The Daily Explorer

July 28, 2009

On Track in Pattaya

Chiang Mai, Thailand: July 2009

Meso FitMe So Fit profile 44pt

MOZZIE BYTE (Editor): A warm welcome back to all our Daily Explorer readers and greetings to those of you who are joining us for the first time. To our regulars, many thanks for viewing our online publication and for giving us your feedback. Over 18,000 visitors have been to see our site since our re-launch at the beginning of 2008. For new readers, Ray has been living nomadically for nearly four years since he left England in November 2005. In that time, he has visited or lived in 15 countries and we have been publishing news and stories about him throughout that period. If you would like to know more about what’s in our archives, check out some of our Previous Issues.

We always aim to maintain our high standards of journalism and presentation, so please keep sending us your comments and suggestions as to how we can improve what we are doing. You can use the comments box on this site, or email Ray (ray@thedailyexplorer.com) or ‘Mozzie’ or any of our correspondents at mozzie@thedailyexplorer.com

Our lastest issue has been compiled for us by our Asian Health correspondent Me So Fit, who has been keeping an eye on Ray during the preparation for his latest challenge – running in the New York Marathon on 1st November. Our global nomad has just completed the first of two half marathon races in Pattaya, Thailand during his build up to the big race, following a brief visit to the southern gulf island of Ko Samui. Me So Fit also finds out about Ray’s ‘visa’ run to Myanmar (formerly Burma) and we get an update on Ray’s “Calling All Angels” marathon fundraising campaign from Ivana Getachek. Ray arrived in Chiang Mai to start his marathon training in mid April. Since then, he has clocked up just over 500 miles of running – and has nearly worn out his first pair of running shoes!

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Above: Our Health correspondent Me So Fit has all of the news and pictures from Ray’s first ever half-marathon race in Pattaya, exclusively in this issue of The Daily Explorer….

In our last issue, our global adventurer improved his photographic skills when he took part in a novel afternoon workshop in Chiang Mai’s Sunday Walking Street market. And in his training, he also completed the half-marathon distance of 13.1 miles for the first time ever, in preparation for his race in Pattaya. If you missed it, you can read more about it now at: Half Marathon Man

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Above: 42 years ago, our global traveller was giving it his all in a Tarzan competition (left) and he has recently been doing the same again as he trains to run a marathon for the first time in his life (right). In our last issue, Me So Fit caught up with Ray during his programme as our global traveller made good progress towards his goal of being able to complete the gruelling 26.2 mile course in New York on 1st November, which he is doing to raise money for three worthy causes. If you missed it, you can read it at: Half Marathon Man 

For travellers or regular visitors who wish to remain in Thailand for months rather than weeks, ‘Border’ or ‘Visa’ runs have become an irritating but necessary requirement for foreigners. I caught up with Ray and Nikki just before they were setting off for a two week trip south to the island of Ko Samui, only to discover that they were first going to hop northwards to the Burmese border to get up to date stamps in their passports. “These border runs are a real pain in the butt” said Ray. “None of the ‘Farang’ (westerners) here can understand why the authorities require you to go to a border when there is an immigration office in every city, including Chiang Mai. I would be happy to pay an additional fee, equivalent to or even slightly more than the travel cost of going to the border, just to save the eight or nine hours it takes to get there and back” he told me.

Mae Sai Map

Above: Because Chiang Mai is in northern Thailand (circled, lower), the nearest border is with Myanmar at Mae Sai (also circled, upper). It is about 160 kilometres each way and by the time you have stopped and got your new stamp for three months, it takes a whole day to get there and back by bus

So what do you do when you get to the border? “Well Me So, it depends how much time you have” said Ray. “Some people might go travelling for a couple of weeks and then return when they are done. Others may just spend a few hours and do a bit of shopping or sight-seeing. Nikki and I had so many things going on in Chiang Mai, we elected to get the first bus back that we could, so ended up spending about 30 minutes inside Myanmar and then another hour or so having a meal in Mae Sai before going back” he recalled. “The bus journey on these border runs is so horrid, in future we might treat this situation as an opportunity to fly somewhere interesting for a weekend. After all, there are plenty of cheap flights from Bangkok to cities all over Asia and beyond” said Ray.

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Above: Even though they have one year Thai visa’s issued in the UK, to comply with Immigration Law in Thailand, Ray and Nikki have to go to a border every 90 days and get a new stamp in their passports. From Chiang Mai, this usually means catching the Express Bus from Arcade Bus Station (left) and walking across the border at Mae Sai into Myanmar so that they have ‘exited’ the country. They can then come back across the Thai border and get the new stamp (right), which keeps everyone happy! The bus ride there and back and the stamp costs about twenty pounds

Below: Nikki enters Myanmar for the second time (she has been to the border on a previous occasion) – “It is a country that I would like to go and explore properly at some stage” said Nikki. “But for now, I will have to make do with exploring the inside of the Burmese border patrol office” she laughed

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Returning to Chiang Mai with freshly stamped passports, our two travellers promptly departed again – this time, they were on their way south to the island of Ko Samui. I asked Ray why they were returning there. “My running coach (Matt Campbell) spends a few months of the year working down there and we are meeting up to run in a half-marathon race in Pattaya in a few days time. We still have some final preparations to do on the training front before we race and Ko Samui has some great places to run” said Ray.

Nikki was also excited about the chance to hang out by the ocean. “It gives us an excellent excuse to have a bit of beach holiday and catch up with one or two old friends here” said Nikki. “For the last ten weeks, Ray has been totally focused on the marathon, not just the training but the fundraising as well. He is on the phone morning, noon and night as he really wants to ensure his campaign is successful. He has even arranged to meet with a couple of people here in Samui to collect donations for his Calling All Angels fund” she told me. “I don’t think many people back in England realise just how important this project is to Ray or how hard he is working to make a difference to the people he is running for” added Nikki.

4 In focus 4 you articleCM Mail

Above: Two examples of the publicity that Ray and Ivana Getachek have been able to generate in Chiang Mai – “I have been working hard on the campaign and it has been worth it as we are starting to see quite a few donations coming in now” said Ray, whose efforts have been boosted by the exposure in the Chiang Mai Mail and other local magazines. “We still have a long way to go to reach our target, so if you are reading this and you have been thinking about making a donation, please do it soon!” added Ray 

DONATE HERE NOW!

Below: Ko Samui is one of Thailand’s most popular holiday destinations for western travellers and is just off the southern Gulf coast near Surat Thani (circled in red). To get there, Ray and Nikki flew from Chiang Mai via Bangkok on Bangkok Airways

Ko Samui Map

After their arrival in Ko Samui, I gave Nikki a call to find out where her and Ray were staying and, apart from race preparations, what was on their agenda while they were on the island. “We have been here a few times now so there is not much left for us in terms of sight-seeing. We are going to try and find the ‘Buddha Footprint’ which is somewhere on the south of the island” she told me. “We have a couple of people to hook up with who are involved in very different things on the island. Our English friend Steve Bray has become a bit of a celebrity DJ here, making regular appearances at a relatively new venue called Beach Republic. When Ray first came out here from London to start travelling in November 2005, we celebrated his arrival by spending our first four nights in a small complex of luxury villas, which have now become part of the Beach Republic resort” explained Nikki.

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Above: Nikki gets settled in at the Choengmon Beach Hotel and immediately gets on the phone to start organising her and Ray’s calender for the week – “She is very sociable and has kept in touch with a few lovely people here” said Ray

Below: Ray and Nikki’s little ‘expedition’ to locate the ‘Buddha Footprint’ – “Once you are in the vicinity of the adjacent temple, there are 163 steps to climb in order to reach the modern shrine in which it is housed” said Nikki

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Above: One small step for Ray and Nikki, one giant leap for The Daily Explorer as our intrepid travellers discover the ‘Buddha Footprint’. Over 300 years old, there are actually four artistically engraved footprints, superimposed one upon the other and they represent the “liberation path” as Lord Buddha discovered it

Below: The 163 steps provide Ray with a great opportunity to do some extra training prior to his big race in a few days

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Above: Ray stops to admire this rather colourful looking tree – “From a distance, it appeared to have been painted but on closer inspection, I discovered it is naturally like this” said our surprised visitor

Below: Celebrity DJ Steve Bray (left) gives Nikki an update on the latest grooves in the dance world at June’s Cafe near Bo Phut. Meanwhile, San Bao (right), the Oolong Tea ‘Ambassador’ of Ko Samui, starts one of his legendary ceremonies at The Spa Village

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Above: San Bao fills a hand made porcelain tea caddy for use in the delicate and delightful tasting ceremony – “The ritual of pouring the tea from the caddy to the drinking cup and savouring each mouthful makes the ceremony especially enjoyable” said Ray. “High Mountain Oolong Tea is a semi-fermented tea which retains all of the nutrients and natural healing factors contained in unfermented green tea but without the ‘raw’ grassy taste and harsh impact on the stomach that make green tea disagreeable to a lot of people” added our traveller

Below: Ray enjoys chatting with San Bao as they both catch up with news of each other’s lives since their last encounter about a year ago – “It was San Bao who introduced me to Gary Broderick, the reformed convict living on the outskirts of Sydney” said Ray. “I went to meet him last year – some of our readers may remember him as he was featured in our Kangaroos, Koala’s and World Peace issue in September 2008

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Above: Ray’s running coach Matt Campbell and his wife Mel leave their gorgeous young daughter Evi with Nikki for a while on the idyllic Lamai beach – “She was no trouble at all” said our very capable baby sitter. “It is very beautiful here and reminiscent of all the images of paradise that we are presented with in holiday brochures by the marketing people ” says Nikki ……

Below: …. whilst the nearby town of Chaweng, which has become the epi-centre for tourists visiting the island has somehow changed from being a part of paradise to your worst nightmare” observed our traveller

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Above: The day before departure for his first half-marathon in Pattaya and Ray is relaxing on the beach, although he is still on the phone, trying to secure another donation for his Calling All Angels fundraising campaign (left). Eventually, he finds time to switch off and enjoy some quiet reading time (right)

The yearly Pattaya International Marathon is one of the major sports events in Thailand, attracting hundreds of runners from around the world. It is now in its 15th year and is probably the oldest International marathon in the country. The running route is considered one of the most picturesque in South East Asia with its many hills and steep inclines. It features a full marathon (42 kilometres), a half-marathon (21 kilometres) and a 10 kilometre race. I met with Ray at his hotel the day before the race to see how he was getting on. “When Matt suggested a couple of months ago that we did the half-marathon here, it seemed so far off timewise, it was easy for me to say yes” recalled Ray. “Now, we are here and will be starting the race at 5 am tomorrow morning” said our nervous and excited runner. “It feels like ‘payday’ to me; a chance to experience the big race atmosphere and push my body hard to see what it can do – I have been training almost every day for the last three months to be ready for this moment and I am going for it 100%” said Ray.

Pattaya Map

Above: Pattaya is a coastal resort to the south-east of Bangkok, which is about two hours away by bus

Below: Ray steps out of his hotel (left) and wanders down the road to check out the starting area for the half-marathon (right) and formally register for the race

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I was curious to know what time Ray was targetting in the race and understand a bit more about his final preparations. “To know if it is feasible for me to run the New York Marathon in four hours (or less), I am really looking to do this in around two hours” he told me. “I have run this distance three times in my training in the last 4-5 weeks and my best time was around 2:07, which means it will be a hard race for me as I have got to knock about 30 seconds off every single one of the 13.1 miles to hit my target. The pacing plan that Matt has has given me is fairly aggressive, although I did run faster in my first 10 kilometre race in May, but it was less than half the distance. So I know I can propel my body at the right speed and I am about to find out if all of the training I have done will enable me to endure that speed for over double the distance” explained Ray.

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Above: Ray arrives at the International Registration tent on the beach to sign up and get his race ‘chip’ – “In most of the big race events, there are so many runners taking part that many do not cross the start line for quite some time after the gun has been fired. To make sure that everyone gets an accurate finish time, the organisers give each runner a small computer chip which you attach to your shoe. As you cross the start line, the computer notes the exact time, which is different to the “lapsed” time displayed on the various clocks around the course” explained Ray. “As you cross the finish line and look up at the clock, the time you see is not your actual time, unless you were right at the front. The further back you are at the start, the more seconds need to be deducted to give you a net time” added our runner

Below: Our runner collects his official race number and commemorative running vest whilst the sign above his head reminds us that Ray is rapidly approaching 49 years of age – a ‘late starter’ in marathon running terms

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Above: Ray has everything he needs for the big race – “I need to be in bed really early as I will be getting up at around 3.30am to get ready for the start tomorrow” said Ray. “Nikki and I have time for a bit of a cruise around town before we head for the welcome party on the beach and turn in for the night” added our disciplined runner

Below: Ray sits in the back of a Songthaew (local bus/taxi) and has a good look at what’s going on in Pattaya (left). It’s common knowledge that the town is unofficially regarded as the sex capital of Thailand, although it took a little while for our traveller to confirm this with some physical evidence – “We went past a bar full of girls who were all waving at me (right)” recalled Ray, ” and at first, I thought they were just being friendly” he laughed

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Above: The sign outside the ‘Love Club’ (left) says it all – there is really only one thing on offer here and it isn’t really love! Just like in the sign, the sexy young woman on the right (actually, its a ladyboy) attempts to lure our global nomad’s attention

Below: Getting ready for work – the regular afternoon team meeting outside Foxy’s Bar before they open for business

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Above: “When I envisaged my Calling All Angels campaign” said Ray, “this was not quite what I had in mind” he laughed

With his mind firmly focused on the half-marathon race, our runner went to check out the welcome party for athletes. “Matt has suggested that I take on board as much fuel as possible without overdoing it” Ray told me. “Which means that I am eating as many carbs as I can between now and the time I go to sleep, as well as drinking plenty of water. I expect to burn somewhere between 1,500 – 2,000 calories during the race and it will be very humid, even at 5 am so being properly hydrated is crucial” added Ray. “I will probably drink 3-4 litres of water and a litre of fruit and vegetable juice when I get up – I’ll be like a well fed camel waddling down to the start line after all that!” he quipped.

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Above: Runners from all over Asia and the rest of the world come to Pattaya for the International Marathon and a chance to compete for the first prize of 200,000 baht, which is roughly worth about $6,500 dollars – “I met one very fit athlete from Holland who had been combining travelling with running and living off the prize money she had won – it has given me some food for thought” said Ray

Below: There was plenty of food for the body on offer, as Ray stocked up with less than 12 hours to go before the race

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Above: There is growing concern in Thailand about the spread of swine flu – “I could not help noticing that the number of people wearing masks seems to be increasing at an alarming rate. They almost seem a bit paranoid about it over here” observed Ray

Below: There is no hiding Ray’s excitement as he lines up for a plate of delicious stir fried vegetables (left) – “Ummm… delicious!” says Ray (right) as he loads up

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Race Day – Sunday 19th July 2009

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Above: 4.45 am and runners gathering behind the start line (in the background) for the half-marathon are watching the festivities taking place – “This is a great example of where having big race experience is useful, as Matt suggested we avoid being penned in with the crowd of runners for ages before the start and do some light jogging to get properly warmed up” recalled Ray. “We joined the other athletes with about five minutes to go and were right at the back of the huge group, eventually crossing the start line over a minute after the race had begun” added Ray. If you would like to get a sense of the carnival atmosphere, then watch the 20 second video clip below:

Below: Ray stretches off his legs for the last time (left) before joining the vast group of runners that are penned in, eagerly waiting for the race to start (right) – “It is very unusual to be running the first hour of a race in the dark” said Ray. “Fortunately, my Garmin tracking device has a light in it so I can constantly monitor my pace”

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If you would like to see the runners set off as the exciting race finally starts, then you can watch the short video clip below:

Map Pattaya course

Above: The running routes for the Pattaya International events – Ray and Matt were tracking along the green route (21 kilometres)

Below: The master at work! One hour, forty five minutes and 57 seconds after the start and Matt Campbell (yellow vest) propels himself towards the finish line in the final few hundred metres to get the best time he can. Matt is training for the Bangkok Marathon on November 22nd in which he hopes to achieve a personal best of under 3 hours 30 minutes for the 42 kilometre course – “I was OK up until the ninth mile, then pretty much ran/walked the rest. I finished at a fair old clip (4:18 minutes per mile pace!), with a maximum heartrate of 188 beats per minute – no wonder I didn’t see Mel, Nikki and the kids at the finish – I was well and truly in the tunnel vision zone!” added the 40 year old athlete and coach

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Ray was running to a carefully worked out pacing plan with a two hour finish in mind. “One of the things I have really learnt from my race experience so far is that it never works to run faster than your plan, even if it feels easy” Ray told me. “Experts say that for every minute you gain in the first half of a race, you will lose two minutes in the second. It is unadvisable to do it and a common mistake that new runners like me tend to make, partly because you feel strong at the beginning and the adrenalin of being amongst so many other athletes is pushing you along too” explained Ray. “I managed to stick exactly to my plan for the first 7-8 miles and once I passed the halfway mark, I was feeling optimistic about a good finish. At this point, the penalty for drinking so much fluid became apparent as I increasingly experienced the need to take a pee” said Ray. “I tried to run through it for a mile or so but it became such a distraction that I eventually stopped, did the necessary and quickly got back on track as best I could” he recalled. “I reckon that cost me about 30 seconds. Worse was to come after nine miles, when the course started taking runners up a long, one kilometre incline. Being quite tired at this stage, it was hard for me to maintain the same pace as earlier and I lost a bit of time there as well. Once I was passed that point, I tried my best to make up for it and was feeling pretty exhausted as I approached the finish line. I could see from my own timer as well as the public clock that my time was around 2:01, which I was very pleased with” he told me.

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Above: A huge achievement for our novice marathon runner, as he crosses the finish line in Pattaya to complete his first ever competitive half-marathon race, in just over two hours – “I cannot wait to find out what my official time is” said our tired but extremely satisfied athlete

Below: Ray collects his second medal so far in Thailand (left) from the race organisers and quickly makes his way through the enclosure to find Nikki, Matt and his family to celebrate a great result – It was great to see Matt at the end and thank him for getting me to this point – I really don’t think I would have got the same result without his knowledge, input and guidance” said Ray, who immediately discusses his Garmin GPS race data with his coach

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forerunner405_front

Above: For readers who like scientific details, Ray and Matt both use the Garmin 405 Forerunner to collect valuable performance data from their runs for analysis afterwards – “I love the technical part of running” said Ray. “I just don’t know how I could train for the marathon without one of these. It monitors your heart rate, calculates your changing pace in real time, records your direction over the ground using GPS satellites which track your movement and then automatically downloads all of that data without wires to your laptop when you sit in front of it after a run! It is astonishingly useful, especially in my de-briefs with Matt as he can go online wherever he is and see all of my running data the moment I have uploaded it” explained Ray

Below: An example of the data collected from Ray’s half-marathon race. On the right is the actual track taken (in red) overlayed on a Google Map so that other runners around the world can see the route he has taken. And on the left, the main pieces of information pertaining to the race. Ray’s own time is not the same as his official time, as it depends on when he personally presses the start and stop buttons. Note that 1,536 calories were consumed in two hours! There is also a significant elevation gain, meaning those hills were pretty steep ….

Garmin Screen 1

Garmin Screen 2

Above: This chart shows the time for each individual mile. In the first seven miles, Ray ran pretty much according to plan, if anything a touch faster than he should have. Notice the time in mile 8 (where Ray stopped for a pee break) and in mile 10 where he encountered the long, steep uphill part of the course. You can aso see his heart rate on the right hand side, which topped out at 162 beats per minute, or just over 90% of his maximum. And in the last column, you can see how many calories Ray burned duirng the run

Below: The wavy green line at the top of this chart shows the changes in elevation – you can see the start of the long, steep uphill section after mile nine. You can watch an animated replay of the entire race at Ray’s Garmin site. It takes about twenty seconds to see the entire run and you can pause it at any point

Garmin Screen 3

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Above: Ray is congratulated by Nikki on his fantastic performance – “I am so proud of him” she beamed. “He has worked really hard for this and deserves the satisfaction he is experiencing. It will be great to find out what his official time is. But first, he and Matt have a press conference with Amber Solaire from The Daily Explorer, so it will have to wait until afterwards” she said. If you would like to see Ray and Matt’s after-race interview, then watch the short video clip below:

Below: The waiting is over as Ray, who has now showered and changed (left), returns to the organisers tent to get confirmation of his official time (right) – 2:00:58 seconds! Congratulations to Ray from all of us at The Daily Explorer – it’s a great result for him personally and hopefully, it will inspire even more of our readers to make a donation to his Calling All Angels fundraising campaign. His coach, Matt Campbell had this to say – “Ray did so well today, clocking up a really good time. I’m excited for him as I think the sub four hour dream for New York is well and truly alive. We should both see massive improvements over the next month or so as the benefits of our VO2 Max and Lactate Threshold training runs kick in. We will hook up on Tuesday and put the plan together”

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Above: Matt Campbell (centre), flanked by his daughters Phoebe (left) and Esme (right) enjoyed a very well earned one hour Thai foot massage after the race – “I am going to let Ray savour his great result from today and have a couple of days of rest, then it’s back to work as we now have 14 weeks for him to be completely ready for New York” said Ray’s marathon mentor

Editors Note: What a fantastic result for Ray! We are all delighted for him and know how hard he has worked to get himself to this stage. I would also like to thank every single one of our readers who has made a donation to Ray’s Calling All Angels Campaign. The ball is well and truly rolling and Ivana Getachek has an update for us (see below).

Update on Ray’s Calling All Angels Campaign

Our campaign has now been underway for about eight weeks and I am delighted to tell you that we have raised $3,234 so far, which is brilliant! Like Mozzie Byte, I would also like to thank everybody who has contributed. Your gesture of kindness will be hugely appreciated by the people Ray is running for. I spoke to our runner after the race in Pattaya to find out his thoughts about the campaign. “Well Ivana, I am really gobsmacked that people have been willing to make donations, especially in these difficult economic times. It gives me a lot of encouragement to keep putting 100% into my training and its like having the energy of a huge, global team of people behind me, which is an amazing feeling to have. Having said that, we still have a long way to go and a number of people I have spoken to personally have said they would like to donate, which is great. If you are one of those people, please help us get one step closer to our goal and make your donation now! And if any of you have not yet made a donation and would like to contribute to the campaign, now is an excellent time to do it. All you have to do is click on the button below and have your credit card details ready. I hope people will forgive me for continuously banging the drum about this – I only have a few weeks to raise as much money as I can for these people and they really need our help. If our readers had seen first hand the amazing work they are doing to alleviate suffering, with such limited resources, I am certain they would feel exactly the same sense of passion and intention that I do” said Ray.

 

DONATE HERE NOW!

As we approach the marathon in New York on 1st November, I will make sure that full details of the amount raised will be published every week on Ray’s “Calling All Angels” campaign page. The project is a truly global endeavour. So far, we have received pledges or donations from people in 16 different countries. See how good your general knowledge is by looking at the flags below and seeing how many you can name!

AustraliaCanadaIrelandUSAUK
ChinaFranceSpainThailandUganda
GermanyScotlandSwissSwedenPoland

Ukraine

Above: Ray’s Calling All Angels Campaign is a truly global endeavour – we have received donations or pledges of support from people in 16 different countries so far

Below: Our Campaign manager, Ivana Getachek – “I am delighted to be working with Ray, Mozzie, Amber Solaire and The Daily Explorer team on this exciting project” said Ivana. “Some of you may have spoken to Ray personally during the last few weeks – if you would like to have a chat with him about any aspect of the campaign, let me know and I will get him to contact you. If you have not seen it yet, please take five minutes out of your day to find out what the “Calling All Angels” campaign is all about. And if you feel inspired, please make a donation! It doesn’t matter how much – really it doesn’t – every little bit helps. Together, we could really make such a huge difference” added Ivana. If you would like to talk to her, you can reach her anytime at ivana@thedailyexplorer.com

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We always aim to maintain our high standards of journalism and presentation, so please keep sending us your comments and suggestions as to how we can improve what we are doing. You can use the comments box on this site, or email Ray or ‘Mozzie’ or any of our correspondents.

That’s about it for now. Ray has now returned to Chiang Mai and has begun work on his 14 week marathon training programme. As usual, Me So Fit will be keeping us all in the picture with regular updates. If anyone would like to ask Ray about his training or fundraising, or would like his help with travel plans, you can send an email to ray@thedailyexplorer.com or to me at mozzie@thedailyexplorer.com

MOZZIE BYTE

Runners Report

Above: Ray’s gruelling 26 week training programme continues, with only 14 weeks to go until the New York marathon on 1st November. Our next issue will be online in a few weeks. We will keep you posted!

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3 Comments »

  1. Brilliant! Nikki is right; you deserve all the rewards you are having now from your training, you have worked so hard for it. With you in spirit all the way. Thanks for the latest pictures and especially the one of you crossing the finishing line – I welled up!

    Comment by Charlie — August 3, 2009 @ 6:41 pm

  2. Absolutely inspirational Ray! Well done you and your team. Do remember that the more active, the more attractive you are to mosquitoes and other biting insects. So do factor in the incognito when you’re running in Asia. I’ve finally started my own blog which is taking a light-hearted view of insects – the Mosquito Man video is hilarious – along with all the latest research in an easily digested format http://www.avoidingbites.com Good luck with all your goals!

    Comment by howard — August 24, 2009 @ 11:22 am

  3. Fantastic achievement Ray… well done! Loved reading the latest update and your time on Samui looked like fun too… wish we’d been there to see you and Nikki but we’ve been the “not so intrepid” travellers too! Great photo of you both at the end of the Pattaya Marathon… wish I’d been there too… I will be cheering for you on 1st November… in the meantime so happy to make my donation to “Calling all Angels” and great to meet Ivana Getachek too!!! Good luck and keep us posted… big hug from us both… Susie Cream XXX

    Comment by Susie Cream — September 9, 2009 @ 10:27 am


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