Mesh, Catherine, Ken, Vicky and I travelled to Subic on Saturday afternoon. The trip to Subic was fun with plenty of food stops. We had lunch at Junjuns in San Fernando. They serve the best barbeque! We also passed by Susie’s which is 3 stores down from Junjun’s for some sweets and tibok-tibok.
Vicky, Catherine, Ken and I at Junjuns.
We reached Subic pretty early so we decided to drive the race route. I have passed through the road to the airport several times already but driving through it and thinking that I will be running it the next day made me really feel every slight change in incline… hay! The hills are alive in Subic. We drove all the way to Ocean Adventure and made mental notes of the 2.5km, 5kmand 10km marks to get an idea where our turnarounds will be. Ken and I will be running the half, Mesh and Vicky will run the 10k and Catherine our newest recruit will be running her first ever 5K.
Final carboloading at Xtreme Xpresso
The registration form for the race said that the full and half marathon will start at 5am. When I checked last Friday, the official website didn’t have race updates or announcements. So Sunday morning, I got up at 3:30am to have enough time to shower, eat and dress up. We headed to the starting line around 4:45am just in time to hear the announcement that the 21K will be starting at 6am. Ugh! The full marathon started on time. After the 42k racers left, they asked everybody else to check in. 21K, 10K, 5K and 3K were all going to start 6am. It was a huge crowd. Runners were mostly from PNP. Very intimidating.
Pre-race pee … oh no! Where are the portalets? They were at Remy Field a bit far from the starting line. It’s a good thing the Grand Season’s Hotel and Majestic Hotel allowed us to use their restrooms.
And so we waited and waited for 6am. And then surprise, Dulce went on stage. I think her first song is the theme song of the marathon and of course it wouldn’t be a complete Dulce performance without her signature belting of “Ako ang Nagwagi”. You can’t help but admire her, she was belting out and it wasn’t even 6am yet.
Thankfully the race started promptly at 6am. Just like in our previous races, we chose to stay at the back of the pack to avoid the stampede. The first km was spent weaving through the PNP runners. They run in a pack, shoulder to shoulder, so it’s very hard. It was still dark when we started but by the time we reached the 2km point there was enough light to enjoy the waterfront view. At 2km, I realized that there was something wrong with the distance. My polar was registering 2km. I know that it is off by 100 meters per kilometre… I knew then that the race was going to be longer than expected.
Mesh who decided to downgrade to 10K ran the first 5K with me. It was fun to have some one to keep pace with. Vicky was slightly ahead of us. Ken who started at the front of the pack has taken off and disappeared. Tin, Beni and Kristine were close behind us. Mesh left me at the 10K turnaround. I kept my pace, drank my water and pinched my nose to have some power gel. It’s really too sweet for me … but I have to admit it gives an extra kick. And then, pretty soon I was approaching the first hill. I survived it without walking. At times, a PNPpack would overtake me and then I would catch up and keep pace with them. It was very intimidating to be overtaken by a pack, clapping and chanting as they pass but it also a good feeling when I get to overtake them.
So on to the airport and I thought that our turnaround was fast approaching. It was supposed to be before the second hill … before Triboa. Oh no! No turnaround! Up another hill … where is the turn around. My polar died at Km12. It just stopped giving me my pace and distance. I decided to maintain my walk/run ratio of 1:10.
Near the Subic clinic, I passed 2 PNP guys (Jess and Yancee). They were already walking. When I passed them, I heard make a comment … something about me still running. They caught up with me and asked if they could run with me. They said they would walk when I walk. I said yes as long as they don’t blame me for their slow time. I ended up pacing them. They are my official excuse for walking most of the hills. hehehe
The return route was hotter and some water stations have ran out of water already. Most of the runners have started walking. It was so tempting to just walk with them. And then we were back at Rizal Avenue again. I thought we will turn right to Remy Field from Rizal Avenue. Tough! We didn’t turn until Canal and had to go around Remy Field. The finish line banner was so near yet oh so far. We went into the track and ran the last 200m of the track to get to the finish.
Yehey! Mesh and Vicky were near the finish line and ready to take pictures.
Vicky, me and Mesh
I didn’t finish in 2hours30mins… still waiting for the official time but by my watch my time was 2:52:50 … but if it was really a longer course then I still ran my 7:30min/km target.
We all survived the 21 .. 23.5 … 23.81 … 24. basta we finished more than 20Ks
Recovery and then on to the next race folks!