4:30 AM December 5, 2010/2nd QC International Marathon
Last year, I ran the Half-Marathon of this event with my daughter, Jovelle, and I was on a pacer-crew mode. This was my last long run before I tapered off for the 2009 Subic International Marathon where I finished in sub-4 hours. The route was totally different then as most of the runners would run towards the Trinoma Mall area before reaching the Finish Line inside the Quezon Memorial Circle.
For this year, everything was very simple and better in terms of Race Management. It was an “out and back” route without any complications of so many turns. However, there is still a need to make the water tables longer due to the volume of the half-marathon and marathon runners merging at the UP Academic Oval area and at the Commonwealth Avenue. But this observation was compensated with the presence of so many water stations in every 1-2 kilometers along the route! I could only say that this event is far better than last year’s. My congratulations to the City Government of Quezon, RUNNEX, their Sponsors, and Volunteers!
One thing that bothers me this time is the regulation for every runner to leave their hydration belt/bottles/system as each runner enters the La Mesa Dam. Although there is a lot of water stations inside the water reservoir complex and I don’t carry any hydration bottle, such regulation is still a puzzle to my mind!
What I like most are the “turn-around” points where you could see who are infront and at the back of you during the race. And you could see also who are the leading runners for each distance event during the race. I was not surprised when I saw a group of Kenyan runners leading the 42K race as well as the half-marathon distance. They are growing in numbers exponentially in our races! I don’t have a problem with that except that most of our local elite runners can no longer have a chance to earn the cash prizes for these corporate-sponsored running events. (Even our MILO Marathon Races which are supposed to promote “grassroots” running in the country are already “invaded” by these overseas runners!!!) The Kenyans are poor and our elite athletes are also poor that need support from the government and the corporate world, but instead of these cash prizes going to our elite athletes to help in their daily subsistence, family support and training, they always end up on the hands of the Kenyans!
Sometimes, I would also think of bringing our local elite athletes to other countries for them to earn experience and cash prizes! Let’s face it, we have a lot of Filipino communities in other countries and make them as hosts for our elite ones to compete in their respective turfs. I am sure that there are key cities around the world where road/trail races are conducted every weekend with cash prizes for the top runners. If the Kenyans (from Africa, if you don’t know your Geography) can stay in our country even without the presence of a Kenyan community, why can’t we, as Filipnos, could be a good host to our elites in other countries? Now, the question is, Who has the “heart” and initiative to bring our elite athletes to other countries?
Aside from having a good glimpse on who are the runners infront and at the back of me in turn-around points, I always receive a “never-ending” calls and greetings of “Sir Jovie; “Beee…aaaRRR!”; “Good Morning, Sir!”; “Looking Good, BR”; “Mr Bald”; “General”; “Mr PAU”; “Bee..Dee…eeeMMM 102/160”; etc. from the countless runners I met during the race! Those calls and greetings kept me smiling while I was running! With or without my runner’s cap, these runners recognize me from a distance. Thanks for your greetings, guys! Those greetings made me stronger during the race!
I finished the 42K run in 4:30:02 hours (Official Time) with a distance registered in my GF 305 as 42.64 kilometers. I was still strong as I crossed the Finish Line. Despite finishing a 50K Ultramarathon Race in Cebu City a week before this Marathon Race, I did not have any “cramping” issues because of my slower pace and lower intensity for the race. The nice overcast and cooler weather; nutrition & hydration strategy followed properly; and the use of SaltSticks Caps (from 21K onwards; one capsule every 10K) had also contributed to my “injury-free” and comfortable finish.
If you take a closer look on the shoes that I used for the Marathon Race, you will be surprised that I used the newly-released (last September) New Balance MT 101 Trail Shoes! This is the latest (so far!) “minimalist” running shoes from New Balance designed by the famous mountain trail runner, Anton Krupicka. I am not trying to endorse the said running shoes but I would like to point out that, as early as now, I am already “conditioning” my legs and feet for my next training towards a possible experience of a mountain trail ultra race in the middle of next year!
See you at the Starting Line!
(Note: Thanks to Joy & John for the pictures I “copied” from FB)