Nothing but Sunlight

Good thing about our place, particulary here in Manila is that we have only a few common type of weather. It’s either sunny or gloomy or rainy. But I’m not a weather forecaster. Gloomy might just be some other bad vibes.

Across the seas where marathons happen daily, visiting runners are required to acclimatize first. Not that it is a mandate of the country, but simply because it’s the wise thing to do.

Here in Manila, acclimatization is a daily thing. For a passionate runner who runs at any given time within the 24 hour cycle, the bulk of activity is between 4am to 7am and 5pm to the cool of the night. But marathons, except for the ones that would start at sundown, will normally end up near mid noon. And I am a silent witness to how people react to the sun. On a normal race day for a marathon, you’d finish with nothing but you and the sunlight. It is now a question of how good a relationship you two have. Romancing the rain is easy. How about the scorching heat of the sun?

They say that too much exposure to the sun can lead to a lot of problems. Let me count the ways.

#1 Sunburn. You get that often after a beach outing. But in running? You’d get that running with bare skin as early as 9am to 3pm these days. And yeah, by running ultras!

#2 Dehydration. Yes, the heat of the sun can dry you up. I’m sure you know what to do.

#3 Heat Exhaustion. Now this is the rise on the body’s temperature. Combined with dehydration, this could prove fatal. It leads to the next problem.

#4 Heat Stroke. I am no doctor. But this thing needs an immediate medical attention.

#5 Water Intoxication. Now this one would greatly affect only two people. The clueless and the stubborn. If you’re up to sweat a lot, you need to drink not just water, but the ones with electrolytes. Google now! Type HYPONATREMIA!

Of the five things above, #1 is the only thing tolerable to me. I’d go half-naked on a scorching heat. I don’t mind peeling off the skin later. I don’t mind slowly toasting. I have spent a lot of time under the sun already that I think, I love it already. Running long specially ultras could really pose you directly to such problems. How you prepare and handle it is simply up to you.


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