The Daily Explorer

October 18, 2009

Cheerio Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai, Thailand: October 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 23,000 visitors have been to see our site since 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 his journey throughout that period. You can find all of these in our Previous Issues archive.

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 latest issue has been compiled for us by our Asian Health correspondent Me So Fit (above), who has been keeping an eye on Ray over the last six months as he prepares for his latest challenge – running in the New York Marathon on 1st November. Since our global nomad arrived in Chiang Mai to start training in mid April, he has clocked up well over 800 miles on the road and running track! In the last few weeks, he completed his second half-marathon (the River Kwai International) and has been battling a series of injuries which could potentially ruin his chances of running the New York marathon in his goal time of under four hours. The “Calling All Angels” fundraising campaign is going well and there is an exciting update from Ivana Getachek about Ray’s recent event in Chiang Mai, which was a runaway success. And as Ray departs Chiang Mai for New York and the big race, we take a brief look at some highlights from his recent social calendar.

In our last issue, Ray set a series of new ‘personal bests’ in his training, for both times and distances, as he progressed towards his goal of running the New York marathon. Me So Fit also revealed how Ray and Nikki celebrated their birthdays, whilst Ivana Getachek announced the original $6,500 target for Ray’s fundraising campaign was reached in just eight weeks. If you missed it, you can read more about it now at: Birthdays and Broken Records

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Above: Our global traveller, who celebrated his 49th birthday a few weeks ago (left) is making good progress towards his goal – completing the gruelling 26.2 mile marathon course in New York on 1st November in under four hours – which he has undertaken to raise money for three worthy causes. Ray recently set a series of new ‘personal bests’ in his training, for both times and distances (right), whilst preparing for his big challenge. If you missed it, you can read it at: Birthdays and Broken Records

For the last few months, our global traveller has been in Chiang Mai and travelling has been the last thing on his mind. His intensive marathon training regime means that he exercises virtually every day and when the physical work is over, he gets on the telephone to inspire potential sponsors to add a few more dollars to the growing fund that has already been raised from his ambitious “Calling All Angels” campaign. “This programme has been quite relentless and soon, it will be all over” said Ray when I spoke to him on the phone. “The fundraising is going really well, my confidence and ability to complete the marathon is increasing with every week that passes and I am still on track for a four hour finish. I am due to participate in a couple of weeks in the River Kwai International half-marathon and if I can get a sub two hour finish in the race, it will be a powerful confirmation that I can achieve my goal time in New York” explained Ray. “In July, I ran my first half-marathon in just over two hours and my fitness has improved since then, so barring injuries, I expect to do quite well” he told me. “In the meantime, two of my dear friends from Ko Samui are visiting Chiang Mai and it will be great to take a break from all this for a couple of days while they are here” said our long distance runner.

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Above: Chiang Mai – the ‘old city’ is surrounded by this wonderful tree lined moat – is a lovely place to visit, especially at this time of year

Below: James (left) and Susie (right) arrive from Ko Samui – “Nikki and I are really excited about their visit and cannot wait to show them around” said Ray. “We met them in November 2006 and spent many wonderful days and nights on the terrace of their beach house. They are such good fun and Susie is a fantastic photographer – I am hoping to get some good pictures for The Daily Explorer” added our traveller

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Above: The delightful Susie explores the services on offer at “Supaporn Beauty”

Below: Ray (left) takes James and Susie for a ride in a ‘Songthaew’ – a cross between a bus and a taxi – and keeps an eye out for his favourite vegetarian restaurant – “This is a great city to invite friends to because the food on offer is fresh, abundant and absolutely marvellous value” said Ray. Nikki (right) readily agrees with him!

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Above: Nikki and James look like they are up to something as they stop outside Wawee Coffee – one of Chiang Mai’s most popular institutions and a great place to hang out

Below: Susie gets Ray and Nikki to pose for her as she demonstrates her gift for creating great images from behind the camera lens

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Above: Ray and Nikki invited James (left) and Susie to join them at their local, friendly Thai restaurant on their last night in town – chosen partly because the seats are actually giant rectangular holes cut into the floor (right) so your legs hang down through to the room below. There is a huge rectangular table placed over the top for food ……

Below: ….. and they also sell the very finest, freshly caught grilled fish in town, as James soon discovers!

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Above: Anyone who visits Chiang Mai cannot possibly leave without experiencing a one hour head, back, neck and shoulder massage at the Sunday ‘Walking Street’ market on Ratchadamnoen Road – “It’s bloomin’ marvellous” says Susie

With a background in drama and performing, I found out from Nikki that Chiang Mai’s Gate Theatre Group were staging a production of Neil Simon’s box office hit, “The Odd Couple”. “Stephan Turner is a great actor and director” Nikki told me. “I have seen some of his work and am very impressed. He is directing this production and has lined up a marvellous cast. I am pretty sure the run will be sold out, which for Chiang Mai is really something special” she told me.

In case you have not seen it, “The Odd Couple” traces the lives of two infamously mismatched roommates: Felix Ungar, a neurotic fusspot news writer and Oscar Madison, a slovenly sports journalist.  At his wife’s insistence, Felix is evicted from his home and abandoned on the doorstep of his childhood friend Oscar.  Deep down, he knows she has every right to kick him out, but he still harbors the hope of someday returning to her once so loving arms.  As fate would have it, Oscar likewise had been given the boot by Mrs. Madison requesting that he never return.  Can two new bachelors share an apartment without driving each other insane? “I really loved the show” said Ray. “It has been a long time since I saw the movie with Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau and I remembered just how brilliant the script is. The laughs are just non-stop in this classic hit” said our runner.

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Above: “The Odd Couple” was being performed at Kad Suan Kaew, a huge shopping centre with a theatre on the 7th floor. Whilst waiting for the performance to start, Nikki and friend Ellen Ward managed to uncover one of Chiang Mai’s best kept secrets (left) – a derelict roof area on top of the building giving one of the best views over the city and the mountains in the distance (right)

Below: “The Odd Couple” first premiered on Broadway in 1965 at the Plymouth Theatre in New York City. This performance marked the start of the fourth season for The Gate Theater, Chiang Mai’s only English language theatre group. Directed by the group’s founder, Stephan Turner, the side-splitting cast includes Robert Young as Murray, Ron Kasdan as Speed, Brian Brown as Roy and Roberto Toscano as Vinnie

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Above: The hilarious play also starred Richard Childs as Felix and Brian Hubbard as Oscar (left) whilst Marisa Lianggamphai and Rachel Clair Morris played the Pigeon sisters (right)

When I spoke to Nikki after the performance, I discovered that she had been preparing an event of her own that would turn out to be quite a hit within the local ex-pat community. “Ever since I can remember, I have always loved ecstatic dancing and a lot of the friends I have made through my yoga connections feel the same” explained Nikki. “Up until now, there has not been anywhere in the city offering this kind of event, so I thought it would be great fun to organise something and see how much appetite there would be for it. Partly inspired by the work of Gabrielle Roth, the “SpiritMoves” event will facilitate people to express themselves through dance to five very contrasting styles of music. If it is successful, I hope it could become a regular event here” she told me.

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Above: Nikki’s “SpiritMoves” event turned out to be very popular with people in Chiang Mai who want to dance their way to a connection with the spiritual. The facilitated practice focuses on putting the body in motion in order to still the mind. The five rhythms – flowing, staccato, chaos, lyrical and stillness – when danced in sequence, are known as a “wave.” A typical “wave” can take 45–90 minutes to dance, spending 10–20 minutes in each of the five rhythms in sequence. The dance is usually allowed to express itself with minimal instruction, with the teacher allowing the music (DJ’ed or live) to lead the pace of the class, or simply teaching by example

With just a few weeks left to go before the New York marathon, I was very keen to check in with Ray to find out how his training was going. “Everything seems to be on track at the moment, although for the first time since I started this adventure four or five months ago, I am starting to have some physical problems from the relentless pounding my lower body is sustaining” he told me. “My left hip has been very sore in the last week and no matter how much I stretch, the pain doesn’t seem to go away completely. I am having to get back out on the road to run again before my body has time to fully recover. In order to be able to run a sub four hour marathon, I have to complete a specified number of runs every week at speeds that are set out for me by my coach. If I relax on the schedule, which would help my body recover, I run the risk of not being fast enough to reach my goal time in the race. So the whole thing is becoming a bit of a balancing act at the moment which I have to monitor on a day by day basis” explained Ray. “My immediate challenge is to complete my second half-marathon (in a couple of days) in under two hours, so that I can be confident I am really capable of a four hour finish in New York. And as my body is not quite right, this could be quite a challenge – the first three or four miles of the River Kwai race are uphill!” exclaimed Ray.

The River Kwai race takes place just outside Kanchanaburi, a province which is about 150 kilometres away from Bangkok. “From Chiang Mai, the trip is a bit of a nightmare” said Ray. “To get there, I have to leave the day before the race and fly to Bangkok, then get a bus across the city which takes an hour to the southern bus terminal. From there, it is a two hour bus journey to the town of Kanchanaburi and from there, I will need to take one more bus for about an hour to reach the place where the race starts. In total, the journey will take 6-7 hours” said our dedicated runner. “The race starts at six in the morning so I am going the day before to make sure I reach the start in time” added Ray.

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Above: The bus terminal at Suvarnabhumi Airport marks the start of Ray’s long journey to the River Kwai – “I noticed that the 550 bus goes to Happy Land, which is where I will be tomorrow if I manage a sub two hour time in the race” joked Ray

Below: “Going on this old, rickety bus made me remember how enjoyable my life on the road as a nomad has been over the last four years and how much I have been missing it while I have been training for the marathon” said our global traveller

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Above: The countryside surrounding the River Kwai is quite spectacular (left) and the hotel where Ray stayed actually had a few rooms which were floating on pontoon’s on the river itself (right)

Below: The River Kwai International half-marathon race was very challenging for Ray – “Despite having pains in my left hip during the last six or seven miles (of thirteen), I was determined to run through it and register the fastest time I could” said our ambitious athlete

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Above: Ray has really come a long way since April when his 26 week training programme began – “Back then, even contemplating a half-marathon seemed a bit absurd. Now, 13 miles feels like a ‘short’ run” he told me. “It is just incredible how the human body adapts to what you need it to do, if you condition it in the right way”

Below: Result achieved! Ray returns to Chiang Mai triumphantly with his official half-marathon time – a blistering 1:59:46!

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Above: You can see from Ray’s personal training log for September (which is stored at www.workoutlog.com) that he has been having quite serious problems with injuries and has had to miss several of his training runs – “I think the collective toll on my body is starting to tell” he told me. “I was only able to run/cycle 120 miles in September, compared to 184 miles in August and am hoping that it will not affect my performance too much” said Ray

Below: Maintaining a good diet has been a vital part of Ray’s conditioning for the race. Plenty of vegetables and pasta (left) as well as tons of fresh fruit (right) provide the carbohydrate energy that he needs for training – “Each of my twenty mile runs burns up around 2,000 calories” said our runner. “Like all marathon runners, I shall be ‘loading up’ with carbs for 2-3 days before the race in New York”

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With a departure date for New York set for mid October, it had always been part of Ray’s plan to complete his six months of training by taking part in the Amari Watergate “Midnight Run” in Bangkok, which is a 12 kilometre race through the city held every year to raise money for charities. “Matt Campbell (my coach) has done the race a couple of times and we arranged to meet in Bangkok so we could do it together – a fitting way of saying goodbye to each other” explained Ray. “I have achieved so much more than I could ever have imagined in the last six months and I don’t think I could have done it without Matt’s support. He is a brilliant mentor and a very kind man too” added Ray.

Unfortunately, Ray was unable to take part in the race and had to settle for being a spectator for the first time. “It’s what we runners call a “bummer” of a situation!” joked Ray. A couple of days ago, I pulled up after five miles of a twenty mile run when my left calf tightened up so much, I couldn’t even walk. I have since discovered that I have suffered a grade two calf strain injury and the only recovery route is complete rest from training. With four weeks to go until the marathon, I am just hoping that I still have enough time for nature to do it’s work and for my body to heal. Of course, I am doing everything I can to help, including massage and stretching every day. The rest is really out of my hands” said our disappointed runner.

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Above: With strong support from his coach, Matt Campbell, Ray has run over 800 miles (1,300 kilometres), completed two half-marthons and three 10 kilometre races during his six months of training in Asia. And he has amassed a serious collection of runners medals – “I don’t think our readers should get too excited” said Ray. “In Thailand, it seems that you are given a medal for taking part, which is kinda nice” he laughed

Below: Our disappointed runner arrived in Bangkok a few days ago and had to settle for some sightseeing and spectating instead of running. Despite radical treatment to recover from a calf strain, Ray’s left leg was far too swollen to take part in the city’s annual “Midnight Run” – “Of course it’s a shame” said Ray, who sent us this picture with his left leg in a bucket of ice (right), but the priority now is to get good treatment for this injury and try and keep my body working so that I can actually still take part” he explained. “If I am not careful, I run the risk of ending up with legs and feet like our friend in the picture (left)” he laughed

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Above: This wonderful photograph of Bangkok at night, and the one above it on the left were both taken by Lesley Fisher from Ko Samui – “She is developing quite a talent behind the lens” said Ray, who is a personal friend and fan of her work

Below: Matt Campbell (right) tries to console Ray minutes before the start of the annual “Midnight Run” in Bangkok – “He has done so well in his training” said Matt. “I just hope that everything comes right for him for the big day. I am sure he will get a great result” added Matt

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Above: Before any big race, runners pack in at the start line and wait for the gun –  “In Thailand, it is very humid and there is hardly any breeze so it can get very hot and sweaty waiting for the race to get going. And there were only about 3-4,000 runners for the Bangkok run – there will be over 40,000 in New York!” Ray told me

Below: “And they’re off!” For this years runners, the waiting is finally over and they hit the Bangkok streets on the stroke of midnight

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Above: While Matt was sweating in the midnight heat, running his heart out, Ray decided to make use of the after-race massage facilities – “I thought I would sneak in before any of the runners crossed the finish line” said our injured runner

Below: Matt crosses the finish line a few minutes before 1 a.m. (left) and then joins Ray in the bar for a farewell drink (Editors Note: Because he is still in training, Ray’s drink is obviously non-alcoholic!)

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With a day in Bangkok for some shopping, Ray and Nikki made the most of it before heading south to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia for their flight to London. “We plan to stop in London for a few days before heading to New York, mainly to see family and friends” explained Ray. “And we found a very cheap flight to the UK with Air Asia who have recently introduced a daily Kuala Lumpur – London (Stanstead) service. So tomorrow, we will take a short flight to KL and will have a day to explore the city as neither of us has been there before” said Ray. “But first, we are going to the vast MBK centre to buy a few small things to take back to England”.

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Above: The cavernous MBK centre in central Bangkok has four floors the size of a small town and is packed with shops and stalls selling everything from carpets to clothing and movies to mobile phones at bargain prices, if you are good at haggling

Below: “Wait a moment” thinks a slightly confused Ray as he walks through Bangkok. “We are not supposed to be in New York (left) for a couple more weeks. Oh – it’s the name of this apartment building!” Twenty four hours later, Ray was making his first visit to Kuala Lumpur and exploring the streets of the Malaysian city (right)

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Above: The mighty Petronas Twin Towers dominate the KL skyline and were the tallest buildings in the world until 2004

Below: Nikki explores the lake and gardens inside one of KL’s city parks

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Above:  The park provides a great opportunity for the local kids to play in the water (left), whilst anyone with sight problems may not exactly rush to get help at this clinic (right)

Editors Note: Our thanks to Me So Fit for bringing us the latest update. Ray has now left Asia and will shortly arrive in New York City after a few days in London. Our guest correspondent Nick Elandimer, who is from the Big Apple, will be bringing us exclusive coverage of the race and other aspects of Ray’s visit in a few weeks time. Once more, I would also like to thank every single one of our readers who has made a donation to Ray’s Calling All Angels Marathon Fundraising Campaign.

“Calling All Angels” Campaign Update

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Above: Ivana Getachek, our “Calling All Angels” Fundraising Campaign Manager

Our global fundraising campaign has now been underway for about sixteen weeks and I am delighted to tell you that we have raised $13,644 so far, which means we have surpassed our target of $12,000! 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 him as he arrived in London 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. There has been a lot of fantastic support for what we are trying to do and there has been a steady stream of donations which I thought would stop at some point. But they have continued throughout the campaign, which gives me the confidence to believe we can raise even more money. It feels as if we have the energy of a huge, global team of people behind us, which is an amazing feeling. And I will be starting the 26.2 mile race on 1st November knowing that we are creating over $500 for every single mile I run, which is truly incredible. A number of people I have spoken to personally have yet to make their donation. If you are one of those people, please help us by getting online now! 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 two weeks left 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, full details of the amount raised will be published every week on Ray’s “Calling All Angels” campaign page. The campaign is a truly global endeavour. So far, we have received pledges or donations from people in 18 different countries. See how good your general knowledge is by looking at the flags below and seeing how many you can name!

AustraliaCanadaIrelandUSAUK
ChinaFranceSpainThailandUganda
GermanyScotlandUkraineSwedenPoland

NorwaySwissVietnam

Above: Ray’s Calling All Angels Campaign is a truly global endeavour – we have received donations or pledges of support from people in 18 different countries so far

A couple of days before his departure from Chiang Mai, Ray hosted a spectacular, sell-out fund raising evening for people there and I thought you might like to hear a little bit about it. Taking several weeks to plan, the event took place at a popular vegetarian restaurant, chosen because of its close ties to the Elephant Nature Park and Foundation. “I was very pleased to be given exclusive use of the venue for an evening as it meant we could maximise the numbers of people attending and raise even more money for our fund” explained Ray. Once I knew we had the venue sorted, my main job was to generate some publicity and let the people of Chiang Mai know about it. Roy Fudge, who is the manager at Taste from Heaven helped me get some tickets printed and Nikki helped me spread news about the event through our ever expanding social network. The venue was big enough for about 70 people, which was our target but by the time we got to the day itself, we were sold out and there were about 75 people who came for what turned out to be a really magical evening” recalled Ray. The event raised over $500 for the fund, which is  a relatively huge amount for Chiang Mai and a great result for Ray and his team.

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Above: Ray puts up one of a few posters at ‘strategic’ locations in Chiang Mai to make sure everyone knows about his fundraising event – “Tickets went on sale for about five pounds, which included two free tickets for a prize winning raffle worth one pound each” said Ray. “We managed to persuade many local businesses to donate prizes to the raffle. In the end, we had over 50 prizes to give away worth well over a thousand pounds in value” he told me

Below: Ray got some valuable help from Libby Turnock, who just happens to be from New York and has been volunteering at the Elephant Nature Park – “She was great to work with” said Ray, “and she helped me craft a press release that I sent to the New York Times and other organisations in the media about my campaign. Although I wasn’t expecting anyone to grab the story, I thought something could happen if we put some energy out there” explained our optimistic fund raiser. “Libby will be joining us when we get to New York for the race, which I am delighted about” added Ray

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Above: The Chiang Mai Mail were happy to run with a story about Ray’s event (left), which was taking place at the Taste from Heaven Restaurant (right) near Thapae Gate

Below: Ray (left, rear) greets one of his guests as people queue up to enjoy the amazing vegetarian buffet at Taste from Heaven (Photograph: Valerie Klein)

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Above: Ray was fortunate to have two fabulous, glamorous assistants to present the prize winning raffle draw – Nikki Ashley (left) and Ellen Ward (right)

Below: Matt Campbell and his family enjoy the wonderful vegetarian food (left), whilst Ellen charms and encourages some guests (right) to purchase additional raffle tickets (Photograph: Valerie Klein)

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Above: Ray warmly welcomes everybody who has come to the fundraiser and excitedly lets them know what treats are in store for them over the next 2-3 hours! (Photograph: Valerie Klein)

Below: Our intrepid traveller returned to the podium about an hour later to explain to the crowd gathered what had made him decide to take on the goal of running a marathon – “It was a decision I mulled over for quite a long time” he told everyone “and I wanted to let people know why it was important in terms of the impact the money we have raised will have. And most people were curious to hear more about what my training has been like” he told me (Photograph: Valerie Klein)

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Above: The appearance of Lek Chailert (founder of the Elephant Nature Park and Foundation) was eagerly awaited by everyone who attended – “She had flown back to Thailand from Canada the previous day, so I was expecting Lek to join us for about fifteen minutes and then quietly depart” recalled Ray. “Not only did she stay for the entire evening, she was so excited about everyone who came that she invited every single person who attended, free of charge, to spend a day at the Elephant Nature Park (Photograph: Valerie Klein)

Below: (Left) Our two glamorous raffle hosts, Ellen (left) and Nikki (right) are joined by the charismatic Phoebe Campbell (centre) who did a great job announcing draw numbers and running prizes over to each of the winners. (Right) Two beautiful framed pictures of elephants in the park, taken by local photographer Peter Thomson, were donated for the raffle. Amazingly, each was won by one half of a very happy German couple (right)

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Above: Chiang Mai Magazine publisher, City Now! sent one of their photographers to the event to capture some images for their social calender pages on the Internet. (Left) Nikki and Ray with Lek. (Right) From left to right, Armand, Gaston, Laurence and Jennie

Below: The Campbell family did very well in the raffle, scooping several prizes, but there was a fair amount of disagreement amongst the family members when it came to guessing the right answer for the “Spot the Ball” competition (left). Meanwhile, Australian Kat Quinlan and Jo Ibbett from the UK had a wonderful evening

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That’s about it for now until after the New York Marathon, which we will be featuring in our next issue. 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. If you would like to have a chat with me, Ray or anyone on The Daily Explorer team about any aspect of the campaign, let me know and I will have them 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. If you would like to talk to Ivana, you can reach her anytime at ivana@thedailyexplorer.comWe 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. We will keep you posted!

MOZZIE BYTE

 

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6 Comments »

  1. Good luck Ray! I too had an injury, 6 weeks before the NY marathon, and I ended up walking more than running, however I completed it and was very glad I went. You look in fantastic shape, and are training very wisely and thoroughly, so you should do fine and have a good race time. Great news about your fund-raising success – I must have missed an episode – that’s a huge amount of money, well done! Elephants and people will love you! May it benefit everyone involved.
    Love, Jane

    Comment by Jane Harries — October 18, 2009 @ 3:48 pm

  2. Fabulous to read about all the latest exploits and I can’t wait to see you run in NYC on Nov 1st! Look after that left hip and I’m sure we will see a sub 4hr time on the day.

    Happy travels and very well done on everything you have done to raise funds for such worthy causes.

    Lots of love

    Nic and Regina

    Comment by Nic Meredith — October 19, 2009 @ 4:59 am

  3. Great journalism as usual… and very happy to see lots of Susie photos up there too! Nice to be reminded about “Dangly Legs”! I’ve been catching up with your interesting life… loved the Doggy rescue story though it bought tears to my eyes… I’ll be taking on at least two of those mutts as soon as soon as we are settled up there… SO much to say but will write you the Susie ‘blog-ette’ soon with our update… GOOD LUCK with the trip… I guess you’ll be in UK by now… we’re both thinking about you and your wonderful spirit! Do hope your hip is better… fingers crossed for you! Warm hugs… XXX

    Comment by Susie Moberly — October 19, 2009 @ 11:53 am

  4. Your blog brings tears to my eyes and puts a smile on my face nearly every time. I loved reading about your fundraising event this time; great to see photos of you up there doing your thing and seeing how much you have put into the evening, let alone the whole marathon campaign. You certainly are living your life, which is I suppose why you have got that t-shirt! Loads of love, Charlie xxx

    Comment by Charlie — October 19, 2009 @ 6:33 pm

  5. Well done Ray on under 2 hours in the half-marathon; good luck in NYC!

    Comment by howard — October 22, 2009 @ 1:21 am

  6. Hi Ray. Thinking of you in your upcoming quest…. welcome to the world of athletes and injury. In July, I came home from the Australian Championships with two gold medals in synchronised ice-skating – what a dream come true. One weekend back into training and an old disc injury has returned. Now I am struggling to walk. The body can only cope with so much… don’t worry if you can’t do what you hoped to; sometimes we just have to be happy with the journey we took to get there – happens to the best of us. We support you in your efforts, no matter what the end result is – we support your journey. x

    Comment by maree — October 27, 2009 @ 12:41 am


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