4:29 AM 11 October 2009 @ Luneta Park
In last year’s MILO Marathon Finals, I was able to peak for my marathon training and I was able to register a finish time of 3:48:32 hours. I was not able to join the Marathon elimination run last year but I was able to make some arrangements with the Race Director for me to join the Finals, hence, I was able to participate in the said race.
This year, I was able to participate in the MILO Marathon Eliminations but I was not able to qualify because I finished the race in 4:20:45 hours. This was due to the fact that I participated in the 2009 Los Angeles Marathon five weeks in between two marathon races. However, with the popularity of this running blog, I was able to make some arrangements (again!) to run the FINALS as a “guest runner”. But I have to “pay back” for such request as I was requested by the Race Organizer, my friend, Mr Rudy Biscocho to deliver an inspirational message to the Finalists of the Marathon Race during its Carbo-loading Party last Thursday evening at North Greenhills Clubhouse. The gist of my Inspirational Message speaks well of the title of this post.
I arrived at the Luneta Park at 4:00 AM and I immediately set my GF 305 and made a slow jog in order to warm-up. After a few minutes, I joined the members Team Hardcore and Finishers of 1st BDM 102. We had “photo-ops” and brief chat with one another. From there, we proceeded to the Starting Line. At the Starting Line, I was able to meet the other runners and Executives of NESTLE/MILO who are joining the 42K Race.
At exactly 4:29 AM, the starting gun went off and I placed myself at the back of the runners. I planned to run with an easy even pace for the whole race and I was hoping to have an extra strength at the last 10 kilometers to have a finish time of less than 4 hours.
After running through this course for so many times, I was already confident to finish the race right from the very start and did not mind about the terrain of the route. The thing that kept me worried was at what point or distance where I will encounter my first “muscle cramps”? Three weeks before this race, I did a 40K long steady run as part of my preparation for this race and I never had any cramps during this workout. As compared during the last Elimination Race, I had my muscle cramps at Km #16 and it affected my finish time.
I finished the 1st 10K in 56:15 minutes and I was confident that I could meet my objective for this race. After running 20K, I was still within my planned finish time but I started to slow down while I was on my way back to the Finish Line. The heat of the sun and the humidity made me slower but I was able to maintain a sub-6-minute per kilometer pace on the last 10K. It was only at Km # 36 that I checked on my GF 305 and my time registered at 3:22+ hours. I started to panick and tried to increase my pace. At this point, I knew I could make it but every time I increased my pace, my legs would act otherwise and they became heavier. I did not feel any cramps but I could not simply lift my knees higher and drive my arms faster.
Along the last 3K before the Finish Line, I was distracted by a number of cyclists who were going on counter-flow right where the exact direction of my run. I could not understand why these cyclists would meet head-on with the runners while the road is too wide for them on my right side. I had to shout at these cyclists and told them to clear the path for the runners. I even dared one of them to collide with me! But, on the last few feet, they had to avoid me. It was a better option for them to avoid me rather than the cyclist falling to the ground.
Except for this negative observation/experience during the race, the MILO Marathon Finals have improved a lot. At last, I was able to see long tables filled with lots of water cups up to the last water station before the Finish Line. There were lots of route marshals and Traffic Enforcers of each City were properly briefed on what they have to do in order to give way for the runners and at the same time decongest the traffic brought about by the Marathon Race. The presence of Reinier Pacific & Takbo.ph Volunteers and Aid Station at Gil Puyat Avenue (Buendia) was very helpful to all the runners which offered chopped fresh fruits (apples & oranges) and efficascent oil spray for the muscles. My sincerest thanks to Mr Amado Castro, Jr for having the initiative to bring to the country what he had observed and experienced when he “racewalked” the 2009 Los Angeles Marathon last May. How I wish that those “more influential” runners who have experienced running Marathon Races in other countries would also take the initiative to offer support to runners in Marathon Races. “Mayayabang kayong sabihin sa mga “media releases” ninyo na natapos ninyong tumakbo ng Marathon Races sa Europe at America, pero wala naman kayong ginagawa para tulungan kaming mga mahihirap na mananakbo para pagandahin natin ang Marathon Races dito sa Pilipinas”.
Not only the presence of abundant water stations, MILO’s Race Organizer made good in making it standard to have “Gatorade Stations” along the route which were located in between the Water Stations. I also appreciate the presence of a Fruit Stand/Station at the corner of Lawton Avenue and Bayani Road.
Gone are those Maynilad Water Lorry Trucks that we always see parked beside the Water Stations! Instead, I was able to see lots of Nestle Bottled Water containers and I assumed that we were drinking bottled water during the race as briefed by the Executives of MILO during the Carbo-Loading Party. This was a nice improvement!
So far, the most commendable innovation in this edition of MILO Marathon Finals is the RFID Timing Chip! I was happy to see the “sad faces” of identified consistent cheaters of this marathon race as I met them near the turn-around points along the route. However, I got an information that one of the top 15 finishers in the 42K race was “caught” cheating (by making the race as a relay run of two runners).
I finished the race in 4:03:54 hours (based from my GF 305), a few minutes from my target finish time of sub-4 hours! I did not encounter any muscle cramps during the run and I was fully satisfied with my performance. My average pace was 5:44 minutes per kilometer with an average HR of 152 bpm. However, I don’t complain this time that my GF 305 registered a distance of 42.46 kilometers.
Congratulations to Mr Rudy Biscocho, to the NESTLE, Philippines and to the Volunteers for a “world-class” marathon race in the country. MILO Marathon Race proved it once again that it is the most prestigious and well-represented marathon race in the country today. I just hope that NESTLE/MILO would bring back those times when the Champion/s of the Marathon Finals were sent to Marathon Races in key cities in the United States/Europe. Who knows another Manny Pacquiao or Efren “Bata” Reyes would emerge as Marathon Champion in one of these International Marathon Races. This is a dream but it could be done!
See you at the Starting Line in the next Marathon Race for this month of October!
26 thoughts on “33rd MILO Marathon Finals: “We Are All Warriors”!”
anna, thanks! with proper training and patience, you will have a chance to experience finishing a marathon race. see you soon & regards to the running family!
congratulations jovie, on your milo marathon stint with a very respectable finish time. are you also running 42k for both QCIM and SIM? wow! that is quite a feat. how i wish i could do the same. i will be only running in the QCIM 21k. i wish you the very best in these races!
my next marathon race is the subic marathon which i am dedicating to my Mom. actually, milo finals is my 4th marathon race for this year! see you soon!
Congratulations Sir Jovie! Here’s your video crossing the Reinier Pacific & Takbo.ph booth:
thanks, natz! it was a relief to hear your cheers and the fruits were great! congrats to reinier pacific & takbo.ph!
BR congratulations . you are always an inspiration to us Runners. Great run and Great time.
patrick, thanks! i may not be the fastest runner but i hope the purpose of this blog to encourage more people to run and have fun is being fulfilled. see you soon!
Congratulations, Jovie-san! You really serve as an inspiration by practicing what you preach!
thanks! congratulations, too! i was trying to catch up with you guys but you were too fast. great run! see you at the starting line.
Dear BR- Congratulations for a great run! I almost did not recognize you as your signature “bandana” was not positioned in your neck but this time was over your head!
Capt Amado, i was using “Buff”, a special bandana for runners. i usually use this kind of bandana for marathon distance due to heavy sweating from my head/forehead as it is thicker. thanks again for the “aid station” initiative! more power to you!
mabuhay sir jovie and good luck.we still have 208k to go.power up!
congrats for breaking the barrier! more races to go and i know you will improve more and be able to run faster! see you at the starting line!
Sir Jovie –
I dream of running a sub-4 marathon one day. And your article has inspired me even more.
When I saw you at the Kalayaan Flyover going towards Buendia, I was in awe at your pace and form – despite coming from Heritage, and with the whole of Buendia left to conquer! And when I looked at my watch after you had zoomed by (a little over 3 hours on my watch), I knew you were on track to a sub-4 finish – kayang-kaya eto ni Sir, I thought. A shame though, ilang minuto na lang.
I was also surprised with your bandana/headband when I saw you. Why don’t you wear those visor caps, btw? I’ve never seen you run with a cap on.
Also, is the oval closed indefinitely?
Have a safe run in Subic, Sir!
wency, with consistency & patience in training, you will attain that sub-4 hour in due time. you are still young and i know you could make it soon! thanks for thinking that i could finish the race in sub-4 hours. i think i slowed down on the last 6K due to the heat. well, there are more races to come and we hope to run faster next time. as for the bandana, i prefer to wear them because i sweat a lot and the visor cap/runner’s cap does not look good with my bald head. for consistency, i prefer to be seen running in road races as the bald runner! ULTRA is closed due to the presence of the evacuees and the “volunteers”/NGOs. thanks for the comment.
Congratulations Chief. You’re more than worthy of the warriors arena at the finish line. You did it again.
thanks, vener! we missed you during the race but i know you are prepared for the next fight. good luck on your next marathon and for your next task as a pacer this coming sunday. good luck!
congrats BR! Amazing race for you.
oh and Natz! Si Mesh yun kasunod ni BR, not me. 😀
bards, thanks! good luck on your next marathon race.
Congrats on your strong run!
See you in Floridablanca 😉
congratulations sir jovie! Great run! You’re an inspiration sir! See you on the road again…
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sir, just wanted to ask what is the best shoes that you can recommend for a beginner like me? I just enjoy running lately (I am already 36 not too old though…) I am also bald, bandana is nice stuff. I am using it as well. it prevents the sweat from coming into my eyes… I hope I can compete in one of major run in the Philippines… God bless enjoy running!
thanks for making a comment here and being able to start running. i really don’t have any special shoes to recommend but you can start with the popular brands like adidas or nike or asics. you can start buying those cheap ones and from there you will know what is fitted for you. you can also go to some of our running specialty stores where they can study your running gait and recommend what shoes is fitter for you. thanks!