It's always a bit sad when an athlete loses valuable time during a competition, but sometimes there are things that matter more than breaking your personal record or being the first to cross the finish line. Marathon-runner Khemjira Klongsanan knows this very well, and experienced it when she stopped mid-marathon to rescue a puppy on the side of the road.
Klongsanan was running the Chombueng Marathon in the Ratchaburi province in Thailand when she noticed something strange. “I was running on the left side of the road and noticed that people kept dodging this particular spot,” she told Coconuts Bangkok. “When I got to that spot, I saw a little tail wagging. Right then and there I made a promise that I was going to give my life to this dog.”
A devoted animal lover, Klongsanan searched for the puppy's mom or a family looking for it, but realized it was on its own. “There were still about 2,000–3,000 runners behind me and that point it was about 5 a.m., so it was still dark. I was really nervous that someone was going to step on her,” she said. With no other options to save the dog's life, she decided to carry it with her for the rest of the race, even though she still had 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) to go.
She recalls not feeling the extra weight for the first 25 kilometers, although she really struggled at the end. However, she knew there was no turning back. “I was really tired and weak by that point. I think the last five [kilometers] took me almost an hour. At some point, I wanted to give up, but I promised myself that I was going to dedicate my life to [taking] care of this dog, so I had to keep going.”
And she did. She named the puppy Chombueng, in honor of the race that brought them together, and added her to her family, comprised of over 25 dogs and 30 cats. Today, Chombueng is a happy, full-grown dog, and lives happily with Klongsanan, who shares adorable pics of the pup lounging at her home. As for her, she continues to be a dedicated runner who participates in races often, and hopes to buy a 3-hectare plot of land to built a sanctuary for her beloved animals.
You can follow Klongsanan on Instagram to stay up to date with her and Chombueng's adventures.
Runner Khemjira Klongsanan stopped mid-marathon to rescue a puppy on the side of the road.
“When I got to that spot, I saw a little tail wagging. Right then and there I made a promise that I was going to give my life to this dog.”
Today, Chombueng is a happy, full-grown dog, and lives happily with Klongsanan, who shares adorable pics of the pup snoozing.
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