The apex of Philippine running, from Lydia De Vega, from the shiny golden shoes of Michael Johnson. It was just a dream until yesterday’s 34th National Milo Marathon Eliminations at the KM 0 of Manila (Rizal Monument). Grew up watching the Olympics via Ch4 & 9., from the ads of Nestle’s Milo Marathon asking myself way back “will i be able to join this event?” and it began!
After 20 long years, 3 weeks ago I registered, along with 4 other friends. Ecstatic upon receiving the race kits from the courier, opened the envelope, checked the singlet, memorized my race bib number, pulled out my digicam and took a couple of shots. Target setting: “to have my Personal Record for 10K stamped on this prestigious event!”. Now the only problem is to train hard. hehehe. Took a week and a half, after work, to get the right pace. From plotting my own route to equally distributing my hydration stations from the streets of Quezon City and Pasig. I was able to record a total of 61 KM right before race day. i know it sounds overrated but its better than staying online for hours and eat the junks.
Race Day- It’s go time!
Arriving at the Start Line, the record says it, the whole area is packed & was painted with runners in green singlets. I stretched and re-lace my shoes with the timing chip. 5 minutes before our 10K race and yet unable to check-in, the 3 & 5K swarm are blocking the pathway amp!, with 20 thousand runners how can I complain, much to my excitement, the lemming colored crowd pumps me up and gives me the adrenaline rush. Oops finally, found our check-in gate 2 minutes before gunfire.. Bang!!!! up the 10K runners go! and my boyhood dream is now officially a reality.
I didn’t rush competing with myself with all the hype,its back to basics for me, building up my usual pace of 2-3KMs and then lay low, i passed the first two water stations, thanks to my training. I immediately went the pace i needed to and mark the whole stretch before reaching the Buendia flyover. A few meters before i reach the inclined road, I back tracked the slopes I’ve gone through (C5-Katipunan and St. Martin), I tried conditioning my mind through the tough curves of the route. The 2nd flyover of Roxas Blvd-Edsa was quite the challenge before reaching the U-turn and head back to Quirino Grandstand.
The road going to the finish was totally unexpected, less water stations to grab one, losing pace and dropping heavy steps. Another mind over matter battle. Now my right leg is showing signs of tear matching the kids and the jejemons doing zigzag patterned runs that ruined my last 2 turns.
I got a ton of boost from the pacers bearing Milo flags and those veteran 10K runners who lifted my spirit up until the final corner of the route. from my ocular vision, i start to see the finish line after the last turn, that was my final boost. as i reach closer, i saw the clock at (1hr:33mins), it did affect my last pace because i depend on timers from the finish line. I don’t have any Polar or Garmin to use, sad to say but that’s the bad part. I just thought of finishing the race with the rest of the pack. Ice cold Gatorade at the finish and a certificate of completion. I heard a voice from the railings, much to my surprise it was my sweet niece. she was with my aunt. My cousin did the 42K, a full marathon! damn proud of that guy! hahaha! I quickly went to greet them and proceed to the Gatorade tent, asked for a couple sets of ice tubes to give myself a quick simmer. That felt so damn good and later met with some fellow runner friends.
I enjoyed the whole route, the hype lived up to it! 20 years in the making. A dream that came true, I was never as happy as a newbie runner trying to push hard in the Mecca of Philippine Marathon..
Next year i will push for the 21 or perhaps 42K, this time, its for the medal.
I would like to extend my kindest congrats to my Siemens friends, I know I sound so irritating trying to encourage them to run and be fit, its the fastest way i know how, 2nd to the takbo.ph peeps for the information, dailymile.com for my training routes and to Argo, Bilz, Daie, Ellen, Marvs & my cousin JP for being the source of inspiration for achieving my goals. You guys definitely made me push hard. =)
Finally to Reginald Lee & Steph Castro for introducing me this sport of endurance and mental toughness. It started as a fun run that became a goal setting sport for myself! It is truly a center for bliss and nirvana!
I’m hoping to see more SIEMENS peeps within the next race events! Coming from a call center league myself which battles a series of vice (alcohol, cigarettes & a helluva gluttonous sinful appetite). It’s time to trim down, exercise and eat the equal amount.
Hardwork & Dedication! – Coach Rio Dela Cruz & Floyd “Money” Mayweather
See you guys at the finish line! Arya! etivaCenyo!!!