Running is an important part of Muay Thai, especially for fighters. Having strong legs and good stamina can be the deciding factor in a gueling, 5 round fight. At Petchrungruang, our boys run every morning, rain or shine.
For the last two weeks Kru Nu has been offering a special run on the weekends, when the boys aren’t in school. We meet at 5:00 AM at the gym and pile into the gym van, Kru Nu in the driver’s seat and we head out for about 20 minutes into an area between Pattaya and Sattahip. The rural roads are quiet, without a great deal of traffic, and we start running before the sun is up. It’s dark, so Kru Nu drives the van slowly behind the group of runners and his headlights illuminate enough of the road for us to keep our footing. There are enormous fields and vinyards on either side, and as the sun rises there is mist on the fields with the enormous, gold Buddha painted on the side of the Khao Cheetjan mountain.
Khao Cheetjan mountain behind the group
On the first excursion the group ran from Silver Lake to the Chinese temple, took a photo (below) and then continued on to the right, down some narrow country roads to find another temple a few kilometers away.
Chinese Temple behind the group, from left: Sylvie, Alex, Ouan, Team, Gaengat, Bank and Carabao
Running to the second temple down the narrow country roads
On our second trip out, the following weekend, Kru Nu changed the course. After reaching the Chinese Temple we headed off to the left (instead of right) and ran halfway around a lake. The sun rose as the group rounded the last bit, the pink sky reflected in the still, mirrored surface of the lake. Truly beautiful. We stopped to take a photo as we headed back to our starting point to complete the run.
Bigger group the second weekend out! By the lake.
In all this second run was 11 kilometers, from Khao Cheetjan to the edge of the lake and back again. The next day a few of the boys woke up at 2 AM (on a Sunday) in order to drive out to Rayong for a mini-marathon, 10.5 km:
The group before the start of the race, wearing the Royal Thai Residence shirts made by Sun’s father, from left: Pi Nok, Ouan, Gaengat, Bank, Alex and Sun
The boys were entered into a few different age categories but a number of our fighters took trophies as they placed in the top of their groups. When you start each day with an 8-11 km run, a 10K is easy. It’s all part of Muay Thai.