How diving got me into running half marathons and more

How diving got me into running half marathons and more

That’s a good question; How diving got me into running half marathons and more? Well, the answer is fairly easy. Come January 2010 it dawned on me that I was becoming a big fat blob, sitting behind his computer desk.

So, where does running fit in? Let me explain;

In the unlikely event that anybody ever got into a problem whilst diving, I might need to jump in to help with the rescue. However, half way through my rescue effort, somebody probably will have to jump in and rescue me.

On many different levels, that would not look good. Hence, what to do to avoid this situation and get me a bit fitter? Running was my answer.

How diving got me into running half marathons and more
How diving got me into running half marathons and more

Early starts are the norm for races in South East Asia. Hence you run often in the darkness during the first part of the race. The longer the race distance, the earlier the start.

First of all it started out fairly innocent. Do a bunch of 1 km runs out and turn around and come back the same way. I clearly remember the excitement when I ran my first 5 km training loop. Can I do it? What if I can’t run all the way?

That same 5 km training route, 9 years on, is now my standard recovery route after my Sunday long slow distance runs or races.

How diving got me into running half marathons and more
How diving got me into running half marathons and more

At the start of one of my half marathons. Running has gained tremendous popularity in Thailand over the last 5 years. Many races sell out very quickly nowadays. In the ‘good old days’ you just showed up on the day/morning of the race, registered and took off. Now, in many events, you need to book months in advance to secure your spot.

Over time my competitive element came out and roared it’s head! Late in 2010 I ran two local races on Koh Samui. In 2011 I ran my first half marathon at the Laguna Phuket event. Come 2013 I ran my first full marathon in Lansaka.

Lansaka I hear you say? Yes, it’s a small town in Southern Thailand with the cleanest air in Thailand. As they claim! Near Sakhon Si Thammarat. Indeed, you got that right, no diving there at all. But because of the reason I started to run, remember the diving angle, it allows me to travel all over, mainly Southern, Thailand.

Me and my family, who very often accompany me during the racing weekends, get to see lots of different areas around Thailand this way.

Running around my teaching schedule

Ideally I can also combine running races in combination with teaching my PADI IDC programs. This allows me to run in more exotic locations as well. Like the Bromo marathon in Indonesia, near mount Bromo, where I ran the half marathon distance. A trail race event by the way and comes highly recommended.
Various races in the Philippines have been on the schedule. Most recently a half marathon in Cebu City, just last month in early February. Before the start of the PADI IDC on Malapascua.

Training runs I plan around my day to day PADI IDC schedules. Like in South Korea when I was there and all other locations I teach at. Indonesia and the Philippines internationally. Koh Lanta, Khao Lak, Phuket and Koh Phangan in Thailand.

How diving got me into running half marathons and more
How diving got me into running half marathons and more

Running will bring you to scenic locations if you plan your races carefully. This picture was taken in Krabi, Thailand during a half marathon.

Initially I kept running at a fairly leisurely pace. Training programs didn’t enter my life until late 2015.

Now I have run competitively 5 full marathons and 28 half marathons to date. I lost track of how many 10 milers, 10 km and 5 km races I have run. Since 2 or 3 years I run for podium places in my age category 50-59 years old.

Currently I manage to race in around 20 events per year. It is challenging though. During a PADI IDC I need to carefully consider when I run, in Thailand after the days end of the IDC, since it remains light until around 7pm. However, in the Philippines I run a lot of times at the crack of dawn, before the start of the daily PADI IDC programs, since it’s dark by 6pm. However, the sun rises around 5.30am.

Before or after the PADI IDC programs, I try to schedule some of my races and sometimes IDC candidates can welcome a Sunday morning sleep in. This allows me to go out and run a race. Everybody happy! Well before lunch we continue with the regularly scheduled IDC program!

How diving got me into running half marathons and more
How diving got me into running half marathons and more

During one of my rare trail runs.

Sometimes I even have runners during my IDC programs. Occasionally I go out for a Sunday morning race during or after an IDC with one of my students!

The most exciting thing to happen to me during a PADI IDC, was on Phuket, a few years back. It turned out that two of my IDC candidates where former participants of the famous Leadville 100 mile ultra in Colorado. They have the belts to proof it! Both of them actually participated the years that the famous tribal Mexican Indians of the Tarahumara tribe raced and won! I was just listening to the CD version of the book ‘Born to Run’ about barefoot running. This race was described in the book. So there I was, teaching two idols! What a strange situation to be in.

How diving got me into running half marathons and more

How diving got me into running half marathons and more

My favorite brand of running shoes since 26th October 2011, Vibram Fivefingers. My current shoes are the V Run models.

Running fits the diving lifestyle. A hobby turned into a serious passion for me, with both diving and running.

Diving is supposed to be healthy, right? Running totally fits into this and it will keep you healthy. Due to running I started to look at my diet. Since 5 years or so, there have been some serious diet changes in my life. I stopped smoking over 20 years ago. Followed by stopping drinking alcohol in January 2013, since basically it got in the way with running. I realized I didn’t drink alcohol that much anymore and hang overs got in the way of training. Simple solution, stop drinking. Don’t be afraid though, I know plenty of runners who like a good beer after a race or a hard training work out! My body weight has dropped from high 80kg to below 80 since February this year.

Don’t become that fat blob! Get active and if you like to try running, you can contact me and ask for more advice.

My PADI IDC schedule for 2019

You found this interesting? Time to join me for one of my PADI IDC’s and have a run together?

First of all, Khao Lak, Thailand is on the schedule with a PADI IDC program to start 24th March. This is in conjunction with PADI 5* IDC Center ‘Sea Dragon’.  Furthermore, I will be back on Koh Lanta to start an IDC program on 15th April. This as always in conjunction with PADI 5* IDC Center ‘Blue Planet’.  On 7th May I will be back in Phuket, Thailand again for a PADI IDC. As always in conjunction with PADI CDC Center ‘Dive Asia’. Finally, for the first half of this year, Malapascua in the Philippines is back on the schedule. 21st May and 26th July will see PADI IDC programs in conjunction with PADI 5* IDDR Resort ‘Thresher Cove Resort’. More PADI IDC programs are to follow. Most certainly plenty of exciting destinations to choose from.

Finally, check here for my 2019 PADI IDC schedule.

Last but not least, contact me for more detailed information on any of these PADI IDC programs or locations.

See you there,

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