I just have to pass six days before I wrote my race experience in the recently concluded Run United Philippine Marathon last Sunday October 05, 2014. I had placed first do rest and recover from severe pains I received from the marathon… It’s almost a week after my concluded second marathon in my years stay in running and for this year. In reality, the race is my retaliate run against Natgeo Run which I finished my first marathon struggling six hours and thirty-five minutes. Without adequate preparation and building period was too close to the scheduled run causes of whining during my inaugural marathon.
But now, in the second marathon, I do not let happen again, what I went through in the first. Even two months is not the proper way of preparing for your marathon, I’d make sure that every moment counts.
By the way, I decided to do second marathon two months left from the day I signed up. Even it’s quite rush, I make sure that every morning or in the afternoon I had my mileage run at least four to five times a week. I anticipated also worst things that might happen during the race like unforeseen injuries so I secured myself by creating programs in strengthening my core and legs. Well, it’s not just easy anyway but a satisfying one. To be more comfortable you must be prepared.
A week before the race day, it was an easy and relax week for me. It feels like no pressure and all of my strength reserved for my big day. Set my mental and passion goal, finish strong with a smile! And yes, I successfully achieved that goal with additional reward of finishing the race more than one hour difference from my first marathon.
I arrived at the venue, SM Mall of Asia one hour before the gun start. I feel comfortable, determined and excited. While waiting on our designated gun start at the starting line, Coach Boy Ramos announced the cutoff time; 42k participants are a must to get to the 32km mark on or before 8:30 am five hours from the starting time and approximately 10am on the finish line. When we got off to the starting line, the journey of all 42k runners including me took off. From the intimate position of SM Mall of Asia, stretch of Diosdado Macapagal all the way to the wide partly dark of Roxas Blvd I definitely enjoy the cool ambience as we unleashed as early as 03:00 am. Agreeable gun starts time since the weather is seriously hot when the sun start to shine and it could possibly strike you off the course & worn-out especially when you are in the long distance category.
As we covered the straight road of Roxas Boulevard I noticed that they squeezed a little bit the usual course. If you will try to recap most of RunRio’s races the first turn is located at Naia Road then head back to Luneta Park. Last Sunday was a new scenario. We, marathon distance runners went straight to the Luneta Park then passed along Buendia, Makati connecting route to the Kalayaan Flyover and Bonifacio Global City. Off to BGC we go straight forward with the same route of Buendia all the manner to the U-turn slot located near the Coastal Mall/Naia Road. I reached the 32km mark as early as three hours and fifty-eight minutes which motivates me most. Nailing the 32km was a fulfilling one, but seizing the remaining kilometers is a big question, whining or finishing strong?Definitely I chose to finish strong!The route scenario, we gained first the Luneta before NaiaU-turn slot. Since the rut of the sun becomes present that time, I still able to manage all the way to the red carpeted finish line.
It was an unexpected that I finish strong with a time of five hours and thirty four minutes. This is one of my biggest achievements I created in my whole lifetime. Now, I can say that I am a dedicated marathoner; if you love what you are doing don’t let your excuses stops you.
With that experience, I sustain some notes what makes the event a notable one not only for me, but for all registered participants of Run United Philippine Marathon.
Assembly and Gun Start time – Nothings change, still on time and the no runners allowed policy after 15 minutes late strictly imposed during the race for the safety of the runners.
Hydration – Overflowing of water, Gatorade with a perfect set of Bananas and sponge, but in the last station, particularly the one located near CCP is lack of cups. What I noticed on this, the people who are not registered and spectators in the area took advantage in taking the runners hydrations that’s why the remaining runners had hard time to hydrate as we need to refill the cups with our own. IF YOU ARE ONLY SPECTATORS or JOGGERS in the AREA please be minded with the runners who are registered. Organizer set up a hydration station for the registered participants not for everyone.
Race Route – As I stated above the latest in the route, it’s a good decision to assign a little alteration in the route. They are some areas that are partly dark, but there also some areas are lighted by the organizer. One more thing that I would like to raise, the Kalayaan Flyover as we passed by around 3:30 to 04:00 the area was so dark, If I’m not mistaken, I saw some spot lights installed on the posts but they are not working. Other than that, the race course was nice!
Baggage Area – Simple but effective. Easy to deposit and trouble-free in claiming.
Finisher Shirt and Medal – In the first glance of the finisher’s medal, I whispered to myself all of my hard work paid-off even I missed the second leg to complete the Trilogy. Finisher shirt is awesome, a must wear!
Finish Line – The finish line is comfortably- groomed but I chose the last year’s concept, it’s more fabulous and creative compare this year.
Assembly Area – I think in this year’s set up is not effective compared last year. The area is quite muddy which avoids most of the runners to stay.
Overall, it was a great race! Majority of the race is well-organized; if in that respect are some lapses it’s just a little part.
Congratulations and thank you Run Rio and Unilab Activehealth for the endeavor in conveying the best race in the COUNTRY!
In my participation, another noteworthy experience that I will be bringing forever wherever I go. Seeing onward to go beyond and better race results in my next marathon!
Congratulations to all finishers!
Photos: Thanks to Tara Trip Tayo, RARMartinez, Tara Runah and Enervon Activ