CAMSUR Marathon/Pili, Camarines Sur/4:00 AM September 26, 2010
1. This is my 3rd Marathon Race for the year and I prepared this race without any training plan or program. Everything was done by “feel” and “instinct”. All my runs after the 34th MILO Manila Marathon Elimination were easy long runs; mountain trail runs; and a limited once a week tempo runs. Basically, I did not train for “speed” on this marathon race. I concentrated more on my “back-to-back” weekend easy long runs and decided to have the CAMSUR Marathon Race as part of my easy long run in preparation for another “epic” running experience in the future.
2. I finished the race in 4:39:33 hours (unofficial) as recorded in my GF 305. It is not a “shabby” finish time but I was able to learn a lot of what my body is capable of with my age of 58. Comparing myself with my friend and BDM 102 “veteran” Victor Ting who is already 62 years old, he was faster in reaching the Finish Line and I think he was ahead of me by 3 kilometers, I think I still have the chance to reach his age and run as fast as he can. But I think Victor is getting faster as he grows older. But for now, speed will remain at the back burner up to the end of this year and I will slowly introduce it again in my workouts at the start of the new year.
3. So far, this Marathon Race is the third major running event in the country that is fully sponsored and supported by a local government unit. The City Government of Quezon City came first with its own version of an International Marathon Race on the later part of last year and it was followed by the Cebu City Marathon last January 10 of this year and now it’s the Provincial Government of Camarines Sur. These local government executives in these cities and province are commendable for promoting the sports of running with their own resources without the support of the national government. How I wish more of these kind of local executives should come up with such sports events in their respective provinces and cities in order to promote their place through sports tourism. With cash prizes at stake on these running events provided through the efforts of the local executives, it will give more incentives to our elite athletes to train some more and at the the same time inspire the local folks and “grassroots” to develop themselves as competitive runners in the future. My salute and congratulations to the good leadership of these “pioneers” in promoting international running events in their own cities and provinces.
4. Camarines Sur Marathon is showing an example of the trend of marathon races in the country. It is no longer possible to have an ideal environment for a marathon race within the confines of Metro Manila and its immediate environs because of the problem of vehicular traffic, pollution, poor quality of air and the “no concern attitude” of the residents to people who are competing in a road race. It is only in the province and cities outside Metro Manila where you see spectators cheering and saying best wishes and good greetings to runners along the route of the race. Moreso, you can feel the hospitality when you see the barangay officials and folks manning the different Aid Stations offereing some food and water to the runners as Volunteers. I was informed that the Race Organizer had fielded almost 1,500 volunteers for this running event.
5. Going to Naga City and Ipil by land and air from Manila was so easy. By land on our own vehicle, it took us an easy 8-hour ride on the late evening from Manila and arriving at Naga City on daybreak. Travelling by bus, I heard it was more comfortable by sitting on “Lazy Boy” seats with a Comfort Room inside. And by plane, after a short 45-minute ride, you are already in Naga City.
6. Having registered to run the Marathon Race last June, I had a lot of time to plan for the trip and for the accommodation for my Elite Team. I was lucky to know that one of my officers assigned as one of the General Staff of my Command when I was the Division Commander in Panay Island is now assigned with the 9th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army based at Pili, Camarines Sur. Col Ace De Asis took upon himself to look for a place for us to stay. I was surprised to find out that another officer who served as my Camp Engineer in Panay Island is also assigned in the said place. Through the transient facilities of the Philippine Army, my team and I were “billeted” at the VIP Transient Facility of the 565th Engineer Battalion of the Philippine Army for almost 3 days.
7. We arrived in Pili, Camarines Sur on the early morning of Friday and went around the facilities of the CWC and later proceeded at Camp Martillana where our the Philippine Army’s Transient Facility is located. We were received by our host, Lt Col Tony Celoso ( my Command Engineer in Panay Island) and led us to their Battalion’s VIP Transient Facility. The facility has two big bedrooms with two bathrooms; a big living room with TV and cable connection; and dining area. We were able to buy fresh foods at the Pili Market and cooked them in the facility’s kitchen. My elite team’s members were the cooks, dishwashers, and the ones going to the market to choose what food to eat for the day.
8. My elite team and I attended the scheduled briefing on Saturday morning at the CWC and I was impressed on the preparations made to make this running event a success. I observed that a lot of international runners attended the briefing and I saw new faces from the Kenyans. I even saw athletes whom I was informed to be from Russia. I was able to meet other runners who are regular participants of my PAU races as well as runners who came all the way from the Visayas and Mindanao. Definitely, this running event was a meeting place of the avid and passionate runners from all over the country.
9. A day before the Marathon Race, I requested the Battalion Commander of the 565th Engineer Battalion to assemble his officers and men for an “impromtu” Running Lecture which will guide them to a more scientific way of training in preparation for a running event. The running lecture was done after one hour with the hope that the soldiers of this unit would be able to train properly. I gave them the challenge for them to join the next year’s half-marathon race after imparting to them the basic principles in training as well as tips in running. I told them that they are lucky and fortunate to have the Provincial Oval Track located just in front of their camp. In conclusion, the most important thing that I emphasized to them are the good values each one of them to develop while they are preparing for a running event.
10. The race was conducted perfectly as the race started promptly at 4:00 AM; there was a “festive” mood at the starting line which was highlighted with fireworks; lots of photo-ops with runners; greetings from the “usual suspects” in marathon races; lots of hydration points; proper markings along the road; presence of volunteers and marshals along the route; fresh bananas, sports bars & sports gels (although some were “expired”) were available to the runners at the 2nd half of the marathon route; and most of all, the presence of spectators who were cheering and greeting the runners!
11. Kenyan runner Richard Kemeli Kemboi won the Marathon Race with a time of 2:19:40 hours. In the women’s category, Ethiopian Ayelu Lemma Geda won the race in 2:40:05 hours. The Champion received a Cash Prize of $ 7,000. This could be the highest paying marathon race for this year in the country. My Elite Team managed to win First Place & Third Place (Local Category) for the Half-Marathon Race with a Cash Prize of P 20,000 and P 10,000, respectively and 3rd Place (Local Category) for the 10K Race. My team did not make good in this running event due to sickness and flu weeks before this race.
12. Successfully finishing a Marathon Race this year is becoming a “trigger” mechanism for me to do something more challenging in the coming days. Few days after my Condura Marathon last February, I did my 5-day multi-day run from Manila to Baguio City covering a distance of 240 kilometers. Two weeks after my July 4th MILO Manila Marathon, I ran the Headlands 50-Mile Mountain Trail Run in San Francisco, California. And now that I’ve finished the CAMSUR Marathon, I am supposed to run the Dick Collin’s Firetrails 50-Mile Mountain Trail Run on October 9 in California but I had to cancel it due to some commitment which I could not refuse. But instead of the Firetrails 50-Mile Run, I am coming up again with another multi-day run in the coming days (with the message that you can “journalize” your multi-day runs on near “real-time”!)
See you on the roads and trails!!!