Training – Check
I have been waking up every hour, I’ll say a prayer and get myself back to sleep then wake up again…Its 1:30, might as well get up so I won’t have to rush. Called up driver (call time 2am) and was so praning giving instructions on his waiting area while having breakfast…….It is race day!
Fast forward to 3:30am, I am already standing at the starting line for 42Kers – yes, a full marathon! Allow me to digress and flash back:
- May 2009- It was my first 10k race and while having breakfast at Mcdonalds with Jobaqs, Michi and other friends from the community, we could see 42kers running back to Fort at 10am.
- me – “No way shall I run under the heat at such time…I’m fine with 10K…”
- October 2009 – After QCIM and my 2nd 21K, I posted on Jobaqs, fb account – “Go for Feb 7!” It took me a month though to tell Coach Titus -” Coach, can I run a marathon na?” And Coach said – “Sige, kaya na, gawan kita ng program. Condura?” Me: “Oh…hmmm…joke lang coach, pero sige.”
Back to February 7, at quarter to four – the mood was so festive, it takes away my nervousness. I saw BR clinic buddies Mark, Nam, Randy and Jerry-they will run together. I know these guys are gonna PR so I stayed behind. Michi and I will stick to a 7 pace for the first half. I was chatting with Iah minutes before gunstart, getting some pointers on the use of GU -thanks Iah! ……
“I gotta feeling, that tonight’s gonna be a good night…”
..the fireworks displayed and ….10…9…8…3..2..1…we’re off!
First Leg: Start to Bayani Road and Back then Up to Buendia
The plan was to run the first half at a 7min/k pace. Garmin says, we averaged 6:45 peaking at some point to 5, especially at downhills…Jopeng and Jim stayed behind to keep themselves from speeding up, conserving energy for the crucial leg. It was also my first experience of running in the dark. (I wonder if the reflector was working). I took my first GU gel at Kalayaan flyover…(I hope Norman is able to drive to Petron in time-I need to get two more GU for the 20th and 30th k)..
So happy to see Norman at Petron, everything is going on as planned. I took two GU and some beans and sipped some Gatorade. Then we’re off…oops…we forgot to take pics 😦
Skyway: Here we come!
Setting my foot on the skyway, after a few hundreds of meters-I thanked God for bringing me that far! As I read on one of the inspirational signage- “The miracle is that I had the courage to start….”… This is a miracle in itself -I have conquered the Skyway!
We maintained the pace -Jopeng, Jim and Michi…high five each other for each kilometer done! We are nearing halfway! I had my 2nd GU gel at that time. Nearing the turnaround point, we saw friends running back. It feels good cheering each other as we make our way to the 22nd k.
Condura Hill! Scary? Not!
From afar, we can see the Skyway Interchange leading to NAIA with runners climbing. I remember the first time I saw the interchange while driving, I said – “I could never drive that road.” (really, I have fear of heights)….
Climbing the hill turned out not that bad at all with a Band playing whose rythm seems to be in tuned with my every stride. And there goes the downhill! This is it!!! Condura hill conquered!
At the turnaround, the bystanders (don’t think they are marshalls) were taking our pics using their camera phone while cheering us. Thanks to the Manongs! Pa-mms ng picture namin ha…hehe (I forgot to give my number). It sure was a boost as we approach the 30th (defined as the wall!)
As we climb back to the skyway, garmin says 30th. It probably was the longest distance where there is no water station in sight. And the sun was up! (Or was it just psychological, as they say this is the critical distance, a critical point). I chew the remaining beans I have. A few meters away – water station is in sight! Thank God! I took my third GU then…It wasn’t a wall after all.
Michie asked me at that point if we are not taking a walking break. Me: ” I didn’t really plan to but if you want, I can just slowdown my pace.” And there she goes speeding up. Walking break nga…
And then we landed…
As we approached the Buendia off ramp, it was so refreshing to see Maricar Sugayan (she is a former member of our prayer group, Lingkod – and have been running marathons even when it was not a boom yet). I haven’t seen her for a while, we wanna make chika but I guess we can do it some other time. Thanks Atty!
I am looking forward to landing from the Skyway. I am looking forward to the Takbo.ph Aid station and to seeing my friends who are stationed at the Pasong Tamo. Not that I badly need anything at that time, but the cheers and the smiles….all the festivities out there is what we needed more….
Categories: Race Reports