As early as Saturday in the morning, we packed our bags and headed to Subic Bay Freeport (approximately 2-hour drive from Manila) for the 2008 Subic Marathon. The event was scheduled on Sunday but we opted to go there a day early to check out the route. Arni would be running the full marathon (42K) while Alex would be heading for the 21K track. Both of them are first timers in this event. Dan, Eric, and I opted to run the 10K. This is my third for this race category. We are hoping to run at least few more in preparation for the half marathon this June.
Checking out the route, we pitied Arni and Alex. The race route would pass by major landmarks in the former American base such as the Subic International Airport, the Subic Yacht Club, natural parks including the Ilanan Forest all the way to the Ocean Adventure, Botanical Garden and Subic’s several safari and forest farms. After driving through the route, we all agreed on one thing: “The terrain is tough for first timers!” :-/
42k runners are all set at the starting line as early as 4:30 am.
Long distance runners from Kenya and Ethiopia position themselves at the lead of the pack encouraging some bystanders and fellow runners for some photo ops. With the win of Hillary Lagat from Kenya in the recently concluded Clark Marathon, it's not bad to secure an early photo souvenir in case one them (indeed) finished first in the 42K route.
The next day, we got up early and readied for the race. Dubbed as the 2008 Subic “International” Marathon, the emcee announced some foreign runners from UK, USA, Kenya, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Malaysia. We also met a group of runners from South Korea but the emcee did not acknowledge them. I had short chat with the only lady in their group and found that they are Korean students from Baguio who are in the Philippines to study English.
The 42K runners started as early as 5am and the rest (21K, 10K, 5K, and 3K) were jampacked at the starting area and started the run at the strike of 6am. After we heard the gunshot, it was like we are all heading for a stampede. There were at least 4,000 runners participating in the event that we could hardly make a move without brushing one’s elbow. After the first intersection, the spread of runners leveled out a bit. The 5K and 3K runners turned to the left while the 10K and 21K headed to the right going to the Yacht Club.
...and off they go! The 21k and 10k races will not be starting until an hour more so I had the chance to take a few more shots before giving up my camera for awhile and concentrate on the race.
Kenyan elite runner, Nelson Kirwa Rotich got to the 42k finish line first with a time record of 2:27:11. Filipino Olympian Eduardo Buenavista finished after splits of seconds with running time of a 2.27.55.
Estrella Diaz is the first female 42k runner to finish checking in at 03:22.0 I always look forward to this category...these women inspire me!
The largest delegation to join in the event comes from Philippine National Police Academy. Hee-hi-hooo!
I had fun watching these guys. They are waiting for their mates to check in, writing down their names and bib numbers on sheets of paper, bearing the heat of the sun.
I got all perked up with the runners in front of me that I immediately started doing a pace run (which is a bad start). Eventually I got a bit exhausted and settled for a steady run after the half turn. Four kilometers away from the finish line, my foot accidentally hit a metal on the road, momentarily lost my balance and got both of my knees skinned. It was a funny sight really. Some of the runners behind me offered to help but I got up fast and ran the last few kilometers. The wounds on my knees started to sting that it incited me to run faster. Eventually I got through the finish line. I finished the race for over an hour (1:12) which is much slower than my Clark record (1:04) but what can I do? I had a few laughs afterwards, I could never get over this kind of stupidity. Oh well, there goes my ugly souvenirs!
And why the heck do I like this quote so much.
"If it hurts, make it hurt more."
There goes my ugly souvenir!
We’re scheduled to run again this weekend. This time, it’s the PSE Bull Run 2008 at the Fort Bonifacio Global City in Taguig.