So last Sunday was the 39th Milo Marathon Manila elims. For those who are unaware, Milo Marathon happens to be the most prestigious running event in the country. It also happens to be the most challenging foot race because of the cut-off time that runners have to beat to qualify for the finals and even just to get the much-coveted Milo Marathon medal. This is true for both 21K and 42K categories of the Milo Marathon.
I joined the 42K event of the Milo Marathon last year, finishing with a time of 5:25. It was my first 42K, after running three 21K in the Milo Marathon. So, when I decided to run in this year’s Milo Marathon, I was hoping to beat that time even just for a minute. That’s what we’re all aiming for right? That’s the reason why we keep on training?
So last Sunday, after setting my alarm to go off around 1:00 a.m., I woke up and saw that it was already 2:10 a.m. In a span of 10 minutes, I changed into my running attire, put everythin I need in my bag, and rush to the SM Mall of Asia. I arrived at the SMX area and parked my car hoping to get to the starting line on time and hoping that the race hasn’t started yet. As soon as I stepped out of my car, I hurriedly run towards the opposite end of SM MOA where the starting line is located. I must have sprinted for a good 500 meter already. And when I reached the starting line, the runners were already released. So I crossed the starting line and started catch up with the last wave of runners. I must have ran more than 1KM already when I finally caught up to the last runners.
That’s the time when I lowered down my pace. But I need to catch up at least the mid-pack of the runners so I picked up my pace again. Around the 8KM mark when we were already going towards the NAIA road turn-around, I was already exhausted, so I slowed down again. Turning right to Buendia and going to Makati Avenue turn-around point, I could already feel my stomach screaming of solid food. I did take anything before leaving my house since I was in a hurry. Then somewhere along Ayala while I was already struggling, a fellow runner offered me “boy bawang” but did not accept the offer. It would have been a good stomach-filler. Then a few meters more, the runner caught up with my pace and when we were running side by side, he suddenly scream in pain. He got cramps! It’s a good thing there was another runner who help us. The runner who was suffering from cramps was too big and I could not imagine carrying him alone. A few moments later, a local police finally approached us and that’s the time that I left the poor runner.
And so my struggle continued. If my memory serves me right, it was a long two hours of agonizing pain, trying to reach the finish line before 9:00 a.m. There were still few runners behind me. Finally, as approach SM Arena, the police officers instructed the runner ahead of me to “take the shortcut and turn right immediately instead of turning left first.” I was already 8:55 on my clock and there were already too many cars on the street. That’s when I decided not to cross the finish line anymore and go straight to my car.
In short, another DNF for me. 🙂
Overall, the 39th Milo Marathon was well organized. Another props to Rio for another successful staging of the Milo Marathon. Hopefully, next year would be even better and hopefully, next year he would adjust the gun start of the 42K to 1:00-2:00 am.
How was your run last Sunday? Did you it to the qualifying time? Did you make it to the cut-off time?
UPDATE: Here are the race results of the 39th Milo Marathon, Manila Eliminations:
For photos, check out the Running Photographers’ FB page. (5962)