Maison Polanka. My day began at 4 am when I reisgned myself to the fact that no more sleep was happening, as if any had happened anyway. Races, and perhaps more apropos, alarm clocks, have a way of impregnating sleep with anxiety, so why fight it? Coffee, downward dogs, and catching up on some local (shady) news and it was time to head to the temples.
This year we were four which helped with my pre-race pump up. Last year there was the whole “am I doing this right” concern, where this year if anything happened at least there were 4 of us there, all in the same fucked boat.
Luckily no boat needed. Arrived right on time as the sun rose over Angkor Wat and the 8,100 (up from 7,100 last year and 250 20 years earlier) runners and by 6:15 we were off. Dan I an ran (ran!) the first 7 or so k together before i had to bail out for a pitstop, which at the time saved me and also made me realize i prefer to race alone. If I had been training and going for a time it would have been massively helpful to have the accountability and encouragement from a friend, but this time I just wanted to finish and feel good about it.
And 1 hour and 52 minutes later I did. That’s 12 minutes slower than my 2014 goal, but also 1.5 hours faster than my last year’s reality, so I am counting that as a win. Dan finished in 1:46 which is my time to beat for my next half- China Coast in Sai Kung this January…
The greatest thing about racing surely is the apres run, which in this case meant a whole lot of absolutley nothing. Quick plunge in the pool followed by some time in the sun followed by a plunge and some breakfast. Pool. Sit. Plunge. Massage. Which was followed by tea time complete with fresh donuts and banana cake.
We eventually got hungry and ventured out for a tasty dinner at The Chanery Tree (stuffed frog and summer rolls won) where once again I was hugely impressed with the wine list. We had a bottle of Torres Paralleda Garnacha Blanca that was fresh and bright and if not for that there were at least 3 or 4 other interesting whites that would have been just fine. How times are changing in SE Asia.
If in Asia and looking for a relaxing get away stay at Maison Polanka. Seriously first rate everything especially the service. And if running late for your flight, no worries, Harold’s got you covered. The man can hold planes, just ask Max and Abbey.
The next day friends left and I downgraded. Traveling solo = not as much fun. I spent the day wandering, eating, pooling, massaging, and eventaully drinking my way through Siem Reap, which was fun, but I think I’m over this solo travel. It gets a bit quiet…
I should say that December is for sure the best time to come here. All three of my visits have been in December and I can’t imagine how hot it must get the rest of the year. It’s a bit chilly at 6 am at about 22 degrees but then heats up to the 30s making for lazy afternoons by the pool. Then back down again to low 20s in the evening while you stroll the river looking for a bite.
Now it’s back to HK rain, clouds, and smog. Melbourne can’t come fast enough…