomitory. Marathon made the best of me as a mature man, and a fetish of, necessarily. I felt I could win, maybe, if I find a proper shortcut for the last 3 k. Describing the run is not worth to. I mostly had my face down to the ground, lifting up for an awakening breath, realizing I am running on historical ground, more than 1,000 years old, the yawning sun extending light, heat and the higher risk of dehydration. One of the best moments on the run, grap a water, spill it, waering my beard and then, without any ethical or environmental reasons, throw it away, half full, acting on purpose carelessly, because I am the uprising winner of the Quarter Marathon!
Finally I was fuckin glad having reached and crossed the finishing line, without collapsing. Struggling with energy and my right foot, I was hubbling the last 3 k, commanding me to strain myself and stop monologueing about the word fuck and its different expression, grounding on my desperation. I did it! And I am proud of my effected performance, even though for most of the photograpers and participants my tattoos and beard were more attractive to shoot.
As I left the arrival area, with a medal around my neck, the desired water in my hands, limping, but amazingly happy, to blow up Runtastic´s coverage of Siem Reap, sucking in deeply the air, the boiling air by now. And the first question was, from a seller, sitting on her typical cambodian orange cool box,
“Water? Sir!” – Showing her my water. “Beer!” presenting me a can of Angkor Beer. “My ass!” I thought for a second, then I laughed… Cambodia how it celebrates and turns a can into a holy grail. I passed her later again, just to hear it again, “Beer?”
After a Nasi Goreng with my bro Joost, I will report about him for sure soon, and a nap poolside, I still hardly walk and my nipples hurt, red-headed, the runner´s choce.
I feel alive!