24 February 2008
Yesterday morning, I went to Marikina Riverbank to familiarize myself with the route of the Pasig River Marathon. I happened to meet a certain “Robert” who was wearing a runner’s attire and looks like a seasoned runner at the Marikina Riverbank. He happens to be a regular runner of the Pasig River Marathon for the past seven years and we talked for awhile. He noticed that I was coughing while I was talking to him and he tried to tell me that it will be a hard and difficult situation for me to finish the marathon with my condition. I just smiled and he later oriented me with the starting area and the route.
Knowing the route, except for the Mandaluyong-Sta Mesa-Pandacan area, I immediately took some of my medications and was able to rest the whole afternoon of Saturday and slept early at 8:00 PM. I woke up at 2:00 AM, took a shower, shaved, had my last “crap”, ate oatmeal, applied petroleum jelly on my inner thighs/feet/inner part of my upper arms/below my armpits and wore my running attire. At 3:00 AM, I was already on my way to Marikina Riverbank.
The race program started at 3:30 AM and the race started on time at 4:00 AM. Nobody among the runners were paying attention to the remarks/speeches of the VIPs on the stage except for the singing of the National Anthem. In my estimate, there were about 1,500-2,000 runners for the 42K to include members of the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
Getting in line for the check-in before runners could enter the starting area. It took at least 30 minutes for marshalls to mark all the runners. Runners were lined up while the race program was on-going.
I thought I started very slow on the first 10 kilometers but when I reached the 20 kilometer mark, I was surprised to see that my GF 305 registered a time of 2 hours! I was running too fast, contrary to my final plan of running conservatively. There was no way I could see what was going on with my GF 305 because it was still dark and there was no bright light/lamp post along the route.
A fast pace at the C-5 Bridge, near Kalayaan Avenue where my staff had a problem getting a better picture of me while it was dark!
Crossing one of the bridges in Mandaluyong
I need to “shuffle” and take little steps just to prevent my legs from getting cramps!
One of my security men recommended me to wear my runner’s cap while passing at the squatters area in Mandaluyong and Sta Mesa for security reasons. Once I was already at the Nagtahan Bridge, I removed my cap and wore my sunglasses!
And then I had to walk briskly as I was about to experience “cramps” on my both legs (calves & hamstrings). I started to experience muscle cramps at Km # 36!
At last, I could see Manila Hotel from this point and I knew I could finish the race.
Every runner should smile after passing the finish line. Before passing the Finish Line, I heard some of the runners in the audience shouting “BALD RUNNER”. One of the marshalls at the finish line told me that she is a regular reader of my blog.
The Bald Runner trying to copy the picture of Lance Armstrong after finishing the 2007 New York Marathon!..Ha! Ha! Ha!