The Milo Marathon is one of the cheapest races in the country so when slots opened up just three weeks ago, I immediately signed up for Alvin, Gigay and myself.
With no long runs or speedwork, this was definitely an "impulse" race. What's worst is its 6 hour cut-off time. I did some long runs by myself but my pace was pretty slow- average pace of 8:45 to 9 minutes.
Well, Per and i were worried that I wouldn't make the cut-off time but surprisingly, I was fine with it. Of course I still prefer to be an official finisher of this race but if I didn't make it, well, I had nobody to blame but myself (I have Milo Medal from last year too so this year's race wasn't as desireable as that year).
But Of course, pride plays a part and I want to try and get my second Milo medal.
Alvin offered to run with me and I didn't mind the company. It was easy for us to find a parking space in MOA (Mall of Asia), and we walked to the starting line and had time to spare.
The race started on time but since we were at the very back end, we crossed the starting line two minutes after the gun start. I didn't realize the importance of starting the Milo race at the front pack until after the race is over (more on this later).
The route was the same as last year's Milo Marathon in that we would run both sides of Roxas Blvd., before exiting to Buendia Avenue to head up Kalayaan Flyover, entering BGC and making the U Turn near McKinley Hills. Then it was a run back to Mall of Asia via Buendia Avenue.
I was fine at the first part of the race, taking one minute walk breaks at every water stations. I took GU gels, bananas and lots of Gatorade too. But none could help my legs as I felt them getting heavier at the second part of the race, and I ended up walking more. I was getting tired too and although pace was far from minimum pace required to finish race in 6 hours, I saw via my Garmin watch that I was getting slower.
But I wasn't worried as it was far from target pace of 8:31 for 42.2km 6-hour cut-off. I was confident I would make it. So I walked some more.
At 42km (via my Garmin), I was there at slightly under 6 hours. But I walked the entire time because I realized beforehand at 38km (via my Garmin) that the direction sign was just 37km. There was an extra km! And I didn't factor that in my 6-hour computations. I didn't put that as buffer to finish earlier and paid the price dearly.
So I was discouraged by this "surprise" and didn't see the point of running anymore as either way I wouldn't make it. My calculations were SO exact that I factored in a few seconds finish below 6 hours!
As mentioned earlier, the cut-off time was based on gun start so although we were at starting line when race started, it took us 2 minutes to cross finish line! So for 43km, we had to finish in 5:57 to be official finishers! Oh, if only I thought about this early on.
I crossed the finish line at 6:09 (having walked the 43rd km). Alvin, pacing me, finished at 6:02 (his Garmin read 43.2km). None of us got a medal or shirt as cut-off time was at 6:01.
Too bad, as I expected a little leeway for the added distance but rules are rules.
I'm just glad to finish this race safe and sound.
To God Be The Glory!