For love of the Marathon

The 34th MILO Marathon just ended the eliminations last July 4, 2010. Yes, I am eliminated again. Just wait. We’ll get there in time! For now, allow me to reminisce. I still could taste it all.

My mind wanders freely back to the time when I first get to taste the marathon. It was May of 2009.


With only weekly races, regular runs, and long runs topped with pure guts, I headed at the starting line of BOTAK Paa-Bilisan. Excited and anxious and everything. The day before the start of the this race, we went on a long climb – a traverse climb of 14 hours. Oh yeah!

Mind you. I have educated myself with a lot of information on injuries. I learned all abut injuries long before I started running. So there…finished my first Marathon in high spirit. No injury. Just plain and pure joy!

33rd MILO MARATHON Manila Eliminations 42.195K

July of 2009 enters the 33rd Milo Marathon Manila Eliminations. As you would expect, yes, Im in. The cut-off then to be a finisher with medal and certificate and be included in the result is 5 hours. Yes – you read it right. 5 hours. The route starts at KM 0 in Luneta to Heritage Taguig and back via Kalayaan Flyover. I remember that flyover so well. It was where I got my first major cramp, right after I reached the top. Neil was on bike then, who helped and give me a massage.

Again, as you would expect, I finished. Got a medal. Got a certificate. But not in the result. It was a hard run for me. Was literally walking on stiff legs after.

Now the ‘hardcore month’ of October came. Given the past 2 marathon experience, I was aiming for more. I wanted not just to be a Marathoner. I want to be an ULTRA-MARATHONER! I want to run the BDM! So, doing what you would expect a long distance runner would do, I prepped my mind to the gruelling and unbelievable thought of running back to back weekly marathons. Yes. That’s weekly.

QCIM (Quezon City International Marathon) 42.195K

I enlisted at QCIM as an official pacer. Along with Michael and Dennis. With so much pride and confidence over this ‘hard’ route, we went on with the run.

As you would again expect, I finished. Nice medal this QCIM got! I have to conserve energy this time and run at the easiest pace in preparation for the coming week’s Marathon. The SIM. Yet still, at KM 37, i got cramped and was sidelined for a few minutes along Commonwealth Avenue.

SIM (Subic International Marathon) 42.195K

This one is different. It’s my first night marathon. The run started at 4pm…would end you somewhere before midnight. This also happened to be the worst of the marathons ever organized. Other than the gun start and the finish line, there’s nothing this marathon can ever offer. LOL. No water. No kilometer marker. No light. No marshall. We were left to run (if we can) or walk in the dark. Still, given the right attitude to always finish what we started, we still finished. Got our medal. Sleep. Went home.

PIM (Philippine International Marathon) 42.195K

2 weeks after the dark SIM experience, here I am again at the starting line hoping to get a better run than my last one. It was a beautiful day for running. The route is one of the hardest one. Crossing over 9 major city bridges.

We started out so fast that we have all the time in the world to take it easy when the heat of the sun sets in. We’re right. It was so hot. I was running easy under the sun. Pacing Gab. Stopping for so many times everytime the cramp hits him. I didn’t cramp at all in this race. I guess I should be doing 2 Marathons 2 weeks before a Marathon. LOL. We finished and was very much surprised to get nothing at the finish line. No medal? Not even a drink for a finisher on a very hot day?

Cebu Marathon 42.195K

A Marathon for a year opener this was. The race was so festive. So many runners. Smiles all around. I started fast in this one. I said to myself that I wouldn’t want to be toasted under the sun along the coast. Indeed, I was able to do just that. Easy running after to the finish line. I got cramped at KM 35. The cebuano doctor at the water and aid station gave me the best massage ever! Still, up to this time, I didn’t get his name. Finishing alongside Ge at this one. One of the best medal ever! A mango-shaped one!

Condura 2010 42.195K

My excitement over this race exceeded all the others. That’s because prior to this year’s Marathon, I was a group pacer for the half-marathon of the previous year. I am still a pacer for this one. I paced with Neil all through-out. Employing the same pace he would make. Along side each other from start to finish. We did a 7:1 (or was it 45 seconds?) Galloway all through the route.

34th Milo Marathon Manila Eliminations 42.195K

The most recent after the Condura last February, proved to be the ‘under-estimated’ Marathon of all time. Who would have thought of a fly-over route repeated so many times? Over 3 loops? That’s a crazy idea. It will bore even the Team Boring! (who just never get bored).

Still, despite the underestimated-hard route, I raise my cup of joy and hands to those who finished the run -within and after the cut-off without cheating. It’s a well-documented run. Even cheaters cannot cheat now. The timing chip is better than a choco chip now! And the photographers (bless them!) was able to catch in action the ones who tried their antics.

Good Luck, Bozos! Cheat all you want. Go on! Put your faces in deep shame!

We waited for our friends at the finish line. All’s gone. No medal. No certificate. No loot bags. No loot. No nothing. Just us seated looking at the full stretch of the finish line waiting for the brave finishers with their heads up high.

My respect to them guys. Special mention Jet Paiso and Roy Tan. They did not cheat. They just kept on putting forward their foot in front of the other until they reached the finish line. It’s not about the medals. It’s not about the loot bags. It’s not about the blank certificate. It’s ALL about the dignity of the run. It’s all about the love for the marathon.

Cheers to the next coming ones!

Latest UPDATE:

QCIM (Quezon City International Marathon) 42.195K

Last December 5, 2010 proved to be a good run – for me. As an official pacer for the finish time of 5:15:00, I crossed the fnish line with Gab (my co-pacer) at 5:13:08. Ahead, yes, of the target, but is a very satisfiying time for me. Since we can’t speed up, we just have to maintain the pace for every 5K of the route. The time I have though is my best time for a marathon so far. And what’s best about it is that, it’s an easy run for me.

Note: The dream of being an Ultra Marathoner came true. I finished the 2nd BDM 102kms, the 1st PAU 50Kms this year, the 2nd PAU 70kms, and the 4th PAU 50Kms too.


6 thoughts on “For love of the Marathon

  1. Hi there buddy! I decided I might leave a quick comment seeing that I have put in the better part of the previous 30 minutes reading through your posts. I’m totally liking just what you have made here with your blog and I trust you’ll keep writing it. Well that’s pretty much all I’ve got to say! Cheers again and very nice to ‘meet’ you 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s