I had one gulp of Gatorade from my hydro bottle and in an instant I puked. I heard some people said “Dugo?” “…. I smiled and in my mind I said, “No, that was a red gato powder mix”. (Probably rumors spread that there is a runner who did spit blood.) It was an odd feeling, I have about ten kilometers to go more or less. Thank God, I saw the support vehicle of another runner who gave me water (Thanks to the runner in white singlet and black tights who is from Ilocos-forgot your name but it was nice pacing with you for a few meters.). The water bottle sustained me and helped me wash away the acidic taste.
I was still struggling with the sour taste. Somewhere near the municipal hall of Pagudpud, there were so many people cheering for me which propelled me to run faster (I wonder how long they’ve been watching and cheering and how long they still stayed-I heard from the last finishers they were still there when they passed.). As I turn right, some locals shouted – “Uy, eto oh…” They pointed me to the aid station. I guess me pretending to still be strong to be worthy of their cheers, wasn’t that convincing, the locals knew I needed help. I asked for a anything sweet from Raul. A candy! I picked up a bumblegum then finally found a green candy. Sweet! I left after a drink, I knew I was near. Around five kilometers to go.
Finally, about 1.5 kilometers from the aid station, my support vehicle arrived. It has been more than ten kilometers that I’ve missed it. I hydrated and finally refilled my halo with ice and my water bottle with something cold. I could not ingest anything else. I just needed to have something to douse my head and body and to wet my tongue as it dries.
I went back to the road and saw two figures ahead of me. I am trying to recall if I’ve seen them anywhere around the turnaround points. They must have caught up that fast or had a change in running singlets. I tried and run but I could not go on a pace faster than 7mpk and I couldn’t keep up with their strong pace. Yes, I wanted to catch up and see who just pass me. Was it a male or a female? The other runners who overtook me, I can clearly recognize as I saw them passing by and we exchanged a few words. Some of them I’ve met along the turnarounds. Not that I am up for any competition but I knew I will still come in as fifth female with the gap I have from the nearest girl I saw on the turnaround. If they are female runners, then I’ll be 7th. (Of course, a healthy competition pushes me to test my limits as well.)
I didn’t get to keep up with their pace until I lost sight of them. I also lost the steam, I started walking the entire stretch.
There goes my Venus Raj, fifth runner up title. LOL! I was hoping that would be a good title of my blog and my FB post. “I had a major, major run with no major, major mistake and I am the 4th runner up.” (Seriously, those were one of my thoughts while running. Just so I could keep my sanity.)
I finally made a left turn. My garmin showed 64.7kilometers.
There was even a banner welcoming us-WOW! I told myself, this is probably the last three kilometers, I can still push. My legs were still fine. But my mind is telling me to just finish, I didn’t push. That was a long three kilometer walk.
A guy in motorcycle escorted me. He was asking me what I needed. “Gusto ko na pong matapos”, my response. “Sakay ka na”, his response “Mabawasan ng konti pagod mo iha, malayo pa”. I said, “Okay pa po. Tapusin ko to, sandali na lang”.
After two kilometers, I heard a familiar voice. “Tin, tin”…..It was Iah!!! I wanted to cry but of course I hold it back. Iah was asking me questions. “Are you okay? Are you happy? Yada yada…” I answered with a very monotonous tone. “Tin, there were two girls who passed me, did they pass you?” I told Iah that I don’t know, I’m not sure and I don’t wanna know yet.
If the distance is 67.7, then we have less than two kilometers to go. Iah asked me to push. I ran, I still have the strength I know, I can still roll my leg faster which is my measure if I still can. When it showed no signs of a left turn, I asked Iah to go ahead but he stayed. The 65K plus 3K is not true.
We finally saw someone in red. THE ELITES! We are near, 2 kilometers to go as we turn left. And finally, an overcast. The grueling heat is gone. We ran, walked, ran….I gave my hydro bottle and my bandana to Ali who passed by in a motorcycle. (Getting ready for the finish line pic. LOL! It was Iah’s idea.). We saw Jonel who told us it was a hundred meters away. Finally, finally, it is done!
I finished in 10 hours and 9 minutes. 40th Overall. Based on initial, non-cheater proof results =)
So, what happened at 0k to 60k? It was a blast, I tell you, I am not sure how I could capture the experience in one posting.
Categories: Race Reports