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Rain Running

Early Morning Rain Run

One morning it was raining a lot and they scheduled a run around the lake. Great. We met with the students on poolside near the drying room.

The instructor advised us of a muddy stretch about one third into the run which was good fun for mud sliding. He also said that rainwear might get too hot as we run.

Most of us wore running tights and jerseys or tee-shirts, socks and running shoes. Some of the students preferred anoraks or hoodies. I decided to wear running tights with a lycra top and a big hoodie.

Shower

The instructor explained that hoodies and jogging suits were good for hard rain run training because they get heavy when wet and he suggested to take a shower before the run. Some of students followed his advice and went to the shower to get their clothes soaked with warm water right from the start of the run. I chose to get wet slowly in the rain.

Down the Trail

We all headed down the trail, turned left and ran around the peanut shaped lake. After a few minutes running in the heavy rain we were all soaked through to the skin. That looked great, especially those in wet hoodies which slopped around as they ran.

Mud Slide

We reached the muddy stretch. Many of us dived in into the mud, sliding down the hill into a big mud pit. I went down once on my front and twice on my back. My hoodie was heavy with mud after that. We all looked a right mess after that as we carried on along the trail.

Run or Swim ?

Halfway down the lake was a narrow bit, about 100 meters wide. Near that point we were offered the choice between the full run and a shortcut which involved a swim through the lake. Most of us took the shortcut.

It was exciting to see so many people jump into the lake in their muddy running kit. Now was my turn. I ran onto the small jetty and jumped in. Wow, what a refreshing feeling! It was very easy to swim in running clothes, only the shoes and hoodie slowed me down. A brown mud trail was in my wake as the clothes got rinsed by the lake.

When I reached the other side I slowed down to watch the people in front climb out of the water and run up the trail, their wet clothes glistening in the morning sun, shining through a gap in the clouds.

Showers and Warm-up Swim

We ran back up to the pool and headed for the showers, after taking the dirty shoes off. It was so busy that most people shared a shower. The instructor said we should carefully help each other rinse off all the dirt and then jump into the pool to warm up.

Moments later we were all floating around in the pool, dressed in our running kit, relaxing from the run. It was a funny feeling swimming with socks on. Now I know why the Germans enjoy that so much; I always wondered why they wear socks in the water.

Afternoon Run and Swim

After an hour's sleep we woke up to heavy rain outside. I opened the window a bit to let in the beautiful fragrance of the wet forest.

"This is great," I pondered, looking out into the rain, "We'll get wet every day and even get paid for it. Amazing."

"Fancy a quick run?" Giovanni asked, waking me from my day dream. He tossed me a tee-shirt and rather baggy cargo pants to wear under my poncho. Soon we got going.

As we went out the rain got heavier. It ran down our ponchos and quickly soaked our cargo pants below the knees.

Soon we put our hoods down as we got a bit hot from all that running. It was exciting to feel the rain water run into my collar, soaking the tee-shirt on the front and back.

By the time we arrived at the lake we were fairly wet and waded waist deep into the water. It felt nice, but rather cold in only these thin clothes. I ducked under for a moment but soon got out.

"Let's go for another swim!" Giovanni shouted.

"No way," I protested, "way too cold."

"I mean in the indoor pool." he laughed. "Come on, let's go."

We ran up to the pool and asked the lifeguard who was tidying up if we could go for a swim. He gave us a bemused look and said: "Sure, just take a shower first."

Wow, what an amazing feeling this was in the hot showers. First I had the hood up and very little water came into the poncho. As I put the hood down it all came gushing in. The warm water made the nylon really soft.

The sun had come out and was shining through the roof lights into the empty pool. No guests were there because it was changeover day.

We entered the shallow end of the pool, played around a bit and went for a relaxing swim. The feeling of the loose fabric floating around me was unbelievable. It felt liberating.

A poncho is quite easy to swim in which surprised me. It just hugs your body as you move along. When you stay in one spot it floats around you as you play with it. The baggy pants and tee-shirt went well with this.

After our swim we relaxed on the sunny poolside to let the ponchos dry a bit before we went back to our room.

"Well, what do you think?" asked Giovanni.

"That was amazing, so easy. We should do that again sometime." I said with a big smile.

"Right away!" said Giovanni as we headed for the shower in our room to rinse the chlorine out. A good soapy lather and rinse after a swim really feels good and was great fun together.

Evening: Another Beach Party

The tropical island music came drifing over from the pool hall. If the Tropical Party was anything to go by, this could be another mayhem evening. Time to get ready, we're a bit late anyway.

Pool party usually means our clothes will get wet. I put on my black running tights, a black long sleeve sports shirt and a thin yellow anorak, just in case it rains. Giovanni dressed all casual, including his white nylon jacket.

We headed to the pool and it was already quite busy. To our surprise it didn't rain!

As usual we made a beeline to the buffet and enjoyed the fruit and veg. Yummy. The buffet looked different, I noticed while munching through my dripping watermelon. It was smaller and had a permanent roof. Interesting.

"Are you going to get wet tonight?" asked Giovanni.

"Not sure," I replied. "How about you?"

"Probably, yes. It's too nice an evening to stay dry." He gave a wink and a smile. Many things he says have double meaning.

After dinner we each joined our respective teams and chatted about the day. My team had many of the Thai students.

"No rain today!" one said.

"Do you want some rain?" I asked.

"Same same," was the answer, accompanied by a big smile.

Over on the other pool side, Giovanni's team got a bit agitated. It seemed like they were up to something. Some went into the pool to cool off. All were happy and laughing.

Soon they started chanting: "Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain!" This went of a while.

It can now be safely revealed that Alex wasn't just a lifeguard. He studied computer science and meteorology. In this centre he also looked after the evening entertainment which he ran from the waterproof supervisor box by the pool.

The music stopped, then the old song Riders in the Storm played with the thunder rolling and the wind blowing. The buffet closed and disappeared into its waterproof box.

Suddenly the wind machine started and blew a strong gust through the hall. Some sun umbrellas and inflatable boats were blown into the pool. The music got loader. The light got darker.

Flashes from the strobe lights were followed by loud thunder. Moments later heavy rain from the sprinkler system came down, driven by the wind. Alex pushed his tech to the limit.

There was no shelter. Within a couple of minutes everyone was dripping wet. My anorak leaked through and I was soaked to the skin. Anoraks are nice windbreakers and my favorite swimwear. I usually pull the hem line strings tight to keep it in place.

Soon the wind died down, rain was a bit less, but still quite heavy. The dancefloor came to light. Big applause for Alex.

We all hopped around in the rain to the latest tracks from Europe and Asia. Dancing in the rain is an experience not be missed.

My anorak got very soft when wet. Many folks in my team wanted to touch it. I got lots of long hugs that evening, both on the dancefloor and in the pool.

My team, mostly Asians, were very affectionate. They wanted to huddle with me in the pool and talk, and often some girls or guys wanted to dance with me in the rain. So I was in and out of the pool all the time.

Later Alex played some slow songs. Giovanni came over and gave me a big hug. His wet nylon jacket too felt so soft. We danced for a good while and enjoyed the warm rain until we went to bed.