- The FIRST Marathon in Cebu
- My FIRST Marathon in the Philippines
- My/ The FIRST Marathon for 2010.
SIGHTSEEING (THE GOOD PART):
- At the start of the race, there were huge fireworks to officially launch the 42.2km marathon event.
- I spotted some Sto. Nino's in different segments of the route. People must be getting ready for the Sinulog event of Cebu the following weekend.
- The famous Magellan Cross (as seen from the logo of Cebu Marathon) we passed by twice (from different directions) in this race.
- I think we went through the famous Sto Nino church. I figured this out when we ran inside a public market where a lot of vendors were getting their stalls ready and putting the Sto. Nino inside them.
- SRP Area. What I especially like here were the signs heading into and out of the area. Heading into it, the sign read "Welcome to SRP". Heading out, the sign read "You've conquered SRP".
- the singers and dancers in different parts of the route in their Sinulog costumes and entertaining the runners.
RUNNING WITH OTHER RUNNERS (THE FUN PART):
- Jason, Janine, Dave and I all came from the same hotel and saw each other at the hotel lobby and walked to the starting line. We bade each other good luck before we started off at our own individual paces.
- There was a woman dressed like Darna (or was it Wonder Woman) who went ahead of me. I overtook her but eventually she overtook me again. At one point, we repeated this cycle of overtaking. Finally, I overtook the superheroine. But it was amusing to run beside her. People would cheer her, calling her by her costume name and clapping at her. It was entertainment for the 42km.
- I ran along a nice guy who was wearing the same compress pants as I was. We ran for a few kilometers with him going ahead, going behind or just side by side. Eventually he ran ahead and I managed to catch up with him again at the Magellan Cross. But he went ahead again going to SRP. He was long gone but at the turning point of SRP, I got my second wind and managed to run constantly during most of the entire stretch back and overtook him again. But I got burned out again and he overtook me at 28 to 29km. It was healthy running and we would encourage one another when the other was slowing down. He even told me that he was aiming for 5 hours but now that wasn't feasible given the hot Cebu heat. I agreed as I was thinking that exact same thing. At the downhill portion at the last portion of the race, he said that we should just run it off and just walk going uphill. I tried to follow him but was too tired. I didn't see him again. But I knew he had a good finish as Per apparently took a picture of him crossing the finish line.
- Friend Jason was aiming for a PR. This was my second time running a full marathon with him. He was fast! But he was having a hard time too. When I was heading to the final U turn of the race at 28km mark, he was heading out again. He remarked how hot it was. We were both suffering. But with his willpower, he achieved his target of a PR: 4:45!.
- Ot of the 600 marathoners, there were a lot of first timers here. One was the founder of Takbo.ph Jinoe. I saw him a couple of times and encouraged him to keep on running. I saw his wife Que at one of the support station, helping runners but also waiting for her husband to go to her. With cramps and injury he crossed the finish line. Now he is a marathoner as well.
- There was also Janine. The person I joined together for our first 10km race that made it into our running lifestyle. January 10th 2010 was the day for her first full marathon. She was strong. She was having a good time while I was hating the last 10milers. But she got the cramps and had to slow down. She still finished her first mary at a good time of 5:49. Pretty good!
- There was Dave. He was doing it slow and steady. And that's a good thing too especially for a race that's 42km long. At the same point where Jason and I crossed paths, Dave and I crossed paths. This time I was out running of that area while Dave was going into it. Dave asked if the distance was far for the turnaround. I was already in a bad mood at that time and told him bluntly "Yes, Ang layo pa!" Sorry about that! But Dave crossed the finish line and earned the mango medal and that's the important thing. Now he can call himself a Marathoner too.
- Fast women! Donna Cruz overtook me easily and so did blogger Marathon Foodie. My finish time was worse than half of the women who finished the full marathon. When women run, THEY run!!!
TORTURE! (THE UGLY PART)
- LEFT HEEL PAIN! This is a neverending story for me. Rest, Ice, Tape, Elevate. Rest, Ice, Tape, Elevate. Unfortunately, not much rest in Cebu as anxiety/ excitement prevented me from getting a restful sleep. On the race itself, I wore heel cups and had my left leg taped as well. Pain wasn't there until the first 10km and that was a terrible omen. If I am suffering at 10km, how the hell am I supposed to finish the last 32km? Well, the simple answer to this question was: ONE STEP AT A TIME! Pace went from 7:15 to 7:20 to 7:30 and eventually falling all the way to 8:05! I was disappointed that I was slowing down but nothing I could do about it.
- THE SUN! BURN BABY BURN! Sun was up at 8:00AM and it was burning through the skin. It drained me of my energy. It took away my strength and made me even tired. I was using the water cups not just for drinking but to pour on my head to prevent myself from a heat stroke. My feet felt the friction of the heat and the ground and they were not enjoying it too. Heel pain + heat + 42km = Poor feet!
- TRAFFIC & POLLUTION. By 9AM, the roads were open for vehicular traffic and I was forced to run on the sidewalks with the other runners. When there were no sidewalks, we are forced to weave between tricycles, bikes, cars, jeeps. Lots of smog but at least it was just opened at last part of the race and not the entire race.
- VERY LONG SRP. It was okay going there at first but going back, it was hot because of the heat. I needed a way out and a change of scenery but there was no chance of doing it sooner because of the long distance. I can't wait to get out of this area and into the shaded area of Cebu.
FINISHING (THE BEST PART)
- At the last km, I can't wait to finish (come to realize it, at the 26km I can't wait to finish too). So I ran fast. It was my fastest pace for the entire event and my only reason is that the finish line is near aleady. Finally, I see it and I give it my all to cross at a time of 5:40. PR for a Philippine Mary and right in between the super hot Adidas Sundown and super cold Fresno Mary.
- I got the mango medal to add to my collection.
- I got a snack pack which I ate as soon as possible. YUM.
- I got to finally finally finally sit down on the grass, take off my shoes and just lie there in the shade. It's over!
- I can now eat again. And not just eating but EATING. A. LOT. Three letters: C N T ,or if you aren't familiar with it, one word: LECHON!
Thanks to the organizers for making this a very good event. There were ample marshals, signs, and lots and lots of water. For your first year at doing this race, I can safely say that this was a SUCCESS!!!
PS. My wife did the 5km event here and got a new PR too! Awesome!