Famous in a number of ways:
1. It is the only road race in the Philippines that imposes a cut-off time for 21km and 42.2km runners (2:30 for 21km race and 6:00 for 42.2km race). Failure to cross the finish line before the cut-off may deprive runners of things such as loot bag, finisher medal, etc.
I say "may" as organizers (Runrio for the past three or so years) have been lenient in past Milo events and given medals out even after the cut-off time. But they didn't have to do it (and might not do it for this year), and if you are joining this race, your mindset should be to complete the race within the required time allocated for it.
2. It is the only race that has multiple legs all over the country, so you can do a Milo race in most of the major provinces in the country. Those legs can serve as destination races too, so you can plan your vacation with a weekend race. Said legs will culminate in one big race at the end of the year, where only those people who qualify via fast cut-off times (think Boston qualifiers) may join the full marathon category. It's the best of the best in Philippine's premier race.
So, you can understand the drawing power of a Milo Race, particularly the Milo Marathon. I was able to come full circle in 2012 when I was able to complete my Milo Marathon and cross the finish line a few minutes shy of the cut-off time.
That remains my favorite Philippines finisher medal because of the pressure I had in completing the race, and the satisfaction I attained once they put the medal around my neck.
And here we are again: me, with not enough hard training, a lack of mileage and requiring an average pace of 8:31 minutes per kilometer to be a Milo finisher again.
There was NO PLAN whatsoever to join this year's Milo Marathon but with a 50km race down the road, I needed some mileage. Alvin recommended I do this to which I resisted! I told Per about it and she agreed with Alvin (wholeheartedly pa!). Rare is it two against one and against me!
But I still downloaded the race map, looked at gun start time and some other details like 32km cut off at 5 hours. Then, news came out from my sister that it was sold out as she wasn't able to register online. Various comments at facebook and Pinoy Fitness websites had people clamoring for more 42km slots.
So it was sold out, when all other categories were open. And that was it.
Until Friday night that is!
On Friday night, I went to Riovana to ask whether they would open 42km category, to which they said that they have bibs available right now! I was caught off guard as there were no announcements on this. I even read comment from Riovana facebook account that 42km was closed for registration.
Of course, I was delighted and went to reserve 3 slots immediately for Alvin, Gigay and myself! Riovana even had Milo packs for sale there (at higher price of course) so I bought Milo packs and emptied contents in zip lock bags, which they sold there too (for Php 5.00). Count on Rio's business skills. Hehe! But you have to admit, it's very helpful for us runners too!
I ended up paying for three race kits that night. With only a few weeks to go, each of us has to strategize in his/her own way on how to complete the full marathon in 6 hours or less. As the slowest runner, the pressure is on me!
I hope I won't DNF (did not finish) or DQ (disqualified) because I didn't finish it in time.
One important rule to running a full marathon that was thrown out here is this:
1. RESPECT THE DISTANCE!
I hope I am strong and fast enough physically and mentally for this challenge!
No turning back now....Marathon No. 12 is a go!
Good vibes everyone and I pray that God will protect all of us in this race!