The IAAF certified routes of Coach Rio Dela Cruz’s first international marathon led 17,000 to conquer yet another of Bicol’s finest.. Led by international elite runners & local celebrities, the hype for this ginormous event escalated to higher level. Now, Camarines Sur is part of the racing calendar for the sport we love!
Along with 28 Team CB warriors, we weren’t able to catch a decent flight due to pricing issues, so we ended riding the Isarog Bus covering a back aching 8-10 hour ride with 2-3 stops. Checked in at the Naga Regent Hotel around 7am, an accredited establishment for the event, rest a bit and forward to CamSur Water Sports Complex to attend the briefing for the 21 & 42K routes. Took 10-15 mins from the hotel up to CWC, everybody was amped up including the author. Every intervals were 10 megapixels and mega lense SLRs were out and trigger happy. Photo shots were all over the place, left and right. like paparazzis before the briefing started.
The briefing was quite short led by Rio and ended with a tour of the 21K route. Surprised with the route composition, an estimate of 90% cement 5% asphalt & 5% rough terrain. That led me thinking that I’ll be racing on my weakest terrain come race day. After the exploration right then and there, I was able to set my expectation and game plan to properly peg my PR. Swerving the cement part is quite a challenge which i am barely a fan. But it is what it is..
Coming out from the shuttle, we head to the infamous CWC wakeboard area to grab breakfast. Had chunks of a potato dish, a can of beer and a stick of cig. Saw familiar faces from Manila, The attempt to wake board was unsuccessful, this was acceptable to prevent any injury come race day, this was evident upon seeing Rio limping before breafing. We ended enjoying the peeps zooming the waters via cable powered slings. It was a sight to see people doing stunts and other high risk maneuvers, some wiping out but was cool. It was definitely humid walaking back to pavilion and get some rest.Bwahaha awful lot of carbo loading on the eve of the race day. Baby back ribs, 4 cups of rice, laing, chili burger and the spicy tokwa’t baboy. I’m stuffed hehehe sarap! Long Live NAGA! hahaha! Carbo load is over, time to sleep.
4 hours of rest and prep at 0030 MNL and catch the bus up until the half marathon start line. Met Team Logan at the lobby, bus hasn’t arrived.. so the ultimate picture taking experience came into play.. Lahat excited hehehe! you can see it from their faces.At the starting point of our route, its game face time! we arrived an hour and a half earlier from gunstart. The half marathoners were piling up, some doing warm up runs, stretching and doing their routine. while I on the other hand tried to get a sweet spot to rest after i left my baggage at the counter (pretty big bags, susyal.. astig!). I tried roaming around to see if familiar faces were up but it was really dark and wasn’t able to recognize the takbo.ph peeps. Did my usual 300m warm up run and the official stretch 30 mins before 0400 gunstart.
10 mins before the 0400 start, i was able to grab 2 pandesals from the event organizer for my last carbo load. During this last dying minutes, all the participants were ready to go. With all the hype you can imagine every single second. Hugs and regards given to each of my team mate for a safe run and a strong finish before gunfire. It’s ON, as we start to get the right pace a few meters from the stating line. On the first turn, I immediately took the outer lane of the asphalt road and grabbed my race pace. I dont care how fast or slow i was on that turf but all the speed and endurance was needed to combine for this event alone. going for the second turn where the cement leads after the first 1.5K, the battle starts. realizing my game plan to take the center line of the road was part of it. I was able to apce myself and passed 4 hydration spots and recharged at the 10th kilometer. Thank you to the full marathoners passing by that i was able to pace with them for quite a bit (nice strategy).
From the start of the cemented road, the locals of the whole stretch of the barangays were out cheering each runners to give the needed extra boost. I must say, they are very much wearing those smiles like welcoming all the runners with warmth. That was a surprise, as i pass every bulk of them, exchanging greetings and hellos. It was never tiring with no dull moments as we stride the rest of the route. The scenic atmosphere, the farms illuminating as dawn strikes is such a beauty in its right. Nothing compares with the freshest air and greens from left to right. One of those nature’s majestic wonder indeed! It’s a bliss for a runner to experience, to the point that realizing city run from where the runners at that point breathes. We don’t get to enjoy this in Manila, we were living the moment, like seizing the opportunity of those smiles & scenery.
It was an evident fact to see power bars, bananas and sponges along the route. Even a fire truck for a good cool down before the right turn. I was losing my pace after the 14th kilometer and went into Galloway mode. 30 seconds rest and 2 minutes run consecutively until the 18th kilometer. I was able to reserve the last 3 kilometers and all the way out until the finish line. Hills were minimal and doable, so no problem. But the heat was just phenomenal from the final 2KM did made a huge blow to all the runners. No more trees to shade and just pure will power to finish the race. I was lucky enough to restore my pace before the sun can ultimately give the sunburn of a lifetime. It seems that the last kilometer was the longest and farthest distance we ever covered. Multiple turns before reaching the final turn to the finish line. i think it was the last 200m when i saw the finish line on asphalt. a smirk on my tired face appeared. I decided to have a strong finish meeting the cones, railings and the finish line..
I crossed the D-tag platform clocking at 02h:15m:34.2s almost in tears and a finisher medal around my neck. What do you know, it is my debut for the Half Marathon category. Fortunate enough i had my sunglasses on to hide my teary eyes. hehehe. It was a moment only a few would experience. Holding the elusive gold was a mere fantasy. Emotions were high on that radius, not for myself alone but for each and every runner who crossed the line. Getting my baggage was a helluva nightmare, but taking pictures of my team mates approaching the finish is priceless.
successful 9 half & a full marathon debut from Team CB.. big CHECK!!!
Nothing is impossible with hard work and dedication. The biggest support from Team CB before and after the race, the motivational factor to train hard from Coach Argo, the drive to achieve my goal to peg a good PR.. On how bad i want it? So bad that I want to do this over and over again.. From a 5 Kilometer fun run to a passion and goal oriented sport reaching to 21K. The will to perform better and exceed your own expectations. For the friendship built through each stride. The bliss of crossing a finish line. To the sport that made me defy my own limitations… CamSur Marathon 2010.. Maraming Salamat 🙂
Next year ulet SEPT. 25, 2011
*forgive my grammar 🙂