Life on the Run: Interview with Kiranee Narabal

998498_617116028309787_66354204_nWell-known on the island of Phuket for her multi-tasking skills and being one of the island’s top working woman, Kiranee Narabal, 39, is the School Manager of Thalang Wittaya Kindergarten School, a part-time lecturer at Phuket Rajabhat Phuket University and Prince of Songkhla University, the founder of Unique Organization Development & Consulting Co., Ltd, the Consultant Learning & Development at Entis Management Co., Ltd in Bangkok, a news anchor for National 71869_1039634946057891_7955315902240262021_nBroadcasting Service of Thailand
(NBT) Channel 11, a freelance MC as well as contributing to charity with her position of Vice President of Soi Dog Foundation, Lead Chairman of Young Business and Professional Woman Associations – Phuket and the Chairman of Private Education of Phuket (PEAP). Kiranee was awarded One of Seven Phuket’s Most Inspiring People in 2015, and recently awarded at the national level by Ministry of Social Development and Human Security as one of 20 most inspiring people under the campaign “Inspired Women, Inspiring Others” in
August 2016.

A Balanced Life

Kiranee used to be one of the island’s most familiar faces on local media after attending a number of social events she enjoyed joining before she got on the running track.

“Years ago, people usually saw me at social events and big parties around the island but my life has changed since I’ve started doing sport and apparently, the party schedule didn’t go well with the training one. I have to be more disciplined, drink less and rest enough to prepare my body for the next training day,” she recalled.

“Especially when I started to join marathon competitions in Phuket and other places around the country, the party life started to fade away and the reasons I show up at social events now are to support them or because I am the MC.”

“I chose exercising over party as I believe that it is a great choice for the long term. It makes me happy and healthy while it doesn’t decrease the number of friends, just changes the circle as the common interest is different.”

She picked running as her routine workout as she was influenced by her mother who use to be a runner and still strong at the age of 72.

“Running is my choice because it the simplest and requires only myself with a pair of running shoes. Apart from that, my mother was a runner as well since she was in high school. She is now over than 70 years old and still strong and never gives up exercise. She still walks as fast as me.”

“Though I was way younger when I was a party-goer, now I am much stronger. I had allergy since I was 15. After I had done sport for one year, I found myself recovered from it.”12974381_1095120940509291_1600358613350666544_n

As a multi-tasking working woman, time management is one of the keys to creating life balance. She said that there’s no excuse for quitting workout even if she works seven days a week.

“It has to be early in the morning or after work in the evening. Everyone works and everyone is busy. In the morning I got up early to spend about 30 minutes to one hour exercising outdoor or at home and if I can’t make it in the morning, no matter how exhausted I am in the evening, I have to dedicate one hour for my workout,” she said.

“At the end of the day, workout makes me feel like I recharge myself after spending energy physically and mentally with all tasks along the day.”


Life on Track     

Like a destiny, one of the reasons that made Kiranee got more interested in running came from a night during a drinking session with friends, when the group challenged each other to a fun run of 4.5km. race on the following day, early in the morning.10482374_760430517311670_8067731828125401599_n

“Without practicing, we bet that whoever gets to the finish line last or simply forfeit would be the one who pays for our next meeting. The next day, everyone was there and I made a pretty strong performance for someone who didn’t practice at all so, I got a feeling that I could have done a lot better if I trained.”

“Since then, I started practicing harder and joined running competitions. I started earning some medals and trophies then I joined the Born Free to Run team by Coach Ricky at Thanyapura where I started practicing concretely and looked for some marathon running events outside Phuket. I started to fall in love with long distance run.”


She said that she started running for 5-10 kilometers, then extended to 20 kilometers and 40 kilometers making her find her hidden potential and crave for even longer distance.


“After I did 66 kilometers from the south to the top north of Phuket, I asked my husband to make a hundred kilometers run around Phuket together within 18 hours. We ended up making 101 kilometers within the time allocated, from 4am to 10pm. It was such a fun experience, inspiring us to go further.”

Along her way, Kiranee got a lot of impressive memory from places she ended up running.

“My impressive races include the adventurous marathon distance on the Great Wall of China. Along the way was stairs and stairs and stairs which requires much more strength. Staying there, looking at the endless edge of one of the Seven Wonders of the World, not as a tourist but a runner, was a great experience.”

“Another one was the New York City Marathon, one of the World Marathon Majors. It was such a festive atmosphere as it is the biggest marathon event in the world with more than 70,000 people joining yearly. It is filled with joy with so many people cheering up. At the last five kilometers, I felt like it was unbelievably short as I had a delightful time.”


Go Wild in the Woods

 At some stage, Kiranee and her best buddy / husband felt like trying something new; from running on the smooth road, they decided to jump in the wild woods, set themselves in survival mode in trail races and get some adrenaline rush with a lot of fun.

“We felt like we had enough running on the road and were looking for some new experience so, we switched to trail run,” she said.

“I had an opportunity to know Nampetch ‘Num’, a top trail runner from Thailand and also the first Thai Ironwoman who competed in world champion stage, last year. We met in Thanyapura when she went there to train and she was the inspiration for this new adventure.”

“In trail run, we have to be completely ready; physically, mentally and fully equipped with trekking tools, survival kits, drinking water, food, and trail running shoes with a good plan.”10478355_904492586238795_6670847137600286823_n

“It’s not just about running, it’s an off road adventure or sort of survival game. Every step is different and you have to be focused in every move you make.”

“Then I started realizing that there are so many trail running event around the world. Recently, I went to the Columbia Trail Masters Episode XI in Chonburi. There were about 3,000 – 4,000 people joining the competition and I learned that in Phuket, there was the King of the Mountain ( last year, which will be arranged again this year.”

She also had impressive memories in a mountain trail run which took place in Sapa, in the northwest of Vietnam, where she said that the race continued with tears. However, the course was so beautiful and recommended for those who interested to try one of the most muddy and slippery trails in Asia.

“We run up the terrace rice field in circle all the way around the mountain. It was so beautiful. At some stage, I looked up and saw a stunning waterfall waiting above with some people running along. However, it was a real tough race with a narrow path covered in deep mud and sharp cliff aside.”
20141012_IMG_4673Apart from the strength and health, there are many good things that the adventurous working woman learned from the trial run.

“Trail run teaches me many things. In the forest, you have to be strongly focused, fearless, adventurous and adaptable to any situation. These make me be more careful and systemized while not getting emotional at all in the working life.”

Getting switched to a completely different world made her life well balanced and always arousing.

“What makes me fall in love with trail run is the difference from routine life when I have to dress properly, think professionally, and live in a social norm. In contrast, when I am on the trail, it’s another version of me. We all covered in mud or dust, bruises, scratches, sole epidermis peeled off. The hands with dirty soil are the same hands we use for eating, and toilets are basically bushes in the woods. There are always different fun stories out of each race.”

“It sets my mental concept now. Whenever I have a problem about life or work, I always think that life in the jungle is way more risky, scary and dangerous but I manage to save myself out of the situation. The problem in life then seems to be easier to deal with.”

Apart from all these, Kiranee is working toward triathlon as she is now practicing swim and cycling.

“I actually found that I like swimming; I enjoy it a lot. Maybe I am still new in the field but it doesn’t hurt like running and I do not end up so sweaty, it’s kind of relaxing.”

“My husband and I agreed that we will join the triathlon one day. It’s one of the item in our bucket list alongside attending some world ultra-trail run and the must-visit trail fields such as Ultra Trail Mount Fuji, some desert ultra marathons and jungle trails in Amazon or Africa.”



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About the Author

BochakornBOCHAKORN BOONSERM (MAAM) began her education in conventional medicine as a nurse, then shifted to embrace natural healing and integrative medicines. Her training and certifications abroad include: Nutrition and Western Herbal Medicines, Acupuncture and Moxibustion.

During her therapeutic sessions, she may also incorporate other aspects of integrative medicines when required, including: acupuncture, cupping therapy, moxibustion, nutritional, supplements and herbal recommendation.

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